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Planning application process

Pre-application advice

Before applying for planning permission, we encourage all applicants to seek pre-application advice. We can confirm if you need planning permission and/or if your proposal is likely to be acceptable. Visit the Planning Portal to find out if permission is required and if so what type of permission you need

Submit a planning application    


When we receive your application our planning team will check to ensure that your application is valid and that you have provided all of the relevant information and the correct fee. If you do not provide all of the required information set out in the validation requirements for your development, your application will not be valid and will not be processed until we have all the information. 

Consultation and site notices

Once your application is valid, we consult all relevant parties. Consultations are carried out in accordance with the statutory requirements for the type of consent sought. Neighbours with an adjoining boundary to the application site are notified of the development and/or a 'planning notice' is displayed at or near the proposed site. A weekly list of planning applications is available online and some applications are advertised in the local newspaper.

Some applications will require a site notice to be displayed at or near the development site. We will try and display the notice as close to the site as possible and in a position that can be seen by the public.

Case officer allocated 

Your application will be allocated to a case officer who will be your main point of contact during the application process. They will carry out a site visit (when required) and liaise with you/your agent and other interested parties to try and resolve any problems.

Once the consultation period has closed, the case officer will prepare a report on the planning matters relevant to the case. Consultation responses received will be summarised and considered in the report. The case officer will recommend whether the application should be approved or refused.


Once your application is valid, we generally have a period of 8 weeks or 13 weeks for major applications, to determine the application. There are some exceptions to these timescales for different application types. If amendments to plans or additional information is required, the timescale may be extended, if both parties agree.

Making a decision

When a recommendation has been made the application can take one of two routes to be decided

  • Delegated decision: This is the usual route for most applications and the majority of applications are decided by officers, under powers delegated to them by the council. This includes most householder applications and minor applications. In these cases, officers have assessed the proposal against the relevant planning policies and other material considerations, including any representations made. The case officer will make a recommendation of approval or refusal, which is then reviewed and agreed by senior officers before the decision is issued
  • Planning Committee: Larger cases of more significant nature, or those that raise policy issues or a significant level of public objection, are generally referred to the Planning Applications Committee for a decision. The case officer will provide a written report to the committee with all the relevant information and their recommendation.

The Planning Applications Committee can decide to:

  • grant planning permission, with or without conditions, with reasons    
  • refuse planning permission, with grounds of refusal  
  • defer for further information/negotiations/site visit  
  • be "minded to approve" an application, subject to resolution of outstanding points (for example a legal agreement) with the delegation of a final decision to the Head of Planning.

All Planning Application Committee meetings are open to the public. Copies of committee agendas and reports can be viewed on our Planning Applications Committee website.

Decision notice

Once a decision has been made, a formal decision notice is issued to the applicant or agent. If approved, the decision notice will set out any conditions relating to the approval. Conditions may require the submission of further details that require formal approval from us, or specify that development must be carried out only in accordance with the specified requirements.

In the case of refusals, full reasons are given as to which elements of the development are unacceptable and why it does not accord with planning policy. Visit our appeals page for further information if you are not happy with our decision.