Use this sample letter as a guide to writing an effective letter of support to your local council about a planning application.
10 Main Street
Address of the local authority department dealing with the application, as stated on the site notice/neighbour notification/newspaper advertisement for the planning application, and the date:
Development Control Services
Borne District Council
Barset BH21 0AA
5 August 2014
Name of planning officer dealing with case:
For the attention of Mr D C Mann, case officer
Dear Sir / Madam
PLANNING APPLICATION NO 00/0741
One-line summary including what the application proposes, where it is (the site) and who is proposing it (the applicant):
Proposed erection of five houses adjacent to Manor Farm, Back Lane, Small Bere, by Mr E Preneur
Interest and general line of person making representation:
I write in connection with the above planning application. I have examined the plans and know the site well. I wish to offer my support to the proposal, for the reasons outlined below.
Reference to Government policy and site-specific local development plan policy which, though not yet adopted, is the most recent and has already been consulted on:
I am aware of the concerns of some in the community that this proposal for infill development will damage the character of the village. However, I believe that Small Bere is a village well suited to sympathetic and well planned expansion. Policy C14 of Borne's emerging Local Plan (awaiting independent examination) states that the village could expand to the degree of 60 new households. In my opinion a number of high quality infill proposals, similar to this application, would meet this need in the most sympathetic way possible, avoiding the need for a new 'estate' development. The latter would be much more likely to disrupt the character of Small Bere, and would make it more difficult to incorporate the new houses into the community. In addition, the National Planning Policy Framework states that there should be a wide choice of high quality homes to meet people's needs; this development would help to meet the demand for such housing in Small Bere.
Where applicable, reference to the Neighbourhood Development Plan for the area:
The Small Bere neighbourhood plan is also being developed in consultation with the community and Borne District Council. The development proposal will contribute to Small Bere's ambition to become an exemplar community for reductions in carbon emissions by going beyond the high design requirements of draft policy D2, and incorporating features that will ensure these new houses are 'zero-carbon'. I acknowledge that market housing development on this site does not conform to policy H6 of the emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan, which requires that all new housing provision above that allocated for in Borne's emerging site allocations document should be affordable. I think that the high quality of the proposals however, combined with the long-term sustainability of the site chosen, outweigh the force of this policy. The developer has also indicated that one of the homes on the site will be affordable; this will make a contribution to meeting Small Bere's affordable housing needs.
Reference to Government policy and to 'planning history' - the local authority's previous planning decisions in the area:
Small Bere is a thriving village, and there is considerable demand for housing here. Applications for larger-scale housing developments have been refused in recent years because of concerns about their impact on the existing road network. The siting of this proposal is much improved on these past applications, and in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. It makes provision for travel by sustainable means: village facilities would be easily accessible by foot or bicycle, and bus stops for travelling either east or west to nearby towns and larger villages are within easy walking distance of the proposed entrance to the development.
Reference to other issues which affect the community as a whole, rather than individual interests. You could also mention the Parish Plan or Village Design Statement, if these exist for your area:
The site for this development has been well chosen. It is within the boundaries of the village, as defined by policy S10 of Borne's emerging Local Plan, and therefore nearby to Small Bere's local services, such as shops, the pub and the village hall. I am aware of the concerns of some in the community that the development will mean the loss of some open space that is used for informal recreation. I note however that the scheme includes the provision of a smaller, but landscaped public green area, which will be open to use by all. I am also aware of demand among the community of Small Bere for new houses in the area. Many who have grown up in the area would very much like to remain, but family-size houses such as those proposed rarely come available on the market. This development proposal is therefore welcomed by this section of the community.
Reference to development plan generic development control policy which, though not yet adopted, is the most recent and has already been consulted on; as well as to further issues of concern to the wider community:
Policy H9 of Borne's emerging Local Plan states that proposals for development that are particularly innovative in their approach to reducing the carbon emissions of the district should be considered in a favourable light. As described above in relation to Small Bere's emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan, this application certainly falls into this category, and therefore in my view should be given planning permission.
Reference to other bodies in the local community who support your position:
I understand that this proposal is also supported by the Small Bere Women's Association.
Formal request to speak at the local planning authority committee meeting at which the application may be decided, some local planning authorities require respondents to planning applications to give notice, in their response, of their wish to speak at committee meetings:
If this application is to be decided by councillors, please take this as notice that I would like to speak at the meeting of the committee at which this application is expected to be decided. Please let me know the date of the meeting as soon as possible.