Anyone proposing to develop land or buildings must submit a planning application to the appropriate authority (see below). Some minor proposals are 'permitted development' and do not require planning permission. If you feel that your application falls within this group, you should contact the planning authority for advice.
Plymouth and Torbay unitary authorities, together with Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, are responsible for all applications within their boundaries. The County Council only gives planning permission for a restricted range of developments within Devon, including minerals extraction, waste management or disposal and the County Council’s own developments (for example, schools or libraries). All other planning applications, including applications for residential, office, industrial, and retail development, are dealt with by the eight District Councils. All such applications should be sent directly to the appropriate District or Borough Council.
Planning authorities will always try to grant permission for development unless there are good reasons to refuse it. Development Management planners are happy to discuss proposals before they are turned into formal applications and, as a result, the majority of planning applications are successful. If planning permission is refused, the reasons for refusal must be based upon approved plans and policies. If you feel that permission has been wrongly withheld, you have a right to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
Note: Where development would have a significant effect on the transport network, the planning authorities consult Devon County Council as Highway Authority on any relevant highway and transportation issues relating to the proposal. In addition, in its role as Strategic Planning Authority, the County Council is consulted on all large scale development.