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The Planning Process Explained


Once we have received an application, it is checked to make sure that all the details are correct and the necessary documents have been included.

If the application is correct the details are entered onto our computerised application system following that the consultation and publicity period starts.

The application details are placed in a planning register, advertised in accordance with the any statutory requirements and the methods set out in appendix 6 and 7 of the adopted Statement of Community Involvement.

Our consultation and notification page provides a general overview of the different types of publicity and who may be consulted

The application details can be inspected online or by visiting the Council Offices.

Anyone wishing to make a comment on the application has 21 days from the publicity date to put these in writing to us in order that they can be considered as a part of the decision process. You can do this in one of three ways, through Planning Application Search, by email or by post.  For further information look at our Track, Inspect and Comment on an Application page.

The nature/complexity of the application will influence how long it takes to make a decision but we aim to process the majority of planning applications within 8 weeks. Major applications, such as large housing developments, are usually determined within 13 weeks.

The site will be inspected by the Case Officer and any further consultations/ negotiations will be carried out. A recommendation will then be prepared.

The decision process

For relatively simple applications, a decision can be made once the statutory consultation period has passed. This may vary from between 21 and 28 days depending on the consultations and/or publicity that was required for the application.

Decisions are made in the majority of cases by an officer (who is not the case officer) who has been given the delegated authority to do so by the Executive Director Regeneration and Development. A limited number of applications, including all major development proposals, are determined by the Planning Committee which meets every 4 weeks. It is made up of elected Members who listen to the views of the public and the reports of the Case Officers. A decision will then follow a debate between Members on the application. Public speaking is allowed at these committees.

These are public meetings so if there is an item on the agenda that is of interest to you, you are more than welcome to go along. Our meetings, minutes and agendas section has the calendar of forthcoming meetings, agendas, reports, and minutes of previous meetings.

How we tell you about the decision on an application

The decision notice will be forwarded to the applicant or their agent only. It will clearly explain the decision, including the reason for any conditions.  The decision notices can be viewed online against the applications which can be found through Planning Application Search

Where to find more information

The Department of Communities and Local government have produce a guide explaining how the planning system in England works titled Plain English guide to the planning system.

Last updated 12 September 2017

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