Lewes District Council
Tel: 01273 484420
Fax: 01273 484452
Minicom 01273 484488
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:
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:
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 the relevant parties will be consulted.
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.
We widely 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.
Neighbours with an adjoining boundary to the application site are notified of the development and 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 in planning issues.
Once an application is valid we have a period of 8 weeks (13 weeks for major applications) to determine the application. The only exceptions to this are Prior Notification Agricultural Determinations which must be determined within 28 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 for the Environment.
Upon making a recommendation an application can take one of two routes to be decided.
The majority of cases are decided under delegated authority, whereby the case officer makes a recommendation for approval or refusal of the application, which is then reviewed and agreed by the Director of Planning and Environmental Services. These cases tend to be householder development or smaller commercial or agricultural development, where there is no conflict with planning policies or Town/Parish Council views and no significant public objection.
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:
All Planning Application Committee meetings are open to the public. Copies of committee agendas and reports can be inspected on this website.
The public, representatives of Town/Parish Councils and other groups and societies are able to speak for two minutes each when a specific application is considered. Ward councillors may speak for up to five 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 summary of reasons for approval and 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 a 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. They may monitor any conditions attached to planning permissions to ensure they’re complied with.
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.