Make a planning application
Before making an application please check if you require planning permission.
You may also require Building Control approval.
How to apply for planning permission
The fastest way to submit your application is online through the Planning Portal.
All information (excluding the applicant's email address and phone numbers) supplied on an application form, appeal application or appeal document will be published online, without exception. This includes the name and address, if provided. Please do not include any information that you do not want to be published as part of your application. If you have an agent applying on your behalf please ensure to inform them what information to include.
Please see our full privacy notice for further information.
What to submit with your application
We need specific information from you to support your planning application. Without this, we cannot start working on your application. This includes an application form, plans and supporting reports in line with our Local Planning Application Requirements (LPAR) (PDF 570KB).
Our administration charge (detailed below) is also considered a validation requirement, when applied.
Please see our quick reference matrix for assistance in identifying what your application will need to be valid.
HRA Interim Guidance - the Council, as competent authority for the 2017 Regulations, will carry out the screening and any appropriate assessment. Please see our Local Plan for further information.
This charge was introduced to address the high number of applications that are invalid on receipt. This greatly adds to the administration time taken to deal with applications at the expense of local tax payers. This will help reduce avoidable demands on the service, reduce validation waiting times for our customers, and ensure the local taxpayers get greater value for their money.
Details of the scheme are as follows:
A fixed administration fee will be charged:
- If an application is made invalid and the documents are not returned within the stated period (28 days)
- If all documents requested are not submitted on return – if a second request has to be made
- If an application is withdrawn after an invalid letter is despatched but before it is made valid
The current administration charge for each application type is as follows:
- £200 – for major applications
- £120 – for non-major commercial/new residential unit applications
- £60 – for all other application types (for example householders, lawful development certificates etc.)
An exemption from this charge will apply to applications for a disabled person, and for prior approval applications.
The cost of your planning application will depend on the type of application you are submitting and the type of work you want to do.
Please find out how much your planning application fees will be prior to submitting an application.
Application fast-track service
We currently offer a fast-track service for householder applications (£150), prior approval householder applications (£75), and lawful development certificates proposed (£75). This services guarantees you a decision notice in writing within a maximum of 5 working days of the conclusion of the statutory 21 day consultation period. As lawful development certificates proposed do not have a statutory consultation period this service guarantees you a decision in writing within a maximum of 10 working days from receipt of a valid application.
The following terms and conditions must be adhered to, in order for your application to be eligible for fast-track:
- Must be stated within the proposal description on the application form that you wish for the application to be assessed under fast-track
- Must be a valid householder, prior approval householder, or lawful development certificate proposed application
- Must not be located in a conservation area
- Must only be relating to a single dwellinghouse
- The fast-track fee must be received with 1 week of application validation (the date on the acknowledgement letter)
- Payment of the fast-track fee can only be made through our automated phone line (no other payment method is acceptable)
- In the case that an incorrect reference number is used to pay, and this is the sole reason an application is not assessed under the fast-track process, then the fast-track fee will not be refundable
- All applications, providing validation requirements have been met, will be assessed using the originally submitted plans
- Notwithstanding any pre-application advice, no amendments will be sought or accepted for any applications submitted under the fast-track process
- Decision targets are subject to the appropriate fast-track fee being received in the timescale stipulated above
- Where an application receives 3 or more objections the Council’s scheme of delegation requires it be discussed with the Chair of Planning committee to determine whether a delegated decision of Planning Committee is appropriate (this is likely to impact on the determination target and officers will always advise the agent when this is the case). Where this is the only cause of delay the fast-track fee will not be refundable.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
Your development may be liable to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Extensions to grants of planning permission due to COVID-19
Government guidance on what permissions can be extended can be found online. At present this only applies to permissions expiring in 2020. No decision has been made by national government regarding permissions expiring in 2021.
If you need to apply for an extension under the above guidance for a permission expiring in 2020, please email email@example.com and include the reference number for your permission, the relevant condition number, and any relevant supporting information.
The owner of the property (or land) is ultimately responsible for meeting the relevant planning rules and building regulations; this is still the case even if the work being done falls under permitted development. Failure to meet with the relevant legislation or rules will mean the owner will be responsible for correcting or amending any work, which could include demolition.
Find out more about your responsibilities on the Planning Portal.
Receipt of a planning application
Once an application has been submitted and we have received the relevant validation information the application will be allocated to a case officer. The agent (or applicant is there is no agent) will receive a letter of acknowledgement from us with the case officer and decision expiry information. The application type will decide how the application is processed and the time frame in which a decision is issued; usually 8 weeks for minor developments and 13 weeks for major schemes.
Consulting on a planning application
When you submit a planning application it may be subject to a statutory 21 day consultation process, so that interested parties (such as neighbours or statutory consultees e.g. Thames Water) can review a planning application for any risks or impact on the surrounding area. We will publicise the application as a letter notification, a site notice, an advert in local papers, or a combination of these. All applications will be available to view in full online.
Assessing a planning application
Once the consultation period has ended, the case officer will review the application and if necessary visit the site. They will then use their site visit notes and photos to help make an assessment of the site characteristics and your proposals effect on the surrounding area. The officer will take into consideration planning legislation, the Council’s Local Plan policies, Government guidance, neighbour/interested party comments and any recent decisions or appeal decisions.
Making a decision
We make decisions about planning applications in 2 ways:
- Using powers delegated by Councillors - officers use powers delegated to them by Councillors, meaning they can make a decision, as long as the development falls within certain sizes or types. In these cases, the case officer will prepare a report on the application, with a recommendation on whether to approve or refuse it. A senior officer then considers and agrees the recommendation, if appropriate. The majority of applications are considered in this way.
- In Planning Committee meetings - if the decision on a planning application has to be made by Councillors a report is prepared and published in the meeting's agenda. The Planning Committee generally deals with applications of a strategic nature.
The report Councillors receive contains a recommendation on whether to approve or refuse the application and the reasons why. Councillors can accept the recommendation or decide to take a different decision if they have a good planning reason to do so.
If an application is scheduled to be considered by the Committee, the applicant/agent will receive a letter notification as will anyone who made a representation. The meeting is open to the public (including applicants, agents, supporters and objectors) and those with an interest in an application can apply to speak at the meeting. Details of how to do this will be provided in the letter.
Being notified of a decision
Once a decision is made, either by officers or Councillors, a formal decision notice confirming the decision will be sent to the agent (or applicant is there is no agent) only.
If the application is refused, the reasons will be given and the appeal process explained.
If the application is approved it may contain 'conditions' that you need to comply with. Conditions may need to be met before work begins on site, during construction works, or after the development is completed. Some conditions will also need to be 'discharged' (this will be detailed in the condition wording) - these will require a follow-up application to be submitted. For further information please see the 'discharge of condition' section below.
A copy of the decision notice will be published on the website. We will not send a copy of the decision notice to neighbours or interested parties.
Appealing a decision
Types of planning applications
Householder planning permission is for householder works (extensions, loft conversions, outbuildings) that exceed the permitted development criteria. This is primarily for applications relating to single dwelling houses, however this type can be used for two or more dwelling houses undertaking a joint extension project.
For works to flats or a non-residential site please apply under full planning permission.
Full planning permission is for a variety of proposals – primarily works to flats and non-residential sites, as well as the creation of new residential units and changes of use.
You can apply for a certificate for confirmation your works do not require planning permission and come under permitted development.
There are 2 types of certificate:
- if you haven't yet started work, or have started but the works are not substantially complete, and seek confirmation that building works or a change of use do not require planning permission
- to confirm the lawful use of a site
- to confirm building works or a change of use which have been carried out are lawful
- whether activities or work is in breach of a planning condition
In most circumstances planning permission is granted subject to conditions; these will be detailed in full on your decision notice.
Sometimes it is necessary to submit details for us to approve in order to discharge the condition at a point during the development, such as before works begin. Whether this is required will be explained in each condition on the decision notice.
Failure to meet with a condition could result in planning permission being void and in some cases we will consider the suitability of taking enforcement action.
Sometimes an approved application needs to be amended. It can only be considered as a non-material amendment to the original application so long as it does not significantly vary from the original application.
This application can be made to vary the terms of a condition attached to a planning consent, or to remove the condition entirely. We will consider why the condition was originally applied and whether there have been any changes in circumstances which may allow that condition to be varied or removed.
Applications for outline planning permission look to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development would be acceptable to us.
Once outline permission has been granted you will then need to apply to have the details of the scheme approved (these are called "reserved matters" and are access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale).
Reserved matters applications always 'follow up' on an outline application and include the outstanding matters not covered in the outline permission.
These details fall into 5 categories:
- external appearance
- means of access
You will need to apply for listed building consent if you are undertaking works to a listed building (Grade I, II or II*).
Carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence - we strongly advise seeking professional advice before starting any work.
You will need to apply using a combined full planning and listed building consent form if you are making external changes to the listed building. Internal changes require a listed building consent form only.
This application is required to display advertisements in line with advertisement regulations.
Please apply using a combined full planning and advertisement consent form if you are also constructing what the advertisement will be mounted on.
This application is for a larger home single storey rear extension under prior approval. You cannot apply for any other works under this application type.
We currently offer a fast-track application process for this application type - please see above under "application fees".
You cannot apply for this application if your site is within a conservation area; is subject to an Article 4 direction; if the site is flats; or is subject to restrictive planning conditions. You can find further information on larger household extensions on the Planning Portal.
One of the conditions for this type of submission is that you are required to notify us in writing that you have finished your extension as soon as possible once you have completed works. You can do this by submitting a confirmation of completion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some changes of use can be carried out under prior approval. If your change of use does not fall under the prior approval criteria you will need to apply under full planning permission.
Some developments can be carried out under prior approval. If your development does not fall under the prior approval criteria you will need to apply under full planning permission.
Protected trees (subject to a TPO or in a conservation area) require permission to be trimmed, cut or felled.
It is a criminal offence to undertake works to a protected tree without permission from the local authority.
For a temporary period of up to 3 years a building and any land within its curtilage can be changed to a flexible use without requiring full planning permission. Please view the change of use section on the Planning Portal for further information.
The new flexible arrangements are conditional and are subject to the developer meeting the requirements of a formal notification process. If this does not occur the change of use will not be lawful. It is not possible to retrospectively do this - a full application for planning permission would be necessary.
A written notification must include the following:
- site address
- existing use class of the building
- proposed use class of the building
- date the site will begin to be used as one of the flexible uses
- a plan of the site identifying the building which the developer wishes to benefit from the permitted development rights (the site plan should also identify the site in relation to its neighbours as well as a plan showing the floor space and any curtilage land involved)
- a contact address, telephone number and email address for the developer
You can notify us by emailing email@example.com.
If you do not want to submit online through the Planning Portal you can submit your application by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.