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Apply for planning permission

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 development applications, 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 plans and drawings in line with our best practice guidance.

    Fees and charges

    Check how much your application will cost

    How to submit your application 

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


    Please help us to process your application quickly by submitting electronically through the Planning Portal.

    We do not accept applications on CD or through file sharing sites.  

    Apply for planning permission online

    By email or post (for some application types only)

    We can accept the following types of applications only via email or by post, because they are not available through the Planning Portal:

    • Permission in Principle
    • Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works to a listed building
    • Development relating to the onshore extraction of oil and gas
    • Modification of conditions relating to construction working hours
    • Permission for mineral extraction or associated development
    • Modification or discharge of a Section 106 planning obligation

    You can email us at, or post your paper submission to us at: Planning Services, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG

    Please avoid paying by cash or cheque.

  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 are the applicant and you don't agree with a planning decision we make, you can make an appeal.

    Appeal against a planning decision (GOV.UK)

    If you are not the applicant and you wish to challenge a planning decision, you are advised to obtain independent legal advice.