This page answers some of your most common questions about planning - including whether you need planning permission, how much it costs – and points you to the right part of our website for further information.
Frequently asked questions
- How do I know if I need permission for what I want to do?
- I want to put up a domestic wind turbine. Do I need planning permission?
- If I need planning permission, how long will it take?
- How do I know what is happening with my application?
- How is a decision made on an application?
- How can I have my say on an application?
- Can I make changes to my application?
- Can I appeal against a decision?
- Can I view other people's applications?
- Should I seek professional advice?
- What if my neighbour has built something without permission?
- What happens if I tell the Council about something being built?
- What are Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas?
- What is the difference between Planning and Building Control?
How do I know if I need permission for what I want to do?
Most building work will need planning permission and building regulation approval. We have a page that lists the common types of development that need permission, and the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) website has an excellent guide for householders which will help you to understand where permission is needed - follow the link under 'External links' at the foot of this page to download it now.
For a domestic property you can complete our works to dwelling form and send it to us – we will be able to tell you what permission you need.
I want to put up a domestic wind turbine. Do I need planning permission?
There is growing interest in the use of domestic wind turbines, especially since they are readily available in the shops. The current legislation states that planning permission is required for domestic wind turbines, although the government has said it wants to change the rules to make installing them easier for people. See our article on domestic wind turbines for more information.
We aim to complete the majority of planning applications within eight weeks, but if the application is complicated it might take longer. The process is explained on our web page How we deal with your planning application.
We will register your application and send you an acknowledgement letter with details of the case officer (the Officer here who will be looking after your application). We will visit your site and put up a site notice, which needs to stay up for a minimum of 21 days. If we have any issues or questions, the case officer will contact you or your agent. When a decision has been made, a decision notice will be sent to you. This will tell you whether you can go ahead or if it has been refused.
You can track the progress of your application online - see Latest planning information section to find out how.
How is a decision made on an application?
The case officer will consider the views of neighbours and other relevant people (e.g. parish council highways) before making a decision. In some cases, your application will be decided at this point by the officers acting under delegated powers. Others may need to go to a committee where councillors make the final decision. For a step by step guide to this process visit How we deal with planning applications.
How can I have my say on an application?
You can either comment online by following the links under 'search our planning system' or write to the Council at the address in the 'contact us' section below.
Can I make changes to my application?
Yes, you can make minor changes at any point but major ones could lead to long delays. If you do want to make major changes, you should consider withdrawing your application and starting with a new one.
Can I appeal against a decision?
Yes, but only if you are the applicant. For further details please visit How to appeal against a planning decision.
Can I view other people's applications?
Yes, all planning applications can be seen either online or at the Council offices. We also publish a weekly list of new planning applications so you can see details of the most recent applications made. To search for new applications where you live - plus lots more - see our Latest planning information.
Should I seek professional advice?
Not a requirement, but it may be a good idea for more involved applications or if you are unsure of the process. Our page Before you make a planning application explains how we can help you if would like some advice from us.
What if my neighbour has built something without permission?
Not all works require permission, but some do. If you are concerned about a development please contact our Enforcement officers in writing, by phone or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any letters received are kept confidential. To learn about how we deal with unauthorized development, visit our Enforcement page.
What happens if I tell the Council about something being built?
Our Enforcement officers will look into the matter and will let you know what is happening.
What are Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas?
A listed building has what is called ‘special architectural or historic interest’, and Conservation Areas area of special architectural or historic interest with a character or appearance that is desirable to preserve or enhance. Please visit our pages on Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings for more information.
What is the difference between Planning and Building Control?
Planning looks at the impact development will have on the area and considers the use of the land. Building Control looks at the technical side of the proposed work, and considers issues such as health and safety. See our Building Control page for more information.
You can phone, fax or email us, or visit us in person, although if you need to see someone specific it is a good idea to make an appointment.
|contact officer/team:||Planning Administration|
|web:||online enquiry form|
|freephone:||0808 168 3000|
|address:||South Norfolk Council
South Norfolk House
Norwich NR15 2XE
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Last updated on: 28 January 2013