top of page

FAQs - Planning Permission

What is planning permission and how does it work?

Planning permission is the mechanism by which development is controlled in England.

For most people this means applying to their local Council for approval to extend their home or change the use of their premises.

Applying for planning permission is an 8 week process.

During the 8 weeks the Council will:

  • publish on their website the plans and documents you submitted with your application

  • write to your neighbours asking if they have any comments on the development

  • visit the application site or ask for photos or a video if they cannot visit

  • decide whether your development is acceptable or not and issue an approval or a refusal.


When deciding whether a development is acceptable or not, your Council will look to their adopted policies and guidance to help guide them.


All Council’s should have an adopted Local Plan. This document details what types of development will or will not be allowed in an area.


Your Council may also have additional documents such as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) which provide more detailed advice such as limitations for extensions to houses.


SPDs are usually prescriptive and may explain how big or tall an extension can be. These are all really useful pieces of information you need to help you prepare an application that your Council may find acceptable. 


Nearly all planning applications incur a fee. The fee is payable to the local Council and helps towards their costs of processing your application.

The Planning Portal has a full guide to the application process including a fee calculator. Currently, a householder extension application would incur an application fee of £206. 



Your neighbours will be asked for their comments on your plans by your Council. It is always advisable to speak to your neighbours about your plans BEFORE you submit your application to the Council. Your neighbours may have some suggestions that you hadn’t considered. It is much easier and cheaper to incorporate these suggestions before you finalise your proposals. 


This positive engagement can really make the planning application process smoother.

Your application has been approved!

If your application is approved, it may be that you have some conditions on your decision notice.


Most decision notices will have two standard conditions; a time limit of 3 years in which to start the development and a list of the plans that have been approved.

Your decision may include other conditions. Please read your decision notice carefully and make sure you understand the conditions of your permission.


A planning permission will only be granted with conditions that the Council considers necessary to make the development acceptable. Therefore, complying with these conditions is very important. Some conditions require you to submit further details to the Council before you can start works and others just require you to act in a certain way during works or after works are complete.

If you need to submit further details to the Council before starting works, you must do this otherwise you could jeopardise your entire permission. You will need to submit an ‘approval of details reserved by condition’ application to the Council. This is an 8 week process and will incur a fee of either £34 or £96.

Your application has been refused

If your application is refused you should consider the reason for refusal carefully and read the Council’s report explaining the refusal. These both should be available on your Council's website. 


It may be that with a few changes, your application could be resubmitted and meet with the Council’s approval.

If an application has been refused, you do have the right to appeal that decision. Your appeal would be made to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).


PINS are a Government body, independent of all local Councils who, after reviewing both sides of the case decide whether the Council came to the correct decision or not in refusing your application. 


If they think the Council did make the right decision in refusing your application, your appeal will be dismissed.


If they think the Council did not make the right decision, your appeal will be allowed and PINS will grant planning permission for your development.

For further information on planning appeals and how ADL Planning may be able to assist, please read our Appeals page and our FAQs on Appeals.


If you have received a refusal of planning permission and would like an opinion on your chances of successfully appealing the decision, please get in touch with ADL Planning for an assessment and a fee quote. 

bottom of page