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A Guide to Commenting on Planning Applications

Planning comment graphic We encourage the community to participate in the planning process which helps to shape and form the environment in which we all live, work and enjoy our leisure time.

The involvement of the general public is valued, as it enables Planning Officials to reach a balanced view when deciding upon planning applications. Every member of the community has the right to comment on any planning application, and the purpose of this guide is to assist how best you might make your views known.

Where can I view plans?

We have launched a new online planning register which will provide access to planning applications and associated documents. The register contains information on all valid planning applications lodged since 1 April 2009. Please note that applications which are invalid are not included on the register.

Information is current at the time of your search. It is not necessary to register to use the system.

Online Planning Applications Register - Click Here to Search

In person -  at Marischal College 

How can I comment



  • You can view and comment on planning applications online using our Planning portal. In order to submit a comment you will need to register first. This will enable you to submit comments on planning applications and subscribe to notifications if you wish.

In writing

  • If you decide to express your views, these should be made in writing to the address below or email: 

You should note that all representations received will be available for public scrutiny, and available to view online, we will not publish your personal data online: (written signature, personal email address or personal telephone number if included).

Please note that for some applications - advert consent and EIA screening opinion for example - there is no formal process which allows representations to be made or requires the planning authority to consider them. Please check the individual application details online or check with us.

How will you know if a Planning Application has been submitted?

  • Neighbour Notification: The Council must serve a neighbour notification notice on certain neighbouring property owners and occupiers.
  • Local Press: Following submission of certain applications, the Council may decide, because of the nature of the proposal, that the application should be advertised in the local press. This allows a wider section of the community to be aware of the proposal.
  • Online: A weekly list is published online every Monday.
  • In person: A public list is available at Marischal College.


Is there a time period for submitting comments? 

  • Generally you will have 21 days from the date a neighbour notification has been sent out to submit your written comments. it is always advisable to contact us to check on the neighbour notification period. It is normal practice for us to allow an extra three days for receipt of non-electronic written comments.
  • Press adverts have either a 14 or 21 day time period - please check the specific advert for which time period applies.

Please note that within the Planning Applications Search, each entry also gives details in the 'Date of expiry of period allowed for representations' section..

What details should you include in your representation?

Comments should relate only to 'planning matters' - these being the only matters that can be taken into account by the City Council when determining an application, examples of which are found below:

  • Written representations from members of the public;
  • Views of statutory and other consultees;
  • Government Policy and Guidance;
  • Local Policy and Guidance;
  • Planning site history;
  • Impact on amenity;
  • Impact on access, parking or road safety;
  • Design;
  • Compatibility with other uses in the area;
  • Affect on a Listed Building or Conservation Area;
  • Affect on Tree Preservation Order; 
  • Precedent.

Certain matters are not normally material planning considerations and will not be taken into account by us when we decide on a planning application. These include:

  • Devaluation of property;
  • Loss of a view;
  • Hours of construction;
  • Commercial/Business competition;
  • Moral and religious issues;
  • Matters which relate to other regulatory regimes such as Building Standards or Health and Safety;
  • Matters which relate to safety or disruption during construction;
  • Civil matters; 
  • Perceived Health and Safety risks.

Note: These lists are not exhaustive.

After you have submitted your written comments, you will receive a letter or email acknowledging receipt of your comments. Please note that a petition with more than one name on it will be counted as one representation. Where representations are received within the agreed time periods, these will be taken into account in the determination of the application. You should note that all representations received will be available for public scrutiny, and available to view online, we will not publish your personal data online (written signature, personal email address or personal telephone number if included).

Depending on the number of objections, the application may be dealt with under delegated powers or by the Development management Sub-Committee. In all instances, a report will be prepared by the case officer regarding the proposal, and will refer to the letters received, summarising the points raised and include an evaluation of the issues. The report concludes by making a recommendation to the Committee as to how the application should be determined.

If the application is referred to the Committee, copies of the letters received will either be circulated to members of the Committee or made available for inspection on the day of the meeting. All meetings are however held in public, and you may attend to listen to the debate.

Following a decision being made, each person who has submitted a letter regarding an application will be advised in writing of the decision.

What else can you do?

You could discuss your comments with your local Councillor who might be able to represent your views at the Committee. Alternatively, you could contact your Community Council, if there is one in existence, who are a statutory consultee in the planning process and frequently submit views to represent the local community.

If you require any further help please contact us.

  • Development Management
    Planning and Sustainable Development
    Aberdeen City Council
    Business Hub 4
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 523470


Please Note -

For all correspondence please quote your full postal address including postcode. Please note that without the postcode we will be unable to respond to your correspondence because of requirements imposed by Royal Mail.