Applying For Planning Permission

If your proposed development requires planning permission, you will need to make an application to your local authority. If you do not need to apply for planning permission, because your plan falls within the scope allowed by your permitted development rights, we would still recommend that you cover your bases first.

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted Development Rights define what you can do to an existing property without applying for planning permission, so it can save you the trouble of a Planning Application. However, it is important to check that earlier changes to your property have not exhausted your Permitted Development Rights, and that it is not affected by an Article 4 Direction. Also, many permitted development rights are only exercisable after prior approval has been obtained from the planning authority for certain matters. Our approachable team can help you to discover what rights are available for you. No matter what your issue, we've always got your back.

How Can You Check Your Rights?

To ensure that you do not fall foul of the law, even when your proposals do not require planning permission, we recommend that you obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development. Permitted development rights are a regularly misunderstood area, even by professionals and Councils: the the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (“GPDO”) of 18 March 2015 still gives rise to interpretation issues, and the changes made to the GPDO in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have caused further issues. Our specialist planning law advice can save you unnecessary stress, cost, delay and inconvenience.

How To Apply For Planning Permission

Every local authority has its own application process. Typically, you must select the correct type of standard application form and submit it to your local authority, along with any other documentation required.

The type of form will depend upon the consent you wish to obtain – for example, householder planning consent, full planning consent or conservation area consent.

Once submitted, your local planning authority will consider your application before deciding whether to grant planning permission. This decision is influenced by a variety of factors and usually takes between eight and 13 weeks.

If your application is rejected, you may appeal against the decision.

How to get planning permission

For your planning application to be successful, it is essential you submit a valid application with strong supporting evidence. This will include the mandatory documents, design and access statements, plans of the site and a justification of any exceptional proposals.

Thorough preparation is therefore vital or the application could be refused. It is for this reason that many choose to make an application through an agent – such as a solicitor or an architect. Having the knowledge and advice of a professional can make a huge difference.

The Planning Application Process Explained

The planning application process will vary in complexity, depending upon the size of the project being proposed. Generally, the planning permission process involves the following steps:

  1. Application form: select the appropriate application form for your project and complete all the necessary fields.
  2. Supporting documents: collate the mandatory documents to be submitted with the application form. There is a list of national mandatory documents that must be provided, along with local requirements that will be decided by your Local Planning Authority (LPA). If you wish, you can include other documentation that supports your application, such as images and drawings.
  3. Fee: calculate the fee that must be paid along with your application.
  4. Submitting the application: submit the form, documents and fee. The application can only be processed if all the documents and fees are in order. If anything is missing, or more information is required, your LPA will contact you.This will cause a delay.
  5. Validated application: once everything has been received, your application will be validated and given to a case officer. You will receive a confirmation letter which will suggest a date by which a decision will be made.
  6. Consultation period: a consultation period will follow, during which the LPA will consult those that may be interested in the planning application. A time frame is given for people to respond.
  7. Decision: after the consultation period, the case officer will assess the application, taking into account local and national regulations, as well as comments made during the consultation period. A decision will then be made and the application either granted or refused.

The planning application process can mostly be explained with reference to these seven steps, but may be complicated by certain other factors. If your planning application has not followed this process, we will be able to explain your situation and help you to work out your next steps.

How Do I Apply For Planning Permission?

For more information on how to apply for planning permission, or on how to get planning permission after an application has been refused, please get in touch with us today.

Whether making an application or submitting an appeal, our legal expertise will ensure you have the best prospect of success. Please call us on 01634 811 118 or complete our online enquiry form.

You might also be interested in our local guides to obtaining planning permission in the south east:


The materials appearing on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such materials. We shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website. Viewing this website, or contacting us does not constitute a solicitor client relationship between you and this firm.