Planning application process

Decide if you need planning permission

Not all development requires planning permission but you need to be sure before you start work. See Do I need planning permission?

Submit an application

If you do need permission for your proposal, you need to collate all the documentation required and you can then Apply for planning permission.


An application will be logged with Planning Services as being received. If it is valid this will be the start date of the application and the 8 week and 13 week target dates for determination are calculated from the first full day after this date.


The application will be checked to ensure all the necessary documentation and fee has been submitted. If it has the application will be validated and a letter sent to the applicant with the application reference number to be quoted in all correspondence, the name and contact details of the allocated planning officer and the target date for a decision. Note that if an applicant is using an agent all correspondence and communication will be directed to them.

Once validated we aim to publish the application online within 24 hours. We aim to validate applications within 5 working days; this may take up to 15 working days during peak periods.

Invalid applications

If all of the required information is not submitted, the information is incorrect and / or the correct fee hasn’t been submitted the application will be invalid. The applicant will be informed of this in writing and given 14 days in which to provide the necessary documents / corrections / fee. The application will not be processed any further until the application is valid. If we do not receive a response within the timescales given, we can return the application and any fee and the process will have to be started again. If you are the applicant and you are unsure about what you need to submit you can contact the Technical Clerk named in the letter.

If the application is invalid because the information that appears on our Local list hasn't been supplied and the applicant doesn’t agree that it is required, the applicant can serve the Council with a Section 10a Notice. This can take the form of a letter and must include details of the reason why it's considered that the information is unnecessary and the basis for this conclusion. The Council must then decide whether the application is valid or not valid. If it's determined that it is not valid the applicant can appeal against 'non determination'. See Appeal a planning decision.


Depending on the nature of a proposal and it's location, a valid application will be publicised in one or more ways:

There is a period of 21 days in which people can comment on an application. Any comments received after this date will be taken into consideration up to the point the application is determined. An application can be determined once the 3 week publicity period is up.

A comment is known as a 'representation' and can be an objection to or comment in support of an application.

Applications are published on the Council's web site: Search planning applications.


We have to consult certain bodies on different types of applications. These are called statutory consultees and include amongst others the Councils Highways Service, Parish and Town Councils and the Environment Agency. We also consult other non statutory consultees such as local amenity bodies and other Council Services such as Environmental Health, Education etc. These consultees have 21 days in which to respond.

Planning officer assessment

The application is passed to an allocated case officer for initial review and a site visit usually within a maximum of 3 weeks from validation. Where it is considered necessary the case officer will erect a Site Notice.

If changes need to be made to the application following the site visit or in response to consultation responses or representations from the public, the case officer will negotiate with the applicant to make amendments to the original proposal.

Our aim is to do this within 5 weeks of an application being validated.

Revised plans will be made available online within 24 hours of receipt. If the changes are considered to be very minor we will not publicise the amendments and we will not invite comments from the public. Where the changes are not considered to be minor further publicity will be carried out, asking for people’s comments. This is usually for a period of 14 days.

Delegated / Committee report

At the end of the assessment, the case officer will write his / her report. The report is then considered by either senior planning officers or the Planning Committee. The vast majority of applications will be determined by senior planning officers under powers delegated to them by the Planning Committee. These are known as delegated powers.

The reports to be submitted to the Planning Committee are published on the web site 5 working days before a decision is taken. Delegated reports are made available online after the decision has been made.

Planning Committee

The Planning Committee meets once, every 3 weeks, on a Tuesday to consider and determine planning applications that can’t be dealt with under delegated powers. You can view up-and-coming Planning Committee Agenda papers and past Planning Committee decisions: Council, committee and cabinet meetings.

Both applicants and those who have made representations on an application can attend Planning Committee and at the Chairs discretion, make a brief statement about the application.

Public participation policy for applicants and objectors at Planning Committee meetings

When you attend a Planning Committee indicate to the Committee Administrator that you have arrived in order to participate in a planning application, so that your attendance can be drawn to the committee's attention.


Note: Disputes about the right to speak and / or participate will be determined by the Chair whose decision is final.


Applicants are notified in writing of the Council's decision.

The planning decision

The status of a planning application is displayed in the application's entry along with the dates the application was received and validated.

View of a planning entry

The decision notice is published online with the application's 'Documents'. To find out about a planning decision, Search planning applications.

If your application is approved

If your application is refused


If you have had your details associated with any conditions approved you can start your development and in most cases you will have 3 years in which to start your development. Check your decision notice for the time limit that applies.

Note: Obtaining planning permission does not remove the need for Building regulations approval, where this is required for your development.

Enforcement - unauthorised development

If you do not carry out your development in-line with your planning permission you could be contacted by our Enforcement service and asked to bring it back in-line with the permission or asked to submit a further application to cover the changes. If you do not comply you could be served with an Enforcement Notice.


Withdrawing an application

An applicant can withdraw an application at any point in the process. This may be because plans have changed, an applicant wants to substantially change a proposal, or it’s likely to be refused. If an application is to be withdrawn then you will need to confirm this in writing. Alternatively the allocated planning officer named on the valid / invalid letter can be e-mailed.

Note: if an application is withdrawn after it has been validated we do not return the fee.

Last Updated: 29/03/2016