How planning applications are dealt with

How applications are dealt with

Receiving and checking applications

When we receive an application, we will check that the details are correct and all the necessary supporting information and documents have been included. If there is anything missing we will write to you immediately detailing what is required. Once we are satisfied that we have everything we need to process the application we accept it as valid and it will then be allocated to a case officer.

To find out what you need to provide with your application, please use our Scheme of validation document.


Following validation, we will carry out consultation and the publicity period starts. Depending on the type, size and complexity of the application, we may carry out some or all of the following:

  • Send letters to neighbours and statutory consultees.
  • Place a notice in the local press.
  • Post a site notice.

Viewing or commenting on an application

The application can be inspected using our online planning applications system (opens in a new window), or by visiting the Civic Centre.

The consultation period is normally 21 days. Our comment on a planning application page provides more information on this process and how to put forward your views.

Making a decision

We aim to determine planning and related applications within eight weeks and we aim to determine complex proposals (major applications) within 13 weeks.

The site will be inspected by the case officer and any further consultations or negotiations will be carried out. The case officer will assess all the information available, consider any comments from the public and will prepare a report putting forward their recommendations.

Once the statutory consultation period has passed, the Head of Planning and Regeneration can determine simple applications, which meet with our policies and no letters of objection have been received.

Where there are less than three objections received, from separate addresses, a decision can be made by the Head of Planning and Regeneration in association with the chairman and another member of the planning committee.

Large, complex or contentious applications are determined by the elected planning committee.

Committee meetings

The planning committee normally meets every four weeks. It is made up of elected members who consider the report of the case officer and the views of the public.

It is possible to speak at planning committee, please visit our asking questions in meetings page for details on how to do this.

Following any debate between members on the application, a vote will take place and a decision will be made. Committee dates and decisions for committees since April 2023 can be found on our meetings, agendas and minutes (opens in a new window) page. For anything before this date, please see our pre-April 2023 meetings, agendas and minutes page.

How we tell you about the decision

The decision notice and approved documents will be sent to the applicant or their agent (if one has been used). The letter will clearly explain the decision and if  approved, the conditions will be listed with the reasons for them.

A copy of the decision notice and approved documents can be viewed using our online planning applications system (opens in a new window).

Contesting the decision

If we have refused your application, or you are unhappy with any conditions we have attached to your planning approval, you can make an appeal. Please go to the planning appeals page for information on this process.