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The planning application process

Planning applications have a straightforward journey to approval. Understanding where you are in that process helps you know what responses you can make...

In many ways, the planning application process is very straightforward:

  • A planning application is submitted to the local planning authority
  • The planning authority publicises the application, in the newspaper and perhaps elsewhere
  • The public has a few weeks to comment on the application
  • A decision is made on the application, usually within eight weeks of it being submitted
  • Most planning applications are approved. But if the application is refused, or the approval has conditions on it, the applicant may appeal against the decision to the Secretary of State.

If you have only heard about a development you're concerned about after a planning application has been submitted, don't delay in getting involved.

Your local CPRE branch may be able to help.

If planning permission has already been granted, you have no right to appeal against the granting of permission, so don't leave it too late.

Get involved early

To stop a bad development from happening, you should ideally take action before any planning application has been submitted.

One important way of doing this is to influence your Local Plan. A local planning authority decides on a planning application based on the development plan in your area, which is made up of this Local Plan, and any Neighbourhood Development Plans in force in the area. Unless there are very good reasons otherwise, development has to be in line with this development plan. Because there are good opportunities for public consultation, you can influence it.

NextStep 1: Look at the planning application

Further reading

How applications are assessed