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The planning process explained

Every planning application we receive goes through the same Planning Decision Making Process. The majority of planning applications are usually determined by officers under delegated powers set out in our constitution.

However, more complex planning applications are generally determined at Planning Committee which meets every four weeks.

Application validated, checked and registered

First, we will check that all the details submitted on your application are correct, all necessary documents and plans have been received and that the relevant fee has been paid.

The application will be considered valid from the date all the correct required information is received, where it will then be registered and all documents loaded to Planning: Simple Serach.

Follwoing registeration, you will be allocated a Planning Officer (Case Officer) who will be your main point of contact. Please note, if you are using an agent all correspondence will be sent to your agent.  

Application determination

Appropriate consultation/publicity may be required.  For example, we may put up a site notice which needs to stay for a minimum of 21 days; during this time we will contact interested parties such as ward councillors and neighbours who may have an interest in the site, giving 21 days to comment.

A site visit will be carried out by your case officer to assess the application and its impact on the surrounding area in relation to . You may be contacted to arrange access or they may look from neighbouring properties or sites. 

Your case officer will make a recommendation on whether to approve, approve subject to conditions, or refuse your application. 

Under the Councillor Call-In process, ward councillors have 28 days from the date of validation to refer a planning application for the Planning Committee to decide, they must provide valid planning reasons to do so.

You should receive a formal decision notice once the application has been determined.

If you are not happy with our decision to refuse or the imposition of conditions you may choose to appeal the planning decision.

Please note that Planning permissions expires after a certain period. Normally, unless your permission says otherwise, you have three years from the date it's granted to begin the development after which time permission will lapse. More information can be found on Planning Portal.

If your planning permission has expired you should re-apply as before. However, there is no guarantee that permission will be granted a second or subsequent time.

Decision notice

A decision notice will be issued to the applicant or their agent once a planning application has been decided.

To find out about a planning permission or decision notice you can use the Planning Search Tool. A copy of the planning decision notice will be available online.

Appeal against a planning decision

If you are the applicant and you are not happy with our decision to refuse or the imposition of conditions you may choose to appeal the planning decision. The Planning Inspectorate appeals page contains more detailed advice and guidance about submitting an appeal and the appeal process.

We would always encourage applicants to contact us first to see if a compromise can be reached before making an appeal.

Please note: if an appeal is allowed the development can proceed; if it is dismissed our decision will stand.

Third party rights

Unless you are the applicant, you cannot appeal against a decision made by the council.

If you have concerns regarding the process we followed to make our decision, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. Please note that the Ombudsman has no power to alter the decision, even if the Council's administration has not been completely correct.

Discharging planning conditions

Planning permission may be granted subject to planning conditions. These conditions may require further details to be submitted before work can commence. This is known as approval or 'discharge' of conditions.

You will need to complete an 'Approval of details reserved by condition' form and pay the relevant fee. The correct application form can be found here.

Please note the fee is per request, not per condition, therefore you may consider submitting several of your conditions in one go, as long as they are all from the same planning permission.

Next steps

In most cases we should be able to give you a response in approximately 3 weeks. If the matter is complex and we need to consult other people, this may increase to 8-12 weeks.

If the details submitted are not satisfactory, we will inform you within 12 weeks that the conditions cannot be discharged. You will then need to resubmit with a further fee.

If you would like to vary or remove a condition attached to a planning permission decision notice you can submit a removal or variation application with the relevant fee.