How is a planning permission application considered?

by emmadigirank on September 28, 2012

  • Sumo

Once your planning application has been received by your local Borough council, councillors will register and check the validity of your application.

Your application will go through a series of processes including:

  • Making sure your application is valid and includes all the necessary information
  • Development managers will visit the desired area to understand the context of the proposal, take photos and display a site notice if necessary
  • The collected data from the visit will be assessed, including responses from neighbours
  • The applicant may be requested to make changes to their application where necessary
  • If changes are made, neighbours will have to be re-consulted, giving them additional time to comment on the changes
  • Developers will need to write a report  that assesses the development against the national and local planning policies, also taking into account the comments made by neighbours.

What will happen if my planning application is invalid?

The council will contact you directly if your application is invalid, via telephone, email or  letter. They will require you to make changes to your application in order to make it valid.

The council is allowed to retain planning applications for a maximum of 21 days, after which the documents will be sent back to the applicants to resubmit, including the information they require.

If the resubmissions are approved, applicants will receive a letter of confirmation and a reference number, the case officer’s name, and the date as to when the council will have made their decision.

Why might my planning application be refused?

The local council need to determine applications within the guidelines set by the government. They will also take many planning applications into account. Below are some of the most common reasons why a planning application is refused:

  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Design and appearance
  • Highway safety
  • Loss of light
  • Visual amenity

Can I make any changes to my application?

You have an 8 week period to change applications; however this is normally not enough time. Therefore, it is recommended that you discuss your application with a planning officer before you submit it. This will ensure that your application will be processed as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

How long before I find out if my application is successful?

Depending on the size of your project, major applications usually take up to 13 weeks to decide, while smaller applications take approximately 8 weeks. These periods are set by the law, as they allow enough time to consult significant neighbours. The minimum consultation time is 3 weeks. In this period, the general public (for major applications) and neighbours will be notified of the application and given the opportunity to make comments.

You will receive one of three decisions – permission, permission with conditions or refusal.

Permission with conditions means that the council will only approve the application if the applicant adheres to the conditions they specify. For example, conditions may include: property to be made with specific materials or a slight alteration to the design. If the applicant does not accept these conditions, the application will be refused.

Can I appeal a refused application?

If your application is refused by the council you can make an appeal to the Secretary of State for the Environment.

If you would like advice on your planning permission application, contact our planning law solicitors at

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