What happens when I submit an application?
We will check your application to ensure you have included all the necessary documents and plans and have paid the correct fee.
We will then write to you to acknowledge receipt and to give you a decision date. We will make a decision within 8 weeks on most applications.
What happens before a decision is made?
Before we make a decision, we notify all local residents affected by the proposal. Many applications are also advertised in the local press and on site. We also consult various public agencies, such as the Environment Agency and Southern Water on certain applications.
Most applications in Conservation Areas are referred to the Council's Conservation Area Advisory Group and to the Historic Buildings Advisor.
We will also make a site visit when all the relevant information has been received.
Who makes the decision?
Planning officers assess all applications taking into account planning policies and other planning considerations, including the relevant replies on consultations and notifications. They will then recommend refusing or approving the application.
The decision to approve or refuse an application is made by the Head of Planning under 'delegated powers' unless one or more of the following conditions applies, in which case the application is referred to the Planning Committee.
- There are 6 or more letters of objection from local residents or businesses
- A request to speak has been made
- The proposal is in conflict with the council's planning policies
- The Conservation Area Advisory Group object to a proposal in a conservation area or in respect of a listed building
- The Planning Committee Chair, shadow Chair or a local Ward Councillor requests (on sound planning grounds) that the application be referred to committee
- An application is submitted by or on behalf of a Councillor of the Authority (or their spouse/partner) or by any Council’s staff
When applications are referred to the committee the case officer prepares a report with a recommendation to approve or refuse the application.
In practice all applications for major development or proposals of a contentious nature are determined by Planning Committee. Sometimes, for example where a minor amendment is required to make the proposal acceptable, the Planning Committee will delegate authority to the Head of Planning to issue the decision once amended plans have been received.
What are the different types of decision?
There are three types of decision.
Unconditional permission - the application is granted permission in its current form and can proceed.
Permission subject to conditions - the application is granted permission only if certain conditions are met, e.g. you have to use certain materials for the development. We must give you reasons for imposing any conditions.
Refusal - outright refusal of permission for the development. We must give you reasons for refusing permission.
How and when will I be informed of the decision?
We will write to you to inform you of our decision. We aim to reach a decision within 8 weeks of receiving an application although some applications, because of the complexity of the proposal or for various other reasons, will inevitably take longer to determine.
If you do not get a decision within 8 weeks you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State in England unless you have agreed in writing to an extension of that period.
Can I appeal if the application is refused?
Yes - go to the Appeals page in this section.