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Planning application process

Application validation

Following submission of the planning application through the Planning Portal, we will send an acknowledgement within five working days confirming whether the application is valid. If it is valid, we will provide a reference number and expected date of decision. If you submit your application by post, this may take longer.

If you have an agent, this information will be sent directly to them.

Once your application has been acknowledged as valid, it will be published on the Online Planning Register, where you can check and view the progress.

To avoid delays, view our checklist (PDF) to ensure you provide the right documentation needed for a valid application.

Decision process

We aim to decide all minor applications including householder applications within eight weeks of the application being confirmed as valid. If your application was initially found to be invalid, the eight weeks will not start until all required information is received.

Timescales may be affected during periods of high demand, complexity of proposals, staff availability, Bank Holidays or issues arising from the consultation. Contacting the planning team before the eight-week decision period can result in delays and may affect the time taken to reach the decision.

We will normally determine applications in the form they are submitted. If the revision is considered minor and will not trigger further consultation, the officer will contact you to discuss.

Applications for major developments have a decision time of thirteen weeks and applications accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment have a decision time of sixteen weeks.

Planning Committee

Planning applications can be decided by elected members at the Planning Committee. Planning Committees take place monthly and officers will produce a report to support their recommendation.

Members of the public can only take part in the discussion at Planning Committee through the deputation process. More information is available in our planning committee procedure leaflet (PDF).

The agenda with the officer reports, is published five days before a meeting, and approved minutes with any agreed amendments published five days after the next meeting. View the published agenda, minutes and reports.

At the meeting, the planning application can be approved, refused or deferred if more information or a site visit is required. Members of the planning committee must declare an interest in a particular application if they have a connection to the applicant or development being proposed. Depending on the circumstances, they may be asked to leave the meeting for that item.

Planning application decision notices

We will issue a decision notice on all planning applications and put them on the Online Planning Register, under the ‘documents’ tab. The decision notice will be sent to your agent if you have one. The notice states whether planning permission is granted or refused and provides information on how to appeal against a decision.

The decision notice also sets out the conditions which the approved development will need to comply with including the timescale for submitting any further details for approval.

On occasion, an applicant may decide to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate where a decision has not been issued by us within the statutory period. 

All decisions made through the appeal process will be available on our Online Planning Register.

Our decision is an important document that you need to keep, as it may be needed if you sell your property or for mortgage or financial lending purposes.

Copy decision notices

We have a duty to maintain a register of every planning application in our area, which must be available for public inspection during normal office hours.

We have no statutory duty to, and don’t, provide copies of planning decisions. You can view these on the Online Planning Register. Planning documents are protected by copyright, so can only be printed. If you can’t print the documents, you may be able to get printed copies at your local library for a charge.

If the Decision Notice is before 2007, you can request to view the planning file in person by completing the planning register inspection form (PDF). We are unable to make copies of any documents on file. However, you may take notes of the contents.