NB The explanation below relates to the process for a planning application. Permitted development notifications are different. 

The planning process explained...

Every planning application goes through the same Planning Decision Making Process. The majority of planning applications are usually determined by officers under delegated powers. However, more complex planning applications are generally determined at Planning Committee.

Step 1 – Application submitted, validated, checked and registered

The application will be considered valid from the date all the correct required information is received, where it will then be registered by the Local Planning Authority (LPA.) Following registration, a Planning Officer (Case Officer) is allocated who is the main point of contact.

Step 2 – Application determination

This phase includes the consultation and site visit.

Following registration appropriate consultation/publicity may be required. For example, a site notice will be put up which needs to stay up for a minimum of 21 days; during this time interested parties such as ward councillors and neighbours will be contacted and given 21 days to comment.

A site visit will be carried out by the Case Officer to assess the application and its impact on the surrounding area.

Assessment and officer recommendation

Following the consultation period and site visit the case officer will make a recommendation on whether to approve, approve subject to conditions, or refuse the application. Most planning applications are determined by officers under delegated powers. More complex planning applications or those that have been Called-In by a Councillor will be determined by Planning Committee rather than the case officer. 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.

Step 3 - Decision notice

When the application has been determined a formal decision notice will be issued. The decision will outline whether planning permission has been granted, possibly with conditions which will be outlined in the decision noticed, or whether planning permission has been refused.

Applications that are approved

If the application has been approved development can commence unless the planning permission has been granted subject to planning conditions that require further details to be submitted or 'discharged' . You should also check whether building regulation approval is needed.

Applications that are refused

The decision notice will outline the reasons a planning application has been refused. The Case Officer can provide further clarification about these reasons if they are not clear.

If a revised application is submitted within 12 months of the decision it is possible to benefit from a free application. Whether you are eligible for a ‘free go’ is subject to various criteria which includes:

  • The application must be the first ‘free go’ (only one is allowed)
  • The application site and red line must be the same
  • The proposal must be similar

If you are the applicant and disagree with the decision to refuse an application you may also choose to appeal the planning decision.

When does it expire?

Planning permissions expire after a certain period. Normally, unless your permission says otherwise, you have three years from the date it is granted to begin the development after which time permission will lapse. If your planning permission has expired, or you wish to extend the expiry period, you would need to re-apply for planning permission as before. There is no guarantee that permission will be granted a second or subsequent time. (Please note certain permitted development 'consents' require completion within a time period, your consultant will be able to advise you further).