0203 744 3020 info@icelabz.co.uk
Select Page


The planning application process in the UK is a complex and multifaceted procedure that involves various stakeholders and considerations. As a homeowner, developer, or individual seeking to undertake any form of development, understanding the intricacies of this process is crucial to ensure a successful outcome. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different stages of the planning application process, the required documentation, the decision-making process, and the factors that influence the final outcome.

Understanding the Need for Planning Permission

The first step in the planning application process is to determine whether your proposed development requires planning permission. According to the information provided, planning permission is generally required for changes to your own home (where the property is a single dwelling that has not been subdivided into flats), as well as for commercial uses, building or converting to residential housing, and other types of development. It is essential to carefully review the guidelines and regulations to ascertain if your project falls under the purview of planning permission.

Preparing for the Planning Application

Pre-Application Advice and Duty Planner

Once you have determined that planning permission is required, the next step is to seek pre-application advice and consult with the Duty Planner. The information suggests that local authorities encourage all applicants to discuss their proposals before submitting a planning application. This pre-application stage allows you to receive guidance on the specific requirements, any potential issues, and the likelihood of your application being approved.

Local Information Requirements List

Another important aspect of preparing for the planning application is familiarising yourself with the local information requirements list. This list outlines the specific documentation and information that must be submitted with your application, such as site plans, existing and proposed drawings, and any additional reports or assessments required based on the nature of your development.

Application Fee

Before submitting your planning application, you must also calculate the appropriate application fee. The fee is determined by the type and scale of the proposed development, and it is crucial to ensure that the correct fee is paid to avoid delays or complications in the process.

Submitting the Planning Application

Once you have gathered all the necessary information and documentation, you can proceed to submit your planning application. The information provided suggests that the preferred method is to apply online through the Planning Portal website.

The Planning Application Process

Validation and Acknowledgement

After submitting your application, the local planning authority will begin the validation process. During this stage, the authority will ensure that all required documents and fees are present, and they will check for any potential issues that need to be addressed to ensure compliance with policies.

Consultation and Notification

When the application is validated and registered, the local planning authority will initiate a consultation process. This involves notifying the public, statutory agencies, utility companies, and other relevant stakeholders about the proposed development, allowing them to comment on the application within a specified timeframe, usually a minimum of 21 days.

Site Visit and Assessment

For most applications, the case officer responsible for the application will conduct a site visit to assess the proposed development in its context. The officer will then make a recommendation based on their evaluation.


The decision-making process can take several forms. In some cases, the planning service may issue a decision under delegated powers, while in other instances, the application may be referred to a Planning Sub-Committee or Area Planning Committee for consideration by elected councillors.

Conditions and Appeals

If the application is approved, it may be subject to certain conditions that the applicant must meet. If the application is refused or the applicant is dissatisfied with the conditions, they have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

Factors Influencing the Decision

Compliance with Development Plan Policies

One of the primary factors that the local planning authority will consider when determining a planning application is its compliance with the development plan policies for the area. The decision must be made in accordance with the development plan unless there are material considerations that indicate otherwise.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The NPPF is a key material consideration that must be taken into account when making planning decisions. It represents the government’s up-to-date planning policy and includes the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

Material Planning Considerations

In addition to development plan policies and the NPPF, the local planning authority will also consider other material planning considerations. These can include factors such as the planning history of the site, the impact on the local community, and any environmental or design-related issues.

Elected Members and Decision-Making

The involvement of elected councillors and members of the local authority in the decision-making process is an important aspect of the planning application process. These individuals are responsible for representing the interests of the local community and must maintain an open mind when considering planning applications.

Timelines and Performance Targets

The planning application process is subject to specific timelines and performance targets set by the government. The statutory time limits for determining planning applications are 13 weeks for major developments, 10 weeks for technical details consent and applications for public service infrastructure development, and 8 weeks for all other types of development (unless the application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, in which case a 16-week limit applies).

Local planning authorities are expected to make decisions on major applications within 26 weeks and non-major applications within 16 weeks, in line with the government’s ‘planning guarantee’. Failure to meet these targets can result in the application being ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State or the local planning authority being designated as underperforming, which would allow applicants to submit their applications directly to the Secretary of State.


The planning application process in the UK is a complex and multifaceted procedure that requires careful consideration of various factors. By understanding the different stages, requirements, and timelines involved, applicants can navigate the process more effectively and increase their chances of securing a successful outcome for their proposed development. As with any planning-related matter, it is essential to stay informed, seek professional advice when necessary, and engage with the local planning authority throughout the process.


  1. Haringey Council. (n.d.). How does the Planning Application process work? Retrieved from https://www.haringey.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning/planning-applications/how-does-planning-application-process-work
  2. Royal Borough of Greenwich. (n.d.). The planning application process. Retrieved from https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200193/planning_applications_and_permissions/2093/the_planning_application_process
  3. Lambeth Council. (n.d.). Planning application process. Retrieved from https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-building-control/planning-applications/planning-application-process
  4. UK Government. (2023). Determining a planning application. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/determining-a-planning-application