What is development?

Development is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act as’ the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land’.

Does development need planning permission?

No not always, please contact us for advice. Development can fall into 3 categories as follows:

1) De minimis ) Latin meaning too minimal to be of concern;

2) Lawful Development ) Development that is lawful as set out in legislation. This can apply to home owners, farmers, businesses, schools and many other groups;

3) Needs Planning Permission ) Not established as lawful elsewhere so planning permission is required.

What is the difference between a Planning Application and a Lawful Development Certificate?

Both processes need plans, forms and can even incur the same fee. A planning application is asking the Council for planning permission. The Council can apply the Local Plan policies and will consult with neighbours and statutory bodies. A Lawful Development Certificate merely asks for confirmation that what you are proposing doesn’t need consent. It is a legal decision. The council’s policies are irrelevant to a Lawful Development Certificate. Neighbours are not contacted regarding a Lawful Development Certificate.

How long does planning take?

There are three time periods for planning applications: 8 weeks - Smaller scale applications for commercial floor space, up to 9 new dwellings, residential extensions, change of use applications, listed building applications, conservation consents, advert consent or telephone masts. Most applications are dealt with by Councils in 8 weeks. 13 weeks - Major developments such as more than 10 homes, or buildings of more than 1000sqm or developments involving very large site areas. 16 weeks - Any applications accompanied by an Environment Statement (planning applications with wide spread implications such as a new power plant). Developments at this scale are few and far between.

Planning Fees - How much does planning permission cost?

Any application to the Council must be submitted with the appropriate fee. For planning applications fees please see the useful documents section. There is a scheduled increase of 15% to current planning fees in autumn 2012. No exact date of fee increase has been released yet. When more details are available we will add this to the useful documents section.