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Objecting to a planning application

If you feel that an application might affect you, you can object, online, or email or letter. Your objection will be taken into account when we determine the application.

When considering objections on planning applications, the council can only consider what are called material considerations (the technical term for relevant planning considerations), which are laid down in planning legislation.


What you can object on (material considerations):

  • The effect of the proposal on your amenity (for example noise, impact on sunlight, loss of privacy)
  • The design and layout (height of buildings, density of development, landscaping proposals)
  • Any environmental impact (loss of trees or open space, flooding, loss of wildlife habitat)
  • Planning Policy (if the proposal is contrary to the Development Plan or council guidance)
  • Road safety/ access issues (inadequate parking provision, lack of a footpath, increased traffic)
  • The capability of local infrastructure to support the proposed development (could local schools, parks etc cope)
  • Sustainability (would residents of a new development be able to access services easily on foot)

What you cannot object on (non-material considerations):

  • Any potential impact on property values
  • The loss of a view
  • A private legal matter (such as land ownership)
  • Neighbour disputes, such as private access rights, party walls or damage to property
  • Any commercial interests which you feel might be affected.

If your objection only contains non-material considerations it will not be registered as an objection. 

How can I object or comment?

You can object or comment on a current planning application in various ways (you have 21 days, in most cases, from the date when the application is registered):

  • Object online. (On the council's website, at the search page, type in the street name or application number. You can then view the documents relating to the site and if you are within the consultation period, you can comment on the application - your name and address is necessary to complete the submission).
  • Email your objection to planning@westlothian.gov.uk, please include your name and address, the date, application number and the address of the site
  • Post your objection to: Development Management Manager, West Lothian Council, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF, please include your name and address, the date, the application number and the address of the site.

Please note that any comments or objections made will be available for inspection online. To make a comment or objection you must include your name and address. 

What happens next?

When you send us an objection we will acknowledge it by letter and we will let you know the council's decision, or if the application is going to be reported to the Development Management Committee. If it is, you will have the right to address the committee. We've prepared guidance on how an application is decided and who makes the decision.