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.
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:
- a site notice displayed at the proposed development;
- notification by letter to neighbouring properties;
- a public notice in the local press.
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.
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.
- The Planning Officer will outline the item;
- Members of the Committee may question the Planning Officer (questions only, not comments or general discussion)
- The objector or a representative of the objectors is then allowed to address the meeting. The speaker will be allowed no more than 5 minutes in which to state his / her case – NOTE: normally only one person is allowed to speak for the objectors, but it is open to the Chair to allow any more parties to speak to enable further points to be raised;
- Members of the Committee may then question the objector(s)
- Ward / Parish Councillor may then be allowed to address the meeting in relation to the application being considered. The speaker will be allowed no more than 5 minutes;
- Members of the Committee may then question the Ward / Parish Councillor;
- The applicant or his / her representative may then be allowed to address the meeting. The speaker will be allowed no more than 5 minutes in which to state his / her case;
- Members of the Committee may then question the applicant or his / her representative;
- Debate takes place by the Council Members only;
- The matter is put to the vote.
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.
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
Approval of details required by condition
When a planning permission is granted it is usually subject to a number of conditions. Many of these conditions will require the submission of details for approval before development begins. If development begins and the details required by conditions have not been approved the planning permission will not be valid. Details of how to apply can be found on the decision notice; forms and guidance notes are available on the Planning Portal|.
You can submit this application as you would any other application: Apply for planning permission.
The target to deal with these applications is within 8 weeks.
If you do not comply with the requirements of the conditions you could be asked to do so by our Enforcement Service. If you do not comply you could be served with a Breach of Condition Notice.
Non material amendment
If after getting planning permission, you want to make a small change to your application eg. add an additional window to a house, reposition an opening, re-site a building by a small amount, increase the height of an extension etc. you will need to apply for a non-material amendment to the original application and submit the application to as you would any other application: Apply for planning permission.
The target to deal with these applications is within 4 weeks.
If your application is refused
You can resubmit your application following a refusal but you are advised to address the reasons for refusal before doing so. You can discuss how to overcome the reasons for refusal with the planning officer that dealt with the original application. If the original application was validated, and your application site and proposal remain substantially the same, you can re-submit your application up to 1 year after it was withdrawn or determined and there will be no fee.
Note: the application must be from the same applicant and you can only have one free go for the same site and proposal.
If planning permission has been refused, or you have an issue with a condition that was attached to a permission you do have the right to appeal: Appeal a planning decision.
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.