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The planning application process

Applications go through certain stages before they can be approved. Find out more about each of the stages using this guide. You can also download this guide in PDF format using the link below.


Applications for small developments that do not attract significant material objections should be decided within 8 weeks, however large scale developments, or those that raise objections can take a lot longer to determine. Extensions of time for the determination of applications beyond the 8-week period need to be subject of agreement between the applicant and the County Council.

Planning Officers can determine planning applications under Delegated Powers and can either approve or refuse the application on behalf of the Head of the Planning, Transportation and Environment. In the following circumstances, however, applications will normally be referred to the Development Management Committee of the County Council for determination:

  • where there is a material objection from a statutory consultee. The committee will balance all considerations and on occasion it may decide against the view of the objecting councils
  • where there is a significant neighbour objection made on material planning grounds that cannot be resolved by an amendment to the scheme or by planning conditions or obligation
  • where the applicant is the Head of the Planning, Transportation and Environment¬†(however if the application is not deemed to be contentious, it may be delegated and signed by the County Solicitor).

Once an application has been determined, particularly for a significant minerals or waste development, a Local Liaison Group may be set up. Find out more about Local Liaison Groups.

Members of the public can attend and speak at a committee meeting. All the information you need can be found at Public Participation at Committee Meetings.

Occasionally, it might seem as if we are permitting proposals that appear to be in conflict with detailed planning policies. Decisions taken must balance any conflicting policies and take account of all material planning considerations relevant to the application. If an application is considered to be a departure from planning policy the Secretary of State will be informed and may decide to call in the application for determination.