The planning application process

These are the key stages of how a planning application is considered and the associated timescales.

We aim to determine householder applications within six weeks and the majority of other planning applications within the statutory eight weeks. Major applications, such as large housing developments, are usually determined within 13 weeks, or 16 weeks where an Environmental Impact Assessment has been submitted.

If we are unlikely to meet these targets we will let the applicant know why. See our Planning Service Standards for more details about the service you can expect from us.

We will check applications to make sure all details are correct and that you have included the necessary documents. An acknowledgement will be sent to you or your agent. At this stage the consultation and publicity period will start and we will appoint a Planning Officer to manage your planning application.

We will place application details and plans on our planning system.

We will notify local councillors, parish or town council and statutory consultees of your application. We will publicise the application using either site notices, letters to neighbours or a press advert, depending on the application type.

You can find out about planning applications in your area by looking at the weekly lists or searching the planning system.

Anyone can comment on an application and has 21 days from the publicity date to do this. Comments will be considered as a part of the decision process. The case officer will assess the relevance of the comments and may request amendments to the application, where necessary, to address planning issues.

We will only consider comments or objections that are significant and relevant to planning. For example:

  • Overlooking - the proposal would lead to previously private areas being overlooked to an unacceptable level
  • Overshadowing - the height or proximity of the development would be such that unreasonable overshadowing would occur
  • Disturbance - there would be unacceptable intrusion in the form of noise, odour, general disturbance
  • Overbearing - the scale of the works means that the property/premises has an oppressive impact on surrounding areas/houses
  • Out of character - if the design of the development, its scale and use, is such that it appears to be out of character with its surroundings
  • Road safety - the development may lead to a significant impact on road safety.

Issues we will not consider include:

  • Issues covered by other legislation
  • Loss of value to a property, loss of a private view, and potential difficulties in property maintenance
  • Private interests of objectors, the effect of the proposal on property values and competition between rival companies.

The Planning Portal also has information on commenting on proposed development.

Any comments on planning applications should be made through our planning system, by email or in writing to Growth and Localism, South Norfolk Council, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton, Norwich, NR15 2XE. Please include your postal address as we will not show your email address.

The Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 requires that any comments made are available for public inspection on the file and copies will be provided on request. Please note that your comments will also be seen on our website, along with your name and address. If you are concerned about publishing your signature, email address, telephone number or any other personal contact details (other than your name and address which must be available) then send these as a separate attachment so they are not published with the main comments. If these precautions still leave you concerned then submit your comments to your District Councillor who will raise them as appropriate, so they can be taken into account when the application is considered.

Please note that where you submit your views in writing to your District Councillor, this is described as “lobbying” and the District Councillor will be obliged to pass these on to the planning officer, where they will be published on the website.

We will obscure areas of documents that relate to signatures, phone numbers or email addresses where these are published online. However, human error can occur and we may miss something. If you notice something that causes you concern, then please email us noting the application reference and document details and we will do our best to resolve the matter. The website will regularly be updated as the application progresses with consultee comments, amended plans, committee dates (where an application will be decided at committee), the officer’s delegated or committee report and the final decision.

For relatively simple applications a decision can be made once the statutory 21 day consultation has finished. These are authorised under the powers delegated to the Director of Growth and Localism. Most applications are dealt with under our Scheme of Delegation. However, a local member can request that an application be decided by Committee, if it is in the interest of local people to do so, and it is for valid planning reasons.

Committee

The Development Management Committee determines applications that cannot be decided by our Officers. The committee is made up of elected Members who listen to the views of the public and reports of the Planning Officers. These are public meetings and public speaking is allowed at these committees. Find out more details about the Development Management Committee.

We will forward the Decision Notice to you or your agent, along with any conditions that apply. We will also publish the decision on our website. Once approval has been granted it will be necessary to let the Planning team know when works are due to start and to complete the relevant paperwork for any Building Control Regulations. See the CNC Building Control website for more details.

You can appeal if we haven’t made a decision on your planning application within the specified time, or you are unhappy with the decision we have made. Only the applicant can make the appeal. To do this you need to contact the Planning Inspectorate, the Government Agency set up to process all planning and enforcement appeals.

There are strict time limits on your right to appeal. Appeals made outside these are likely to be turned away by the Planning Inspectorate.

The deadline for submitting most appeals is six months from the date of the application decision notice, however for householder applications and minor commercial applications it is 3 months and two months for advertisement consent, or if your application was never determined, six months from the date the decision should have been made.

For more information please visit the Planning Inspectorate website.

You can search for appeals that have been made on our planning system. Appeals can be found with the original planning application.