Quick guide to planning

Applying for planning permission

What do I need to do to get planning permission?

You will need to complete an application form either yourself or through an agent such as a planning consultant or architect. This needs to be submitted with the plans detailing your proposals, relevant documents and the correct fee. Further information is available within making a planning application.

Who can I get to draw my plans?

Plans need to be clear, detailed and drawn to metric scale with a scaled rule shown. You can draw your own plans but most people will employ a planning agent or architect to do this for them. We are not able to make recommendations in relation to agent/architect services. However, you can find details of local consultants on the Royal Town Planning Institute website.

Can I make amendments once my application has been validated?

Find out how to make amendments during a planning application.

How long does it take to get a decision for planning permission?

A decision is usually made no later than eight weeks from the date of validation of the application but this can be longer depending on whether the application is to be considered by the Development Management Committee. This timescale is different for major planning applications where the decision should be made within 13 weeks.

Can I speak to my case officer?

We deal with a large number of calls so, in the first instance, please read about making a planning application, as your question may already be answered.

If the information above does not address your enquiry, further information, including the name of the case officer, can be found on the planning application database.

Who makes decisions on planning applications?

The majority of applications are dealt with under what is known as 'delegated powers'. This means that the case officer for the application makes a recommendation to the Head of Planning Delivery and planning managers who have the authority to make the decision on the application. All other decisions are made at the Development Management Committee which is made up of elected members and is held once a month at the Priory House offices. The committee is open to all members of the public to attend and speak.

How do I get an Ordnance Survey map for my application?

Most planning application need a site location plan and block plan showing the location and boundaries of the site you are planning to work on. You can use the Planning Portal's Buy a Plan service to ensure that you meet our requirements, whether you are a planning professional or first-time applicant.

Who will be notified of my application?

A number of people will be notified of, or consulted on, your planning application. We allow at least 21 days for responses. Depending on the type of application, we may consult in the following ways:

  • individual letters to adjoining neighbours to the application site and other nearby
  • a site notice
  • a press advert
  • elected Members (your ward councillor)
  • town and / or parish councils

We may also write to other statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency. More information on how a planning application is processed.

Where do I go for non-council advice about any aspect of the planning process?

There are several website/organisations which you may wish to use to find help:

Can I make amendments to my development once planning permission has been granted?

We can only accept very minor alterations to a planning permission without a revised application. You will need to submit a non-material amendment application with a plan showing what you want to alter. You can make your application by post or online through the Planning Portal (subject to service charge). There is a charge for this type of application, see the planning fees page.

Do you recommend builders?

No, we cannot recommend building companies.