Apply for planning permission

Planning Applications

Planning permission is the formal permission from us for the development of land, property or any other building project.

Some projects may not require planning permission, but be aware that if you begin a project without legally obtaining planning permission and it turns out you DO need it this could result in enforcement action being taken, and you could end up with a fine and /or a criminal conviction.

If you are new to the planning process you should first establish if you need planning permission.

If you don't need planning permission you may still need building regulation consent.

If you would like advice before you submit a planning application you will need to apply for pre-application advice.

Submitting an application

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Due to the current circumstances around COVID-19 and the latest government advice, we are encouraging all applications to be submitted online via the Planning Portal or alternatively by email.

You can apply for planning permission yourself or you may chose an agent or other person to submit your application for you.

You can submit a planning application online using the Planning Portal, which guides you through your online application, offering help and guidance at each stage. You can also buy site location plans, upload supporting documents and pay fees online.

All application forms and guidance on completing forms are also available to download through the Planning Portal.

Please remember that when you apply for planning permission, the Council is under a statutory obligation to make the applicant's name and address available for public scrutiny. This will mean, in most cases, that your name and address will be available via the Council's website and be open to the world to view. This data cannot be restricted and will be kept in perpetuity.

What to submit with your application

All planning applications must be submitted with the correct documents.

These include

Check list for applications

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Due to the current circumstances around COVID-19 and the latest government advice, the planning department is enacting its responsibilities under social distancing and as a result looking to limit the need for site visits. In order to allow us to assess your proposals we are asking applicants and agents to submit up to date photographs of the application site with your application which show the location of the proposed development in the context of its surroundings. Photographs will need to be submitted electronically, where possible these should be date stamped and will need to be clearly labelled to indicate what they show. It is also recommended that you submit a site plan annotating where these photos were taken from.

For most planning applications at a minimum the following documents must be submitted:

  • A completed, signed and dated application form. All application forms and guidance on completing forms are also available to download through the Planning Portal and more information on selecting forms can be found on our website here.
  • Completed, dated Ownership Certificate (A, B, C or D - as applicable) and Agricultural Land Declaration (if applicable)- these are found within the application form. Guidance on what certificate to sign can be found here.
  • A location plan (usually an Ordnance Survey Plan) to an identified scale (1:1250 or 1:2500 are preferable). The application site needs to be enclosed in a red line and any other land in the vicinity that is owned by the applicant must be enclosed in a blue line. The plan must also show the direction of north. The Planning Portal offers links to several accredited suppliers who can buy planning maps from.
  • A site or 'block plan'. This is similar to the above plan, it should be drawn to an identified scale (1:100, 1:200 or 1:500), the proposed development should be drawn to scale in context to its surroundings.
  • Other plans and drawings or information necessary to describe the subject of the application (for example existing and proposed floor plans and elevations).
  • A design and access statement if the application is for a major development, the development is for the provision of one or more houses or the provision of a building with a floor space of 100 square metres or more within a conservation area or World Heritage Site, or where the development relates to a Listed Building.
  • The correct fee.
If you are submitting paper copies of your application you will require the original and 3 copies of the above documentation.

Fees for applications

A fee is required for most planning applications. When you submit an application we will double-check that you have paid the right fee. An application cannot proceed until the correct fee and all necessary supporting information has been received. 

You can use an online calculator to work out the fee for your application or you can view a list of all fees for planning applications in England.

There are some types of planning application where no fee or a reduced fee applies, you can find out if you are eligible for an exemption or concession here. Where a previous application has been approved, refused or withdrawn one further revised application can generally be made free of charge within 12 months, you must check whether a revised application meets the conditions/requirements to be eligible for a ‘free go’ here. Harborough District Council will decide whether this concession applies.

Once you know if and what you have to pay, there are four payment methods you can use. They are:

  • Pay online (if applying via the Planning Portal ONLY)
  • Pay online (applications made by email direct to the Planning Department, or made on paper forms ONLY)
  • Pay by phone - 01858 828282 during office hours; please quote your planning application number and the application site address.
  • Pay by cheque* - Development Management, Harborough District Council, The Symington Building, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7AG. Write on the reverse what the payment is for, the Planning Portal reference number and a contact number. Please write your cheque clearly in capital letters, using a black ball-point pen.
* Due to the current circumstances around COVID-19 we are encouraging applicants to avoid the use of cheques and to utilise the above electronic measures for making payments. 

Find out what happens to your submitted application and how a decision is made.

Find out who will make a decision on your application.

Checking the progress of a planning application

Documents and plans submitted with an application are normally entered onto our database within three working days of an application being registered. Information regarding the progress of a planning application such as important dates are then available to view on Planning Online. Alternatively, you can call the Case Officer for an update.

If  you have any queries about making your application, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Making changes to your planning application

You can sometimes make changes to your planning application after it has been submitted, but major changes could lead to long delays. If you would like to make major changes, you should consider withdrawing your application and submitting a new one.

If you wish to make any changes to your application (however minor), you should contact your Case Officer who will be able to advise you on the best approach. Please note that any changes to your application may result in delays.

Making changes after permission has been granted

If you want to make any changes to approved plans, then you should contact us with the details before starting work, as any amendment to the approved scheme will require permission.

Minor changes (non-material) can be made by submitting an 'application for a non-material amendment to a planning permission'. We will consider whether the changes proposed are minor and therefore non-material to the approved planning permission. We aim to make a decision within 28 days.

If you wish to make significant changes to your planning permission you will have to apply for a further planning application.

Alternatively, if you want to vary or remove a condition attached to your planning permission you can submit a 'Removal or Variation of conditions' application. This can be submitted in relation to any condition, apart from the time limit conditions imposed on the commencement of the development, or submission of reserved matters on an outline permission. More information can be found here.

Independent planning advice

Planning Aid provides free and impartial advice on planning issues.