Coronavirus (COVID-19): Planning applications update
There may be a delay to registering and approving planning applications due to staff absence caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please bear with us during this period.
Planning officers will still aim to visit all sites but will be unable to enter private property or meet people for the foreseeable future. There will be sites that cannot be clearly viewed from public land. Applicants will be requested to provide photographs of the site, the position of their proposed development(s) and highlight any neighbouring properties likely to be affected by the proposed development.
Planning Committee meetings have been cancelled until further notice.
We have relaxed restrictions on the movement of food and other essential supplies to help supermarkets and retailers stock shelves. Pubs and restaurants can also temporarily offer a takeaway service to help get food out to vulnerable people.
We are requesting all applicants to assist us by displaying site notices at or near their application sites to ensure local communities continue to be informed about proposed developments in their localities.
The following guidance outlines the process we follow when we receive a planning application.
Applications are validated
We check that we have everything we need to assess the application.
We get in touch with you or your agent if we need more information.
All applications are published on our website. Search for a planning application.
Notification and consultation
If the application is valid, we notify neighbours and put up a ‘site notice’ close to the site.
The site notice remains in situ for 21 days and the neighbours have 21 days to make comments.
We consult the local parish council on most applications. We may also consult other organisations (like the Environment Agency, Cumbria County Council Highways or English Nature) when necessary. They also have 21 days to comment. Their responses are published on our website.
We assess the application
A 'Planning Case Officer' is appointed to deal with your application. You will be given their contact details so if you have any queries you can contact them.
They will assess your proposed development against local and national planning policies.
Pre decision amended plans
Sometimes minor amendments to the proposed scheme are received, either because we ask for amended plans in order to make the development more acceptable or because you may have a change of mind or circumstances.
Amended plans will be published on our website alongside the original plans.
If we think the amendments are acceptable the original plans will be replaced and the amendments will be detailed in the 'decision notice'.
Most decisions will be made by our Planning Case Officers under our scheme of delegation. We will make a recommendation to either grant or refuse the application. The decision will be reviewed by our development control manager.
Only major and complex applications will be decided by planning committee.
Our time scales for deciding on applications
- Eight weeks for householder and minor development
- 13 weeks for major development
- 16 weeks for major development where the development needs an Environmental Impact Assessment
Once the decision is made a ‘decision notice’ is issued to you or your agent. It is also published on our website.
We usually make one of two types of decision:
1. Application granted with conditions
Although you now have planning permission you might still need to maintain contact with us. This is because most planning permissions are subject to conditions like, landscaping scheme, surface water drainage scheme, precise joinery details, more detailed metric scaled drawings.
Some conditions mean that you have to submit extra details before work can start. We will check that you have met the conditions and approve the work, this is called 'formal discharge'. It is your responsibility to check if conditions need to be ‘formally discharged' by us.
The details of how you have met the conditions must be submitted on the 'Approval of details reserved by condition' form together with the current application fee.
You can submit the form:
- online through the Planning Portal
- on paper by submitting an application for approval of details reserved by condition
If there is more than one condition to be discharged, you can apply to deal with them all on one application and pay a single fee. If you choose to discharge conditions separately each application must have a separate application form and fee.
If you wish to change any of the conditions attached to the decision, you can submit an ‘application for removal or variation of a condition following grant of planning permission (S.73)’
You can find the forms:
- online through the Planning Portal
- on paper make an application for 'removal or variation of a condition following grant of planning permission (S.73)'
Alternatively you can submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
2. Application refused
When an application is refused, you can appeal to The Planning Inspectorate.
Appeals must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with strict time limits. Only the person who submitted the application can appeal. There is no third party right of appeal.
There is an option to submit a revised scheme to us within 12 months of the refusal date at no cost.
Post-decision, non material amended plans
Sometimes we receive amended plans after the decision has been made. This usually happens where the applicant has had a change of mind or the site conditions mean the original plans cannot be carried out.
If the changes are minor and acceptable we will issue an acceptance decision. A new planning permission will not be issued. The original permission still stands and the two documents should be read together.
If the proposed changes are significant we will ask for a completely new planning application.