Making a planning application
Please see below for information on how to make a planning application and how we process the application.
Before making an application
Before making an application it is important to find out whether planning permission or any other sort of planning consent is required, for example Listed Building Consent.
Planning permission is required for most building or engineering operations or for the change of use of land or buildings (for example from a shop to an office). However, many forms of development, especially those connected with existing dwellings, do not require the submission of an application as they have permitted development rights.
The Planning Portal also provides a useful set of links to various tools that may help you with your development proposals, for example a volume calculator, a carbon calculator and a plan creator.
We can provide more specific advice on whether you may need planning permission (or another consent). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the following information:
- Name, address and contact telephone number.
- Site address and post code.
- Site location plan with the property/land outlined.
- Details of any previous extensions/alterations/or other structures erected on the land immediately surrounding the property. This information should include the cubic content of any such extensions/structures.
- Footprint/block plan showing proposed alterations with dimensions/elevations (in metric) and position of proposal in relation to the existing dwelling, its boundaries and any adjoining highway.
Development proposals that do not require planning permission or any other sort of planning consent may still require Building Regulations approval. Additional information on Building Regulations is available on our website and from the Planning Portal.
All planning decisions are guided by the relevant policies and legislation. The key documents are:
There are also a number of constraints that have to be taken into consideration in determining planning applications, for example:
It is possible to carry out your own research to discover the planning history of a site:
- please visit our Planning Register Search.
Additional information on the planning process can be found on the Planning Resources for District / Town / Parish Councillors web-page.
You may wish to appoint professionals to help, for example an architect, planning agent or surveyor.
It is possible to obtain pre-application advice from the Council. There may be a charge for this advice, depending on the type and complexity of the proposal. You can find general advice about design etc on the Council’s web-site.
It is always advisable to discuss any development proposals with your neighbours at an early stage.
For major applications, we encourage applicants to use Planning Performance Agreements. A PPA is an agreement between a local planning authority and an applicant and provides a project management framework for handling major planning applications.
Submitting a planning application
We receive nearly 70% of applications online and we recommend that you make your planning application via the Planning Portal. Registration is easy and you can complete your application form, upload supporting documents and pay fees online.
The benefits of applying online include:
- immediate delivery and acknowledgement
- savings on postage and printing costs
- online help function when completing applications
- online record of your completed applications
- creation of site location plans
If you prefer, you can complete your application form online and submit supporting documents and fees by post.
Please note that we cannot progress a planning application until all the necessary supporting information (as outlined on the validation checklists and the guidance notes) and the appropriate fee is received.
Plans and files should be submitted in the correct format and scale, following the guidance on submitting plans with planning applications and the guidance on submitting electronic files with planning applications.
If you have any problems using the Planning Portal, they provide a very useful FAQs page.
Alternatively, you can make a planning application in the traditional 'paper' way by downloading the appropriate application forms from the Planning Portal web-site. You must then send your completed planning application forms, required documents and plans to our offices by post or deliver them in person.
Processing a planning application
We will check the application and associated documentation when we receive them. If any information is missing, the Planning Officer will contact you to arrange for the additional information to be submitted within an agreed timescale. The Planning Officer will also indicate if they consider that the development proposals are likely to be found acceptable.
The Case Officer will usually visit the site to assess the implications of the proposals and to display any site notices. It will not always be necessary for you to be present during the site visit.
Some application types are advertised in the papers or are the subject of consultation letters to neighbours. The details of all applications and notifications are also available on our website.
We usually undertake formal consultations with other organisations, such as Parish Councils. We may also consult other technical advisors, both within and outside the Council, for example the Tree Officer, the Highway Authority or the Environment Agency. The time period for consultation is usually 21 days.
Determining a planning application
In most cases, particularly for householder applications, the planning decision is made without going to a public meeting (Planning Committee), but under delegated powers. If an application is to be heard by the Planning Committee the applicant will be informed and invited to attend the Committee meeting to speak about the proposal.