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How Long Does A Planning Application Take

Types of Planning Applications

There are two types of residential planning applications – planning permission and permitted development

What is permitted development?

Permitted development is an active law in the UK, which allows a homeowner to do minor changes to their home without seeking planning approval from the council. It’s a very specific set of rules which covers simple rear extensions, side extensions, a loft conversion or minor alterations like changing windows or adding satellite dishes etc. You don’t have permitted development rights in a conservation area or on a listed building.

How do I apply for permitted development/a lawful development certificate?

You don’t have to apply to carry out work that comes under permitted development – you can just start building. However, we recommend that you apply for a lawful development certificate to prove that the work is covered by permitted development. To apply you need to submit an application to your local planning authority or via the Planning Portal. Along with the application form you’ll need to submit drawings of the existing and/or proposed development, as well as a site location plan and pay the £103 fee.

(You don’t need to make the application yourself – Yoop can apply for permitted development on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about it)

How long does it take to receive a lawful development certificate?

Once the application has been submitted, your local authority will assign an official to assess your application, make an inspection visit and check the property’s planning history. Assuming all is correct and within the rights of permitted development, you’ll be granted a lawful development certificate (LDC) within eight weeks.

The local authority has a statutory eight weeks to deal with a planning application - it's the same for both permitted development and planning permission.

If your project is not covered by permitted development, then you’ll need to apply for planning permission.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is the process by the council, which determines whether extensions on a terraced, semi detached or detached property are lawful. If you carry out work which isn’t covered by permitted development or planning permission, then the local authority would end up asking you to take the building or the extension down.

How do I apply for planning permission?

To apply for planning permission, you need to make an application to your local planning authority or via the Planning Portal.

A planning application includes a site plan or location plan, a full set of existing plans, elevations, potentially sections and then a full set of proposed plans, elevations and potentially sections. If it’s in a conservation area or a more complicated area, there might be a written document required as well, called a design and access statement. You can also put in a planning statement, but usually a householder application is fairly straightforward so that you just need good information on the drawings. The application fee for planning permission is £206.

(You don’t need to make the application yourself – Yoop can apply for planning permission on your behalf and chase the planning authority up until we get the OK so you don’t have to worry about it)

How long does it take to receive planning permission?

The local authority has a statutory eight weeks to deal with the application.

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What happens during the application process?

First the local authority will register the application and a validation team will go through the information and make sure that they’ve got all the location plans, site plans and the existing and proposed drawings so that when a planning officer comes to look at it, everything’s in place.

If all the information is not there, then the validation teams will make it invalid and we will receive a letter and we’ll have to provide a little bit more information or a clarification. Some applications need extra information if there’s a unique situation such as flood risk assessments, ecology, maybe a bat survey if you’re backing onto a forest but that’s quite rare. It’s very case by case. The more urban location you are, the more straightforward it will be.

Once it’s valid, then there’s a 21 day consultation period and the local authority will put green notices up on lamp posts and similar objects. They’ll notify your adjacent neighbors and your neighbors and community have the opportunity to comment and object. Next, there’ll be a site visit by the case officer – the case officer will go down and check that the drawings match the locality and the context and it’s a fair representation of what’s actually there. They also might check for any trees in close proximity, any tree preservation orders, anything like that.

When it comes up to about week six of the eight weeks, that’s when we usually try and talk to the planners to see if everything’s okay – if they need any tweaks or if there’s any concerns, any objections, those kinds of things. If the proposals essentially comply with all the local authority guidance and policy, that’s when the officer can approve it under delegated powers.

Normally a planning committee would approve all applications, but because the householder application’s a minor planning application, they leave it to the good judgment of the planning officers. The planning officer will approve it in conjunction with their team leader, so it’s not just down to one person and they will issue the decision notice on the eighth week.

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How will I be notified?

Once the Department receives a planning application you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the application and any accompanying fee paid. This letter will also highlight the stages through which the application will pass prior to a decision being made.

At the end of the process the decision notice will be issued advising whether planning permission has been granted or refused.


If you have any questions about the planning application process or would like to speak to an architect who can help you source and liaise with a local planner, go ahead and book a free call below with Yoop


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