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Apply for planning permission

Coronavirus update - planning applications

View details of how normal services may be affected

We continue to register and determine planning applications, and whilst there may be some delays due to restrictions and postal issues, decision making, enforcement investigations and planning policy work is continuing to operate. The following information shows you where we are having to work differently with the current restrictions.

New applications

Hard copy applications and cheques will take longer to process, and we urge everyone to submit plans and payments electronically if possible. We are currently unable to accept cash payments at One Stop Shops.

Applications already received may be subject to delays, and your case officer will be in touch to discuss this with you. 

Face-to-face meetings are not currently possible. However, we can offer conference calls or virtual meetings using online conferencing tools such as Skype. Please contact your Planning Officer to discuss this.

We are trying to reduce unnecessary travel, and as a result we are unable to post up site notices as we normally would. There is a legal requirement for this, so we are posting site notices to the applicant's address in the first instance. We request your support to put up the site notice and send us a photograph for our records. If a site notice cannot be put up, please let us know, and we will make alternative arrangements as soon as possible, so the full consultation process can be completed.   

Assessing applications

As a general principle, we are currently unable to make site visits. As a result, we may ask for your help in providing additional photographs and information, to allow us to make decisions without a site visit. In exceptional circumstances, officers will go out on site, where it is impossible to make a decision without a visit.  Where this involves entering properties, we will make appointments and a risk assessment, to ensure that both the public and our officers are safe. In rare circumstances, a site visit may still not be possible and we will discuss the implications of this with you. 

Our Planning Enforcement Team may occasionally make unannounced site visits, but we will still carry out risk assessments for these, to ensure the safety of the public and staff.

Planning is a complex process, and it can be hard to know where to start. Use this step-by-step chart to get a brief overview of the stages you will need to complete, how the decision making process works, and what happens next.

When you're ready to make an application, we strongly recommend that you use a planning agent to assist you through the process.

  1. Step 1

    1. You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to build something new, make a major change to your building (such as building an extension), or change the use of your building. If you live in a listed building, a conservation area or near to protected trees, even small alterations may require permission.

    2. Application or notification?

    3. For some types of development (such as agricultural building, or works to trees or hedgerows), you'll need to notify us of your proposed development, with a fixed period of notice before you start work. You'll be free to start the work if you don't hear from us within that notice period. You can do this via the standard application route on the Planning Portal

    4. Check if you need planning permission
    5. It's essential that you find out whether you need to get planning permission, or to send us a notification, before starting any building work. Otherwise, you may be breaking the law, and we may take enforcement action against you.

  2. Step 2

    Our Pre-application Advice and Development Team services provide an opportunity to discuss your proposed scheme and get clear, written advice from a Planning Officer before you submit an application. This will let you know the following: 

    • Whether or not your proposal is likely to be approved
    • What you can do to increase your chances of gaining approval 
    • How we will apply our policies to your proposal 
    • Which type of application form you'll need
    • What related or supporting information you'll need to submit
    • Any other things you may have to do, or charges you may have to pay

    Find out more about our Pre-application Advice and Development Team

    If timing is critical for the success of development, or you need an arrangement designed for your project's particular needs, you may also want to get a Planning Performance Agreement.

    To get the best quality design for your new scheme, in addition to our pre-application service, we recommend submitting your proposal to a panel for design review.

  3. Step 3

    Information you need to supply

    We determine all planning applications using national and local planning policy. There are national information requirements for all types of developments, and we may need additional information to assess how well your proposal fits our local planning policy.

    For all types of application, please ensure that you supply documents and plans in line with our best practice guidance.

    Fees and charges

    Check how much your application will cost (Planning Portal)

    Apply for planning permission

    We strongly recommend you use a planning agent to assist with your application.

  4. Step 4

    Once you submit an application, we'll validate it (make sure it is correct, and nothing is missing) and create a record on our Planning Register. We'll consult on most applications, and there will be a period of 21 days for people to make comments on the proposal. Finally, a planning committee or a Planning Officer will decide whether to approve it, and you'll receive a Planning Decision Notice. 

    Learn more about how we handle planning applications

    To check the status of your application online, enter your reference number For example: 19/03943/FUL
  5. Step 5

    Check discharging conditions

    Check your planning Decision Notice carefully.  Planning conditions may be applied to limit and control the way in which the planning permission is implemented.

    Read more about planning discharging conditions

    Check if you need Building Regulations approval

    Contact Building Control before starting any work or development, to make sure you get any necessary Building Regulations approval. This covers issues such as the technical details of your build, safety, accessibility and structural quality.

    If you don't get Building Regulations approval, you may have problems getting a mortgage, insuring or selling your property, and we may take enforcement action against you.

    Visit Building Control website

    Appeal against decisions

    If you don't agree with a planning decision we make, you can make an appeal. 

    Appeal against a planning decision (GOV.UK)