frequently asked questions

Q. Do I need planning permission?

A. Most development - building, land engineering or mining operations and changes of use - requires planning permission. Some but not all minor development – including home extensions – are known as "Permitted Development" and do not need a formal application are but are subject to certain restrictions. Always check first with the Development Enquiry Centre. The demolition of dwellings, some small agricultural buildings and some special telecommunications development do not need permission but require notification.

Q. How is my application dealt with?

A. Your application will go through five council stages:

  • Booking in –Checks to make sure the correct information – location plan and drawings and fee - has been received.
  • Publicity and consultation –Your application will appear on the weekly list published in libraries and on the Council website, a notice may be posted near the site and neighbours may be sent a letter seeking their views. They have 21 days to respond. Specialist comments may be obtained on highways and environmental matters – these can be vital considerations.
  • Negotiations and amendments -All application sites are visited and then negotiations may take place with you or your agent to overcome any problems with your application.
  • Making the decision – Senior officers make most decisions but some are made by Councillors at one of the three Plans Panels which each meet every four weeks. If your application goes to Plans Panel you may inspect the report on it five days before the meeting. You and any supporters or objectors may attend the meeting and make a short address. The Panel may decide to visit site or ask officers to negotiate further before a final decision is made.
  • The decision -We will send out your Decision Notice on the day that the decision is made. It will set out the reasons for approval or refusal of the application and, if permission has been granted, any conditions with which you have to comply.

Q. Can I make changes to my planning permission after it has been granted?

A. Minor changes can be made but must only be very small and must not change your permission in any significant way. You should complete the Non Material Amendments application form and submit it with the revised drawings (with the changes highlighted). A fee is payable. If you wish to make more significant changes or to amend or remove a condition, you will have to make a further planning application.

Q. Will I need any other permission?

A. In addition to planning approval you may need other permissions such as building regulations approval. You may also have to gain other consents, for example a variation to the deeds of your property. You are advised to check any such requirements before you start work.

Q. Can I appeal against a decision?

A. If you are the applicant, yes. Appeals must be made to the Planning Inspectorate,

Q. Who can make a planning application?

A. Anyone can make a planning application. You do not have to own any or all the property where you are making the application, but you must have notified the owners that you are making it.

Q. When applying for planning permission do I have to fill in a complicated form?

A. If your application is for an extension or a small development in the garden of your house, then you can use a special simplified application form. It comes complete with guidance notes, which explain how to complete it.

Q. How long does planning permission last?

A. Full Planning Permission normally lasts three years. Outline Planning Permission only approves the principle of the development . The remaining details – known as "Reserved Matters" have to be approved before you can start any development. It normally expires after three years from the date of approval or two years after approval of reserved matters. Reserved matters must be submitted within three years.