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How to make a planning application

Before you apply

We recommend that you discuss your proposals with a Planning officer as early as possible in order to:

  • encourage proposals that comply with our planning policies
  • identify and sort out any obvious problems with your proposal before you submit your planning application
  • make sure that your application has all the information and plans that we need to deal with it when it is submitted
  • reduce the need to have more discussions with you after the application is submitted, meaning that your application may be dealt with more quickly 

Please watch our video for more information.

How to arrange a pre-application discussion

You can get in touch with you local Planning and Building Standards office by telephone, email, by calling at the office or by letter to arrange a meeting with an officer to discuss your proposal.

We strongly encourage you to send us details of your proposal (with accompanying sketches/draft drawings if possible) before you meet a planning officer. This will help the officer to:

  • see what the main issues may be
  • decide whether to invite other Services to the meeting to give their comments on your proposal (for example, Roads and Transportation or Environmental Services
  • ask these Services for any comments before we meet you

Any meeting with you is likely to be more useful if we have been given details of your proposal before we meet you.

The advice we will give you

At the pre-application discussion we will advise you on:

  • any planning policies, proposals or previous decisions that may be relevant to your proposal (copies of relevant published guidance may be given on request)
  • advice on all relevant planning matters such as design, parking, effect on neighbouring properties
  • any obvious problems with your proposal and, if possible, how they could be overcome
  • advice on the type of information and plans that you should include with your planning application
  • *whether your proposal is likely to get planning permission
  • help (if required) on completing the planning application form, fees and on what will happen to your application after you submit it to us
  • how long it may take before we can make a decision on your application
  • the need for any other permissions that you may need such as a building warrant or roads construction consent

*Please note that any comments that we give you at this point will only be advisory. Your proposal can only be properly assessed and a formal decision made on it after your application is submitted, full consultation has taken place and the public are given the opportunity to comment on the application.

What happens next

If agreed during the discussion, we can give you a written response setting out the main areas of agreement/disagreement. We will tell you of any changes or amendments that should be made to your proposals before you submit your application, or we will advise you if your proposal is likely to be unacceptable and why.

If you then submit an application, please remember to tick the box that asks if you have had any pre-application discussions on the proposal and add the name of the officer involved.

Further information

There is a list of local and statutory development plans that may be helpful when starting your application process.  Please see our development plans.