Simple Guide


  1. Pre-application discussions between applicant and Council.
  1. Application is made using standard application form. The Application must include:
  • a plan
  • certificate that applicant has notified owners and tenants 21 days prior to application
  • the appropriate fee
  • Local Planning Authority can refuse to determine an application when it has been previously rejected on appeal or call-in by the Secretary of State.

There are two types of application:

Outline application— with later application(s) for approval of detailed reserve matters.

Full Application– with all the details attached.

A register (The Planning File) which can be inspected by the public.

Publicity Advertisement in the local paper, website and site notice. Neighbourhood notification if it is a major development. Many local authorities undertake routine neighbourhood notification (see your local authority’s Statement of Community Involvement).

  1. Departure from the development plan — where the local planning authority (LPA) does not intend to refuse the planning application, the Secretary of State (SOS) must be notified and sent details when:
  • 150 + houses or flats are proposed
  • 10 000 m2 + retail floor space is proposed
  • the LPA has an interest (e.g. owns the land)
  • the Development Plan will be prejudiced if SOS does not call in. The LPA can approve if SOS has not responded within 31 days.

Consultation — There are 21 days to respond. Any provisions for public consultation are outlined in the Statement of Community Involvement. Certain bodies have to be consulted on particular issues relating to an application (e.g._ the Highways Agency if it is likely to generate traffic on a motorway or trunk road). The Government has drawn up a standard list of statutory and non-statutory consultees.

Decision — the application is in accordance to local and regional development plans, and having regard to national statements. Decision should be usually made within 8 weeks, or 16 weeks with Environmental Impact Assessment, or 13 weeks if a major project

7. ( a.)   Granted — development can begin within 3 years, after which the period, developers can apply to extend the period.

  1. (b.)   If Refused – the LPA must give clear and precise reasons to support their decision when contrary to the Officers advice.

Appeal — (the applicant only). Made to Secretary of State within 6 months. Determined by Planning Inspectorate by either written representations, informal hearing or a local public inquiry. Inquiry precaudal rules apply (a semi judicial procedure). No Appeal allowed to the public – a Judicial Review is the only option.

Decision of appeal — Inspectors makes most decisions but under certain circumstances will report to Secretary of State for them to consider.


Go to Stage 1. of the FOSH Planning Guide

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