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The planning process explained

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Every planning application we receive goes through the same Planning Decision Making Process (PDF Document, 0.1 Mb). Approximately 95% of planning applications are usually determined by officers under delegated powers set out in our constitution.

Only about 5% of applications (usually the most controversial) will be decided by Plans Committee, which meets every four weeks.

Application validated, checked and registered 

Before anything else we will check that all the details on your application are correct, all necessary documents and plans have been received and that any fee has been paid.

The application will be deemed valid from the date all the correct required information is received, where it will then be registered and all documents loaded to Planning Explorer.

Once registered, you will be allocated to a Planning Officer (Case Officer) who will be your main point of contact. Remember, if you are using an agent all correspondence will be sent to your agent.  

Consultation and site visit

We will now publicise and consult on your application. We may put up a site notice which needs to stay for a minimum of 21 days; during this time we will contact ward councillors, neighbours, groups and organisations who may have an interest in the site, giving 21 days to comment.

As part of the Councillor Call-In process we will engage with ward councillors from the start of the consultation process so that they may raise any local planning concerns. This gives an opportunity for any issues to be worked through and applications improved or resolutions sought where possible.

Your Case Officer will visit the site to assess the application and its impact on the surrounding area. You may be contacted to arrange access or they may look from neighbouring properties or sites. 

Assessment, consideration of issues, negotiation

Following the site visit your Case Officer will assess the application. If they feel your proposals could be changed to make them more likely to be approved, they may contact you for more information.

If you agree with these changes, your Case Officer may suggest revising your application and submitting to us again.

Officer recommendation made

Once the consultation and assessment phases are complete, your Case Officer will write a report on your proposal, highlighting any issues. The report will conclude with a recommendation to either approve, approve subject to conditions, or refuse your application. Most planning applications are usually determined by officers under delegated powers set out in our constitution.

Under the Councillor Call-In process, ward councillors do have the right to ask for an application to be referred for the Plans Committee to decide, if they believe there are valid planning reasons to do so. Plans Committee consists of 13 elected Councillors who listen to the views of the applicant and the public and the reports of the Planning Officers. Following a debate, they will decide whether to grant or refuse the application on material planning grounds.

Decision made and issued

When the application has been determined and a recommendation has been made, a formal decision notice will be issued. The decision will either grant planning permission, possibly with conditions, or refuse planning permission.

If your permission is granted with conditions it may require further details to be submitted to us before you can start work.

If you are not happy with our decision to refuse or the imposition of conditions you may choose to appeal the planning decision.

When does it expire?

Planning permission expires after a certain period. Normally, unless your permission says otherwise, you have three years from the date it's granted to begin the development after which time permission will lapse.

If your planning permission expires you should re-apply as before; there is no guarantee that permission will be granted a second or subsequent time.

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