Quick guide to planning

Applying for planning permission

Where do I find planning application forms / which form to use?

Planning application forms are available to download on our webpage for postal submissions or you can make an online submission via the via the Planning Portal.

Please note there is a service change for making an online submission through the Planning Portal webpage and if you submit online via the Planning Portal you need to pay the planning fees through them.

How much does it cost to apply for planning permission? How do I pay?

The cost for a householder application is £206. The cost for minor and major applications will vary depending on the nature and size of a development. For a list of fees for all types of application, please see our planning fees. You can pay your fee online, by calling 0300 300 8307 or by sending a cheque payable to ‘Central Bedfordshire Council’.

If you submit online via the Planning Portal website, you will need to pay the planning fees through its website.

Can I use the Planning Portal to make an online submission?

You can apply online using the Planning Portal. Completing the form online ensures you are prompted to answer only questions relevant for your application. The completed form is sent directly to us for processing. There is a service charge using the Planning Portal and you need to pay planning fees through its website.

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?

If your proposed development only requires relatively minor changes to make it acceptable, negotiations may be undertaken to obtain satisfactory amended plans. A number of factors influence this judgment although the primary ones are:

  • planning policy considerations
  • the scale of the amendments required

If the proposal is contrary to policy and it is unlikely that negotiations could overcome this or if the proposed development is sub-standard (for example owing to density, design or highway reasons), the case officer will contact the applicant / agent to offer the withdrawal of the application or progress your application to a determination without conducting negotiations. The reasons for refusal will advise the applicant / agent of which issues were considered unacceptable.

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.