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How to make a planning application

How we process planning applications

Small planning applications

Smaller more straightforward applications are decided by the Executive Director of Enterprise Resources or the Head of Planning and Building Standards. These make up 90% of all planning applications.

Applications can go to an area committee for a decision when:

  • there are more than five objections
  • councillors have concerns about it

Large planning applications

The planning committee deals with all the larger planning applications. These include applications for:

  • 11 or more houses
  • large industrial, commercial, retail, mineral and waste developments
  • applications that cause significant local concern (at the discretion of the Chair of Planning)
  • applications that are different to strategic or local development plan policy (with the exception of applications for 10 houses or less and householder applications where no objections have been received)

The planning committee has powers to decide most planning applications. It can't decide on national developments or proposals that are significantly different to the development plan. These need to go to the full council for a final decision.

Committees and hearings

The planning committee and four area committees meet every four weeks. They can arrange hearings or site visits to help councillors make their decision. Where an application is significantly different from the approved strategic development plan or local plan, it must go to the full council for a decision and a hearing must take place.

A hearing might also happen when there have been a lot of objections to a proposal or location and the recommendation was to grant planning consent. The Head of Planning and Building Standards and the Chair of the Planning Committee decide if the level of objections means that a hearing is needed.

For more details see the councillors and committees website.

For more information contact our Planning and Building Standards office.