Comment on planning applications
Full guidance on how to Register and Comment on an application can be found in our Guide to using Highland Council Public Access.
Energy infrastructure applications with references ending in S36 or S37 are determined by Scottish Ministers and they consult with us. The Energy Consents Unit (ECU) is responsible for administering the process on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. The ECU neither process nor account for representations made to us in relation to these applications. If you wish to make a representation on these types of applications, you should make them direct to the Scottish Ministers by email to email@example.com.
For all other types of applications, you can make a representation, whether to object, to support or make a general comment, within 21 days of the latest date:
- that the application was registered with us
- when you were notified as a neighbour
- where it was advertised by us
To submit an online comment, you will be required to register your details on the Highland Council Public Access site. Once you have registered, you may sign into your account, retrieve an application then to add a comment, click on the Make a Comment button. Clicking the Comments tab displays how many comments have been made about the application. All comments to applications should be made electronically through public access.
Comments you submit will be published online along with your name and address. Signatures and other personal information will be blacked out. It can take up to 3 working days for your comments to appear on the portal as each comment has to be reviewed before publication. In periods when we receive a high volume of comments this may be longer.
Please note that comments from individuals living at the same address will be linked together on the comments page, further information regarding this can be found within the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.
Due to the volume of correspondence we receive on planning applications, we cannot enter into detailed correspondence or discussions with individual objectors on the points they raise. The Council's statutory duty is to take account of comments received within the statutory period, not to reply to them. Accordingly, comments should not be in the form of questions but should be clear statements about areas of concern. You may however wish to support or oppose an application on conditional terms.
There are restrictions in place. The use of inappropriate words and phrases are prohibited. Salacious, malicious and defamatory comments are unacceptable. Any comments which are considered to defamatory or to be inappropriate will be redacted. The online comment facility is for your use, to increase your input into the planning process. Please do not abuse it.
Only comments which raise material planning considerations will be taken into account. However, other representations we receive (that are not necessarily material planning considerations) are also likely to be made public on our Public Access site.
Comments are only available for 3 months from the decision date. When an application has been withdrawn, no associated documents or comments are visible.
What you can comment on
Material planning considerations are matters the Council must take into account when deciding planning applications. In order for your comments to be taken into account, they must be made for legitimate planning reasons. We have provided some examples below. Please note, these are not exhaustive lists.
Examples of material planning considerations are:
- siting, design and materials
- parking provision and access
- residential amenity (overshadowing, noise)
- drainage and infrastructure
- impact on existing trees, proposed landscaping
Examples of non-material considerations are:
- private legal issues between neighbours (such as land or boundary disputes, damage to property or private rights of access)
- ownership of land
- loss of a view
- loss in the value of your property
- covered by other regulations (such as building regulations)
More information can be found on the Planning Aid Scotland website.
You may send a petition of objection or support provided that:
- Each page of the petition is headed with the aim of the petition
- The names and addresses of those signing are provided and are readable
- The comments are material in planning terms and are clearly stated
- The name and address of the petition co-ordinator is included for receipt of acknowledgement and notification of the decision.
A petition counts as one objection for the purposes of being referred to Committee. Acknowledgement and notification of the decision will only be made to the petition co-ordinator.
After your comment has been submitted
We will acknowledge receipt of your comment. Your comment will be considered before a decision is made on the application. We will inform you of the decision on the application.
Commenting on applications in the Cairngorms National Park Area
Comments will be accepted until the neighbour notification period has expired on an application. All comments will then be forwarded to the Cairngorms National Park. After an application's neighbour notification period has expired, please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Timeout and comment limit
There is a 10 minute timeout on pages. If this time passes and you are still typing, any information you try to submit will be lost. If you have a large amount of text to be typed, we advise using Microsoft Word or similar to compose your statement, and then copying this into the text box on the website. Comments submitted are also limited to 5000 characters, and you are unable to add file attachments.
If your comment exceeds the 5000 character limit or you need to add an attachment, please email directly to email@example.com or post your comment to ePlanning, eProcessing Centre, The Highland Council, Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, IV3 5NX.
Everyone can use the site to view and search for planning applications but to make comment, save searches and/or track applications, you must Register on the Public Access page.
Highland Council Public Access is an online tool that lets you find and comment on current and historical planning applications in Highland. Find out more about Copyright, terms and conditions that apply when using the Public Access site.
If you have any technical difficulties when using:
- ePlanning (ePlanning.scot)
- eBuilding Standards (eBuildingStandards.scot)
- The Highland Council Public Access Site (http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/)
To help resolve the problem, please include:
- Screenshots of the issue (desirable) - Paste into a word document and attach to the online complaints form as they help us to resolve issues more quickly
- A description of what you were trying to do on our site when the issue occurred (essential)
- Date and time the issue occurred (essential)