Planning Portal

  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. FAQ: Applications Process

FAQ: Applications Process

Please see the list below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the application process:

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What is the council's process for planning applications?

Planning applications are decided by the local planning authority in line with its development plan for the area – unless there are very good reasons to not do so. Your local authority should be able to tell you how you can view its development plan.

The Portal has a number of pages on the decision process the application passes through at the local planning authority.

This section includes information on how applications are processed, how long the process is likely to take and what happens after the decision is made.

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How do I view progress on an application?

Once application has been submitted, it will be considered by the local planning authority. The Planning Portal does not have access to the application once it is submitted.

You will need to contact your local planning authority to check on the progress of an application. Many local authorities now let you track the progress of applications on their websites.

Your local authority’s contact details and website address can be found by searching on the Planning Portal.

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What are material considerations?

A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision.

Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Loss of light or overshadowing
  • Parking
  • Highway safety
  • Traffic
  • Noise
  • Effect on listed building and conservation area
  • Layout and density of building
  • Design, appearance and materials
  • Government policy
  • Disabled persons' access
  • Proposals in the Development Plan
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • Nature conservation

However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations.

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How do I object to a planning application (and can I do so online)?  

Every planning application submitted to a local authority must undergo a period of public consultation which varies in length between three and eight weeks.

Most councils publish details of planning applications on their websites. You can find the website address for your local planning authority on the Planning Portal.

Alternatively, open applications can be viewed at your local town hall and the offices of your local planning authority.

The Planning Portal does not offer the facility to comment on applications directly.

Therefore you will need to contact your local planning authority if you want to have your say on a planning application in your area.

There are a number of ways to do this:

  • If you are a neighbour affected by a planning application the local planning authority will either notify you directly or display a site notice on or near the land to which the application relates.
  • You could contact the planning offices of your local authority to involve yourself in the consultation process

  • The local planning authority may offer a service on its website
  • You are allowed to attend planning committee meetings to hear applications being considered

  • You are also allowed to have your say at these meetings but you must notify the council in advance of the meeting

There is no comprehensive description of grounds for objection to planning applications available on the Portal.

This is because the Government has given the main responsibility for dealing with planning applications to local authorities.

As a result, the range of objections that can be made is wide and varies from council to council.

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How do I find out if a neighbour has complained about my application?

All correspondence relating to an application should be copied to the applicant (or their agent) by the responding local planning authority.

If you want to view the comments made on an application by neighbours you can do so by contacting your local planning authority or visiting in person.

You can find contact details for your local planning authority on the Planning Portal.

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What are Section 106 (s106) agreements?

Section 106 agreements are legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer, or undertakings offered unilaterally by a developer, that ensure that certain extra works related to a development are undertaken.

They are most widely used to support transport infrastructure improvements, although there are also examples of obligations being used to support training initiatives, environmental improvements and corporate objectives, as well as to mitigate the impacts of development. 

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Can planning permission be granted retrospectively?

If you go ahead with a development without the required permission, the local planning authority may ask you to make a retrospective planning application.

If it decides that permission should not be granted it may require you to put things back as they were.

You can find more information in our 'Your Responsibilities' section.

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How much does a planning application cost?

The fee associated with a planning application depends on the type and scale of the development.

In England, for a typical householder application the cost is £172.

In Wales the cost of typical householder application is £166, while a Lawful Development Certificate is £165.

There is a range of exemptions and reductions are available depending on the circumstances.

Find more about application fees.

You can also use the Planning Portal's fee calculator to work out fees for different kinds of proposal.

While every effort has been taken to ensure that the fee has been calculated correctly, the determination of whether a fee is correct is solely the responsibility of the relevant local planning authority.

The fee calculator on the Portal will calculate a fee based on the information you enter. When you submit an application, the fee will be checked by the local planning authority and they will confirm whether the fee is correct.

Note there are different calculators for England and Wales.

Please contact your local planning authority if you have any doubts about the fee or if you require further information about matters specifically related to your proposal.

The local authority will also confirm the amount payable on submission of your application.

You can find contact information for your local planning authority here.

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Do you pay VAT on planning application fees?

VAT is not payable on fees for planning applications because they can only be issued by Government.

In contrast, VAT is payable on fees for Building Regulations approval.

This is because approval under the Building Regulations can be issued by either local government (LABC) or a commercial independent approved inspector.

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What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and will I have to pay it?

The Community Infrastructure Levy is a new planning charge, introduced by the Planning Act 2008. It came into force on 6 April 2010 through the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010. Development may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), if your local planning authority has chosen to set a charge in its area.

If Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are charging for CIL, this will be reflected in their Application Requirements, where CIL will be listed as a mandatory document.

View full details of CIL

To check if your LPA are charging CIL, please contact them directly to confirm.

Find your LPA contact details

If you have any questions about Community Infrastructure Levy legislation or policy you can contact the Department for Communities and Local Government at:

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