The application process

Step 1 – validation

We aim to register valid applications sent to us using the Planning Portal within five working days. Applications sent to us by post or email will normally take a few days longer to be checked.

Step 2 – consultation and notification

The application will appear on our website within about five working days of it being registered.

Consultations are sent to various bodies to obtain their expert view. We also send notification letters to properties next to the site and, in some cases, display a notice on site. When needed we advertise in the local paper showing how to view plans and make comments.

The time allowed for comments to be sent will be clearly shown and take into account time for the application to appear online. Relevant comments received after the formal consultation period will also be considered as long as they are received in reasonable time before a decision.

We do not reply to comments we receive about an application.

Step 3 – consideration

The proposal is assessed by a planning officer who considers planning policies and consultation responses.

Step 4 – negotiation with the applicant

When there are problems that can be resolved in time we may contact the applicant to make changes. When major changes are needed we will repeat steps 2 and 3. We aim to complete this within seven weeks of registration but will agree extensions to target dates as needed.

Step 5 – recommendation

The planning officer will make their recommendation in a report. When applications are being decided by the planning committee, reports will be available on our website five days before the meeting. All other reports will be available on our website after a decision is made.

Step 6 – decision

A decision will be made by the planning committee or a senior planning officer who has decision making powers. Over 90% of all planning applications will be decided by senior officers.

The application case file, available on our website, will show when the planning committee will make a decision.  All planning committee meetings are held in public and free to attend to see how a decision is made.

After a decision is made, a copy of the decision notice will be published in the application case file on our website.

A small number of applications will need the applicant to sign a legal agreement. The final approval will not be published until any legal agreements are signed and completed.

Step 7 – after the decision is made


If approved, the planning permission may include conditions that need to met.


If the application is refused, or conditions applied, the applicant can appeal. Neighbours and others interested in the application have no right of appeal against any planning decision.


We aim to decide applications within eight weeks. For more complicated applications we agree a target of 13 to 16 weeks with the applicant.