How to apply for planning permission
If you have a building project in mind, you may need planning permission. You can find out whether a planning application is required either by looking at The Planning Portal or by consulting a professional. Most planning consultants will be more than happy to give a free initial opinion and discuss your needs. (Do be aware, though, that your situation may be relatively complex and some appraisal work may be required before detailed recommendations can be made.)
If planning permission is required, your proposal will fall under a particular application type. These include:
Change of use
Listed Building Consent
This is not an exhaustive list, however, and there are many other application types all designed to control different kinds of development. You may even need to apply for more than one type of permission, or follow one application up with another later on.
Depending on the specifics of your case, whatever you are applying for, the submission requirements will vary. Different applications require different supporting information and the requirements can vary considerably between different Local Planning Authorities (LPA). You can check the national requirements on The Planning Portal and local ones on your LPA website.
Some planning applications are relatively straightforward, but often the amount of information required can be considerable. Many councils now require the application form, Location and Site Plans, floorplans and elevations, Biodiversity Checklists, Planning Statements and CIL forms even for minor applications. The days of submitting a sketch on the back of an envelope are well and truly gone. Once you have submitted your application, be aware that the LPA may request further information during the application process.
Most planning applications should take 6-8 to be decided, but remember to add on a few weeks to allow for validation (checking of the submitted documents). Lastly, austerity, Covid-19 and the recent reorganisation of many councils have put great pressure on LPAs. Our advice: expect delays and be pleasantly surprised if deadlines are met!