Planning decisions

A planning application can be either:

  • approved
  • approved with conditions
  • refused with a justified planning reason

Decisions are made by one of the following, depending on the size and nature of the proposed development:

  • at Planning Committee
  • at Full Council
  • by an authorised officer using powers granted under our Scheme of Delegation

The scheme of delegation is discretionary which means that we can choose to take any application to committee. You can view this as part of the Council's Constitution

You can find out more about what happens at planning committee on our website.

Where a case is decided by an officer, the decision notice will usually be dispatched to the applicant (or agent) on the same day or the following day. A copy is also made available on our planning applications website.

Purchase paper copies of a decision notice.

What happens if planning permission is refused?

If your planning application has been refused, the decision notice will set out the reasons why. The decision notice will also tell you how you can appeal against the refusal.

It’s usually a good idea to talk to us before you make an appeal as there may be changes you can make to the proposal to make it acceptable. More information on how to do so is on our pre-application advice page.

What happens after planning permission is granted?

If your application is approved, we’ll send the decision notice out to you or your agent. Most planning applications that are approved have conditions attached to them and these will be listed on your decision notice.

Obtaining planning permission should not be viewed as the end of your involvement with the planning department. Rather it is a further step in the development process.

Planning conditions

Planning conditions are applied to almost every grant of planning permission. Conditions are important and must be read and understood. They can limit and control the way in which your planning permission can be carried out.

Conditions are generally included to ensure the development is an acceptable one. They may range from ensuring new brickwork matches the existing building to controlling the opening hours of a restaurant to protect neighbours' amenities.

In addition to imposing conditions on the approval notice that must be complied with, we may also attach informatives, offering advice or guiding the applicant to other consents that might be necessary.

Unlike conditions, informatives are not statutory parts of the decision notice, but we recommend you study them closely as they’re designed to help ensure the development is carried out well.

Applying to discharge your planning conditions

It’s important to discharge your conditions before you start your development. If you do not do this, the development will be unauthorised and we may consider taking enforcement action.

Conditions either:

  • must be complied with before a development is started
  • regulate how the work is undertaken
  • require actions before a building is occupied or a use commences
  • seek to regulate how the completed development is to be used
  • control possible changes in the future

First, you should check which conditions ask you to submit further details or information, and when you need to do this.

To discharge your conditions you’ll need to write to us with the details required. You can discharge one condition at a time or all the conditions at once. Sometimes we’ll ask for samples of materials, or joinery details.

You’ll need to pay a fee for written confirmation that you have complied with one or more conditions on your planning permission. The fees are set nationally at:

  • £43 per request where the permission relates to extending or altering a dwelling (or other works within the curtilage of a dwelling)
  • £145 per request for all other application types

Until the fee is received in full we’re unable to deal with your condition discharge request.

Once we have received the fee, we normally have eight weeks to discharge the condition. However, if we need to involve third parties in confirming compliance with conditions, this time period can be extended up to twelve weeks.

It’s important to make sure you allow adequate time for this process to be carried out before you begin work.

If you’re unhappy with the planning conditions

If you do not agree with the conditions we’ve imposed on your planning application, you can try to get them removed so you no longer have to comply with them.

To try to remove a condition you can either:

Failure to comply with conditions

Failure to discharge conditions at the correct time can invalidate a planning permission, rendering the site without benefit of consent. Starting work on site without complying with the pre-conditions may render your permission null and void and can lead to enforcement action and possible criminal sanctions.

This would then mean you would have to reapply for planning permission, possibly attracting a further planning fee and potentially other financial penalties. It’s also possible that your development may not be approved a second time round.

We can check if conditions have been discharged and also inspect sites to make sure they have been complied with.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

For more information on this charge, visit our Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) page.