About planning consultations and notifications

We tell residents about most applications and there are certain organisations that we must consult, known as statutory consultees. A decision cannot take place until consultation and notification periods have finished. However, not all types of applications need consultation and some that do allow different amounts of time for people to respond. You can read our guidance about the types of applications we notify residents about and their timescales.

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. You can also use our planning search to sign up for email alerts about new applications in your area.

Consultation and notification periods

For most types of applications we 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

Statutory consultees are normally 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. The date when the consultation period ends is shown on our website as the ‘Expiry Date’.

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 submitted online, via the case file on our website as this is the quickest and most reliable option.

If you decide to comment by post it will take much longer to be delivered, processed and appear on our website. Comments sent by any other method without prior agreement, including by email, will not be considered.

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 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.