What happens to your application?
Before submitting your planning application, we strongly advise you to discuss your proposal with any neighbours, and anyone else who may be affected by your application, as this can make the process run smoother.
Processing your application
Once we have received your application, our Technical Team will check that the application forms are correct, that we have all the information and plans we need, and that you have included the correct fee. If it subsequently becomes apparent there are any mistakes or that anything is missing, we will contact you as quickly as possible to get matters put correct.
We normally have eight weeks in which to reach a decision (13 weeks for complicated major applications). The vast majority of decisions are made within this time.
You will be able to see your application details using our website or request updates by e-mail or telephone to the case officer. If we are unable to give you an instant answer to your enquiry we shall respond as soon as possible.
Publicising your application
Shortly after validating you application we will contact your neighbours, borough councillors, parish councils as well as other agencies, and interested people or groups to give them the opportunity to comment on your planning application. They will have at least three weeks in which to respond. We may also put up a notice near to the site of the proposal.
We also publish a Weekly List of all new applications. This is distributed to local libraries, council offices, newspapers and various other organisations, as well as on the council’s website. In some cases an advert may also be placed in local newspapers to let people know about the plans. These comments are public documents and will be publicised on the council’s website.
Before making our decision, we will consider all the responses we receive during the consultation period.
Consideration of your application
The planning case officer is responsible for gathering together all the information we need to assess your application. The case officer will assess the site and the surroundings. They may contact you to arrange for access to the site if this is felt necessary.
Whilst assessing the planning application should additional information or further amendments be required the case officer may be in touch with you or your agent.
Making a decision on your application
Once the period for consultation is over, the case officer will prepare a report which is a professional assessment of the planning merits of your proposals. This will take account of current local planning policies and practices, national planning policy, government guidance and the comments we received in response to consultation as well as any other material considerations. As most planning decisions are about balancing different views, the case officer will take account of the arguments for and against a proposal, before reaching a decision. Please remember that the purpose of planning control is to protect the interests of the general public, not the private interests of an individual. For this reason, we cannot be drawn into private neighbour disputes and will not ‘take sides’.
Most planning applications are decided by planning officers because the issues are straightforward and these are known as delegated cases. Some decisions are made by our Planning Committee.
If your application is going to the Planning Committee
If an application is going to Committee a report and recommendation will be included on the agenda and you will be advised of the relevant.
You can come to the meeting and speak, but you must register beforehand with our Democratic Services. Before the meeting we will advise you on the public-speaking arrangements.
After the decision is made
Once we have made our decision, we will send you the official planning decision notice.
It is very important that you read the decision notice carefully as soon as possible after you receive it, and ask our planning officers to explain anything you are not sure of.
If we approve your planning application
If we approve your planning application there may be conditions attached. Some of these may need to be complied with before you start work. The appropriate forms and fees guide is available on our website.
If you have started work before receiving permission or you have disregarded planning conditions, the council will consider taking enforcement action.
Please note - before you start any work you must check whether you also need permission under the Building Regulations.
If we refuse your planning application
If we refuse your planning application, the reasons will be shown on the decision notice.
Should you wish to resubmit an application within 12 months from the date of the decision a fee may not be required.
You may want to get professional planning advice on the possibility of changing your plans to overcome the problems, and we strongly recommend that you speak to our planning officers. Details of our ‘pre-application advice service’ are available on our website.
Details on how to appeal are set out on the decision notice.