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Before you apply

Planning application process

Pre-application advice

Before you decide whether to make a planning application, we recommend that you obtain pre-application advice from us.

We will be able to advise whether your proposal is likely to be approved and can recommend changes that could give your planning application the best chance of success. 

Application and validation

We strongly recommend that you apply online through the Planning Portal where you can complete the relevant form, attach your documents and submit your payment.

Once submitted, applications are checked to ensure that everything required to validate the application has been provided. Any missing information will be requested before processing can start. Submitting the correct information first time can help avoid delays.

Once valid, most decisions are made within 8 weeks for smaller applications.

Publicity and consultation

Once your application has been validated and registered it will be included in our online planning register. We may then publicise and consult on it.  There are some types of application which do not require notification or consultation.

Where required, neighbours will either be notified by letter or in certain cases a notice will be put up on or near the site and advertised in a local newspaper. This gives the public the opportunity to express views. Other statutory bodies may also need to be consulted.

We will assess the relevance of any comments received and, in light of them, may suggest minor changes to the application to overcome any difficulties.

Assessment and recommendation

A Planning Officer will visit the site and carefully consider all information, including any comments, before writing a report recommending the application either for approval (with or without conditions) or refusal.

Case officers do not make the final decision on applications. The officer’s report will include all of the relevant facts relating to the application to inform the decision maker.

Decision

The application is decided by either a Senior Planning Manager or Planning Committee.
With most householder applications senior officers who have delegated authority from the Planning Committee make the decision which speeds the process up.

Major developments are determined by the Planning Committee. The determination target for these applications is within 13 weeks of validation. If your application is determined by the Planning Committee, you, your agent and any neighbour who has made a written representation will be notified of the committee date and given the opportunity to speak at the meeting. 

Once the decision has been made a decision notice is issued and anyone who has commented on an application will also be notified. All decisions are published in our online planning register.

Applications can be approved or refused. Approved applications will often have conditions attached that must be complied with.

If your application is refused you have the right to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
In instances of non-compliance with approved conditions or a refusal of a retrospective application the council may take enforcement action.