Planning Application Process
How to submit a planning application, the process it goes through for consideration and how a decision is made.
Before making a formal submission of your application, we encourage all applicants to consider:
How To Make An Application
Planning applications should be submitted on our standard forms, or online via the Planning Portal. They must be accompanied by a Certificate of Ownership or declaration that the owner or tenant has been informed of the application.
Drawings must be of good enough quality to clearly see the exact nature and location of the development being proposed. The information required depends upon the type of application being made and the nature of the proposal, please see Planning Application Forms to find the appropriate forms, guidance and validation requirements.
Once an application is received, it is checked to ensure that:
- the forms have been completed correctly and are signed and dated
- all relevant information and plans have been included and are of a recognised scale
- the correct fee has been paid
If any information is missing or if additional information is required, we will inform you. Your application will not be formally accepted until everything has been received and checked. When all the details required are correct, the application is 'valid' and the applicant/agent will be notified by letter of the relevant dates and contacts.
Please note that we do not hold details of property or land ownership, therefore it is the applicant/agents responsibility to ensure that the correct ownership certificate is completed on the application form.
The case officer is the person allocated to deal with the application and they will be your main point of contact. They will carry out site inspections and liaise with the applicant and other interested parties to try and resolve any problems.
Details of the case officer responsible for a planning application are available under the 'further information' tab on our Planning Public Access page.
Once the consultation period has closed, the case officer will prepare a report on the planning issues relevant to the case and any consultation responses received and will recommend whether or not the application should be approved.
The case officer will visit the site to assess the development and display the planning notice. We do not generally arrange appointments to carry out a site visit. However, if the site is not fully visible from public land or not accessible for other reasons, please provide the relevant contact details to arrange a site visit on the application form. If you have any specific requirements or know of any issues relating to the site visit, that may prevent or have a bearing on access by the case officer, for example any health and safety issues, please provide this information on the application form.
Site visits are generally carried out within 3 weeks of the case officer receiving the application file. All officers will have identification badges displaying their name and job title.
Site visits to neighbouring properties directly affected by the development, can be carried out on request and at the case officer's discretion. However, many issues (particularly where neighbouring occupiers require issues to be clarified) can be resolved without such a visit. The case officer may also find it helpful to visit a neighbouring property to assess the impact of a planning proposal on that property.
We circulate details of the latest planning applications to allow those affected the opportunity to comment on the proposals. We consult with the relevant Town or Parish Council, Highway Authority and other specialist consultees, as required. Consultations are carried out in accordance with the statutory requirements for the type of consent sought.
Neighbours with an adjoining boundary to the application site are notified of the development and/or public 'planning notices' are displayed at or near the proposed site. All applications are published online on the weekly list and some are advertised within the local newspaper.
Anyone can comment on an application and comments must be received in writing. These will be attached to the case file and displayed online for public viewing. A period of 21 days consultation from the date of notification is allowed to receive any comments. Please note that the consultation end date may differ between a notification letter and the public planning notice, in this case it is the latest end date that applies.
A decision will not be made before the end of this consultation period, as the views of those consulted are taken into account prior to a recommendation being made on the application.
Most applications will require a site notice to be displayed at or near the development site. Sometimes it is not possible to display the notice on the actual land where the development is taking place, for example; where there is no structure to which the notice can be pinned, or if the site is located away from a public road or path. We will try and display the notice as close to the site as possible and in a position that can be seen by the public.
The site notice should be displayed for a period of 21 days, at the end of which time it is the applicant's responsibility to remove the notice. The date of expiry is noted on the site notice. On some occasions, site notices are lost or removed before the end of the consultation period displayed on the notice. If this occurs we will use reasonable endeavours to display a replacement notice at the site after we become aware that a notice has been ‘lost’, providing that the consultation period has not already expired.
Once an application is valid we have a period of 8 weeks (13 weeks for major applications) to determine the application. The exceptions to this are Prior Notification Agricultural Determinations which must be determined within 28 days and Prior Notification Larger Residential Extensions which must be determined within 42 days.
If amendments to plans or further supporting information are required, then this period may be extended, if both parties agree.
Whilst the majority of applications are determined under delegated authority, approximately 10% of applications are determined at committee. In some cases those applications heard at Planning Committee may exceed the specified timescales, as meetings are held on a three weekly cycle.
If your application has not been determined within the specified timescale and you have not been informed of any delays, you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State.
Making A Decision
Upon making a recommendation an application can take one of two routes to be decided.
The majority of applications are decided by the Council’s officers, under powers delegated to them by the Council. This arrangement tends to apply to the more straightforward applications, so the Council’s Planning Committee can concentrate on more complex applications. In these delegated cases, officers have assessed the proposal against the relevant planning policies and other material considerations, including representations made by local residents and the relevant Town or Parish Council. The case officer then makes a recommendation for approval or refusal of the application, which is then reviewed and agreed by senior officers in the name of the Director of Service Delivery.
For cases larger and more significant in nature our Planning Applications Committee made up of elected members will make a decision. Written reports are made to the Council’s Planning Applications Committee, with a recommendation from the case officer. These are generally applications that raise policy issues or where there is a difference of view between officers and Town/Parish Councils, or a significant level of public objection.
Normally, elected members make their own arrangements to visit application sites. However, in a few cases the Committee may decide that it is appropriate collectively to arrange a site visit. There is a strong presumption against Committee site visits for householder and minor applications.
The Planning Applications Committee can decide to:
- Grant planning permission, with or without conditions, with reasons.
- Refuse planning permission, with grounds of refusal
- Defer for further information/negotiations/site visit
- Be "minded to approve" an application, subject to resolution of outstanding points (e.g. a legal agreement) with delegation of a final decision to the Director of Planning & Environmental Services.
All Planning Application Committee meetings are open to the public. Copies of committee agendas and reports can be viewed on our Planning Applications Committee website.
The public, representatives of Town/Parish Councils and other groups and societies are able to speak for 3 minutes each when a specific application is considered. Ward councillors may speak for up to 5 minutes.
Once a decision has been made, a formal decision notice is issued to the applicant or agent.
If approved, the decision notice will set out the planning policies relating to the development. It will also set out any conditions relating to the approval.
Conditions may require the submission of further details that require formal approval from us, or stipulate that development must be carried out only in accordance with the specified requirements. To be consistent, most conditions are drawn from a standard list and will include the reason for imposing the condition.
In the case of refusals, full reasons are given as to which elements of the development are unacceptable and why it does not accord with planning policy.
All decision notices inform applicants of their rights of appeal.
Town and Parish Councils are sent copies of all decision notices in their area. Anyone who has made representations on an application is also notified of the outcome by letter.
An applicant, who is dissatisfied with our decision on an application, can appeal to the Secretary of State for a review. The Planning Inspectorate are appointed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to process and determine appeals on their behalf.
Only the applicant/s for the original application or an agent acting on their behalf can appeal a decision. An appeal must be submitted within the relevant timescale and must adhere to the procedures for this process.
There is no third party right of appeal.