Registration and validation
When an application has been submitted, it will be registered and given a reference number.
A case officer will check the application has all the information we need to validate it.
We aim to complete this check as quickly as possible, however times scales do vary depending on workload and may take up to 2 weeks.
If we have received all the documents we require, the application will be validated and an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the applicant or agent.
If we require additional information, The applicant or agent will be notified and the application will be made invalid. The application process will not start until the requested information is received.
Once an application has been validated, the Council carry out a standard 21 day public consultation on most applications. We write to any properties who share a boundary with the application site, including those opposite. We often put a site notice up near the application site and place an advert in the Express and Star for certain applications.
We also consult the Ward Members and Parish Council of the application site along with relevant consultees who will give us expert advice. For example, County Highways, County Flood Team, Environmental Health, Ecology and Arboricultural experts.
The Council cannot make a decision on the application before the end of the consultation period.
If comments are received after the consultation expiry date, we cannot guarantee that they will be taken into account when the application is determined.
If amendments to the proposal are received, a re consultation may be carried out.
The case officer may need to carry out a site visit to help with their evaluation of the proposal. Officers will also take photographs of the site which form part of the application file.
When the consultations and negotiations have finished, the case officer writes a report about the proposal. In the report, the officer:
- addresses any comments people might have made;
- checks the proposal against our policies;
- finds the most important points for and against the proposal (the 'material considerations');
- decides how important each point is (its 'weight'); and
- recommends approval or refusal.
Applications are determined in one of two ways:
- Delegated Decision – Usually for Householder or Minor applications, a Team Manager checks the report and signs off the decision.
- Planning Committee
Timescales for determination:
- 8 weeks – Householder and Minor Applications.
- 12 weeks – Major Applications.
When a decision has been issued, you will find the decision notice and officer report on Public Access.
The decision notice lists any conditions that apply to make the proposal acceptable and any approved plans or documents.
Some conditions specify the use of the development, while others ask for more detail on an aspect of the proposal. Please read the decision notice carefully as there may be “pre commencement conditions” where further details need to be submitted to the Council before you start work. You can do this by submitting a “Discharge of Conditions” application.
When an application is refused, the decision is explained in the decision notice. The officer report goes into more detail.
The applicant has the right to appeal a refusal, details of how to do this are on the decision notice, however if they feel that they can change the proposal to make it acceptable, a new application can be submitted (with the same proposal description) within a year of the decision date, the second application is free.
Only the applicant can appeal against a planning decision to the Planning Inspectorate.
As a neighbour, you cannot appeal if we approve something you do not like. However, depending on the proposal, you may be able to exercise your rights under other laws, such as the Party Wall Act. We recommend that you seek independent legal advice.
If you think that the Council made a mistake in the way an application was handled you can use our complaints procedure to let us know. However, the Council cannot change a decision after it has been issued. The only way to change a planning decision is to seek a judicial review (JR). Strict time limits apply, and again, you will need independent legal advice.