About planning consultations and notifications

We tell residents about most applications and there are certain organisation that we must consult, known as statutory consultees. A decision cannot take place until consultation and notification periods have finished.


Notifying residents

We tell residents by either displaying notices on or near the application site; or posting letters to properties that directly adjoin the application site. For large scale major applications we also place adverts in a local newspaper.

Consultation and notification periods

We must allow a minimum of 21 days notification from:

  • the date notification letters are sent to neighbours
  • the date a site notice is displayed
  • the date an advertisement appears in a local paper

Because applications can appear on our website a few days after notification letters are sent we may allow an extra seven days for neighbour notification letters. The extra seven days does not apply to press adverts or site notices as these invariably occur a little later in the process and after the application has been published online.

Town and parish councils have 28 days to send us comments. All other statutory consultees are given 21 days.

The notification and consultation periods are calculated from the date when we last notified or consulted. This means that after the notification letters are sent to residents the consultation period could be extended depending on the timing of the press advert and site notice (both, if needed, usually occur later than letters but we only allow 21 days from the date they appear). The consultation and notification periods are not calculated from the date when the application first appeared on our website.

We display the expiry date for notification and consultation on our website. Comments about current planning applications sent to individual members of staff will not be considered and case officers will not discuss current applications.

Comments should be sent online, via the case file on our website. This is the quickest and most reliable option. Or, if you want to send us documents such as photographs, reports or letters you can use our contact form.

Late comments

We will try to take into account comments received after the end of the formal consultation period as long as they are received in good time before the final decision is made.

Changed plans

A consultation period could be extended when significant changes to an application are received before a decision is made. We usually allow 14 days for comments to be sent to us.

Processing comments

We reserve the right to decide what to display on our website and when. Comments are usually published within 10 working days. Comments sent to us will be considered even when they have not been published on the website.

When considering comments we take into account all the relevant planning issues raised. The application is decided on the basis of how it complies with national and local planning policy. The Planning Portal website gives more information on the application process.

Valid date and decision date

The valid date is when a complete application, with all the information needed, is received. It is also the date when formal consideration of the application starts.

The decision date is when we issue a decision notice. When no date is shown a decision notice hasn’t been issued. We aim to issue decision notices within three working days after a committee meeting. When a decision is to approve subject to a legal agreement the decision notice is not issued until the legal agreement is signed.