Obtaining planning permission

Processing a planning application

View our Customer Briefing Notes for the latest changes to the Planning Service.

Once we have received your application, we will allocate it to a planning officer. They will look after the application from start to finish and their contact details will appear on all correspondence. Find out how we process planning applications: 

Acknowledging receipt

The planning officer will send you a letter containing:

  • unique reference number for your application 
  • target date for our decision on your application
  • advisory information

If information is missing from your application, the officer will issue a formal request. For example, they may ask for: 

  • design and access statements or other supporting statements
  • details of drainage arrangements
  • information on proposed private water supplies (if applicable)
  • drainage impact assessments or flood risk assessments
  • bat survey or tree survey

You will have 28 days to provide this information or we may refuse your application. 

Once validated, we will publish details of the application on the public access register where anyone can comment on it.

Assessment and decision  

The planning officer will: 

  • visit the site
  • review your proposal against relevant planning policies
  • check that you have provided all the required information
  • organise consultations with other internal and external services as necessary
  • take valid comments into consideration

The Planning Service may undertake a virtual site visit to reduce the amount of physical site visits undertaken for planning applications. Whilst undertaking of physical site visits will still be required for some applications, we may contact you to seek your cooperation in conducting a virtual site visit as an alternative. Virtual site visits can be conducted using the Microsoft Teams app on a mobile device. We encourage all applicants and agents to submit photographs with all planning applications to assist with this. Please note that the use of virtual site visits as a tool for aiding the assessment of planning applications will be monitored. Please refer to the virtual site visits guidance (PDF 464KB) for further information.

Once the officer has completed the full review of your proposal, they will make a recommendation for the decision. In the event of approval, consideration will be given to the use of appropriate conditions. View Model planning conditions, directions and informatives (PDF 1.2MB).

Planning officers deal with most applications but it is sometimes necessary to refer it to local councillors, the area committee or another committee for consideration. View our Scheme of Governance for more information on the decision process for all types of developments.

We aim to make a decision within 2 months of receiving your valid application for household and local developments (this timescale differs for major and national developments). We will then send you a letter accepting or refusing your application.