planning applications

planning applications by RTPI chartered planners

At Plande we undertake a wide range of planning applications to help our clients achieve planning approval. The planning system is a complex and fluid system with numerous stakeholders and agendas, and we aim to submit high quality, robust planning applications.

Planning applications are a crucial part of the construction industry, with planning permission (link) allowing development to go ahead. As such appointing the right planning consultants (link) is essential to ensuring the right permission is granted in a timely manner.

Good working relationship with Local Planning Authorities

The Government set target determination dates for local planning authorities to deal with planning applications. The statutory time limits are usually 13 weeks for applications for major development and eight weeks for all other types of development (unless an application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, in which case a 16-week limit applies. These dates can be extended with the agreement of applicants.

The risks of submitting inadequate or inappropriate planning applications for example, without the right supporting information, without adequate justification or unsuitable designs can have a dramatic impact on projects.

Unsuccessful planning applications can be the subject of a planning appeal however it is essential to understand why the planning application was unsuccessful in the first instance to ensure the best chance of success. Please see our dedicated section for more information.

Planning Applications - Plande

Improving your chances with high-quality planning applications

The following sections illustrate the different types of planning applications:


Full Planning Application

A full planning application is the main type of consent sought and incorporates “development which includes buildings, engineering or other works, in, on or under land, or the making of any material change of use of any buildings or other land”. A detailed planning application can be incredibly varied in scope and scale and can require a wide range of supporting information. Full planning application fees are generally calculated by the scale of the development (per dwelling unit or per square meter of development for commercial schemes).

Works to individual dwelling houses can be dealt with via householder planning applications (see below).

Outline Planning Application

An outline planning application is a less detailed way of obtaining planning approval and only considers key aspects to a scheme, including the principle of development, use, scale etc. Outline planning application fees differ to full planning applications as they are calculated by the site area rather than the scale of development and as such can be a more cost-effective way of clarifying the principle of development in the first instance. Once an outline planning application has been approved a further planning application will need to be submitted for the remaining details. This is known as a Reserved matters application.

Reserved Matters

Reserved matters planning applications seek approval for the details not submitted at the outline planning application stage and can be submitted as one application or individually.

The five reserved matters are Access, Appearance, Landscaping, Layout and Scale.

Access incorporates movement into and within the site for vehicles, pedestrians and cycles etc

Appearance relates to the “visual impression” or look of the building or place including its architecture, materials, decoration, lighting, colour and texture

Landscaping covers the land which isn’t built on and incorporates boundary treatment, soft and hard landscaping, gardens and amenity areas etc

Layout deals with positioning, orientation and relationships between the access routes, landscaping and building.

Scale is the length, width and height of any building or development and its relationship with its surroundings.

Householder planning application

A householder planning application is specifically for “works or extension to a dwelling” and includes work within the curtilage of a house. Examples include house extensions, conservatories, loft conversions, garages and outbuildings etc. Works to flats, multiple dwellings or anything outside of the garden area does not fall under the householder planning application system. In addition, some works to dwellings may not require planning approval. These include internal works, some external works to the building fabric as well as works in the garden area (sheds, outbuildings, fences etc.). Some smaller extensions do not require planning approval and are classed as Permitted Development and are subject to detailed regulations.d its relationship with its surroundings.

Permission in Principle

Permission in principle planning applications are an alternative way of obtaining planning permission for housing-led developments. Such a planning application considers the principle of development rather than the technical/design detail of the development. This route has two stages with the second being the Technical Details consent.

This is a relatively new form of planning application, and many Local Authorities and design teams will not be familiar with the practical elements of such planning applications. Clear and professional advice should be sought at the earliest stage to determine how best to seek the relevant planning consent for a site.

Technical Details Consent

Following the granting of the first stage of Permission in Principle, the second stage planning applications for Technical Details Consent will be required. The effect of such approval is that of granting planning permission for the development. Similar to Reserved Matters planning applications, Technical Details Consent planning applications will incorporate the key design elements of the scheme.

Listed Building Consent

Listed Building Consent planning applications are required if you wish to demolish a listed building, alter or extent as well as for any works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building (even when those structures are not specifically listed).

It is a criminal office to carry out works which need listed building consent without obtaining it beforehand and therefore careful consideration and clarification from the Council is essential.

We have a wide range of experience in dealing with Listed Buildings; for more information, please see our Case Studies page.

Lawful Development Certificate

Lawful Development Certificate planning applications (also known as Certificate of Lawful Development) seek to clarify that existing or proposed developments or use do not require planning permission.

Examples of this include permitted development house extensions, the change of use of buildings, unlawful development or changes of use that become immune from enforcement action etc.

We have a wide range of experience in dealing with Lawful Development Certificates; for more information, please see our Case Studies page.

Advertisement Consent Planning Applications

Advertisement consent planning applications are required to display advertisements or signs. While some such advertisements or signage can be permitted development, careful consideration will be required. Advertisement Consent planning applications cover a wide range of signs including posters and notices, placards and boards, fascia and projecting signs, pole and canopy signs, estate agent’s boards, flags, traffic signs, town and village names to name a few.

Conservation Area Consent

Now technically referred to as planning applications to seek planning permission for demolition of a building in conservation areas.

Demolition or building or structures (whether listed or not) usually requires a planning application although there are some exclusions including where the total cubic content doesn’t exceed 115 cubic meters, some gates, walls, fences or means of enclosure and some agriculture or forestry structures although clarification should be sought from the LPA prior.

The extent of permitted developing is reduced, and local authorities will, in some cases, make “Article 4 Directions” to further control some or all works to the external appearance of buildings. We have experience in these areas, particularly in Trafford where there are several such Directions in place.

In addition, all works to trees in a Conservation area require consent.

We have a wide range of experience in dealing with conservation areas; for more information, please see our Case Studies page.

Removal or Variations of Conditions Planning Applications

lanning applications for the removal or variation of conditions are needed where local planning authorities grant planning permission with conditions that applicants believe to be unreasonable, unsuitable or inappropriate. The wording of planning conditions is strictly governed however in many cases and for many reasons planning conditions need to be altered post-approval.

Obtaining the right advice before considering such planning applications are vital to ensuring that the application will stand the best chance of success. We have a wide range of experience in dealing with the removal or variation of planning conditions; for more information, please see our Case Studies page.

Amendments to Permissions

For many reasons, planning permissions requirement amendments and there are several different opportunities to submit planning applications to amend or vary a planning approval.

Non-material amendments planning applications seek minor or very small changes to a design or approval. Unfortunately, there is no statutory definition of what a non-material amendment is and no right to appeal.

Minor material amendments planning application again do not significantly change a scheme but include “material” rather than “non-material” amendments.

This area of the planning system can be quite complex and obtaining the right professional advice is beneficial to reduce the time and cost associated with obtaining the right consent. We have a wide range of experience in dealing with amendment planning applications; for more information, please see our Case Studies page.

Discharge of Conditions

Planning applications are often approved with numerous planning conditions, some of which are required to be met before development or occupation. Pre-commencement conditions prevent the implementation of building works, and therefore the understanding and early discharge of condition planning applications are vital to ensuring developments can commence on site.

We have a wide range of experience in dealing with discharge of planning conditions planning applications; for more information, please see our Case Studies page.

Prior Notification

Some development (telecommunications, demolition and agriculture or forestry) do not require the submission of planning applications but a different process where the local planning authority is notified prior to the development taking place.

Prior Approval

For more information please see our Case Studies page.

Please contact us for more information on how we can assist with your planning application and to obtain a cost effective, appropriate and robust planning permission.

For developers, architects, businesses and private clients you’ll have the go-ahead to start construction.

For land owners, you’ll have the reassurance that you’ve added value to your site.

Whether you need an expert on your team to secure permission for a major mixed-use scheme or a unique self-build home, our fresh planning insights will help you achieve your goal.

RSS Planning Portal RSS Feed

  • Planning news - 7 May 2020 7th May 2020
    PINS to hold digital hearing, COVID-19: Green space should be a priority in local plans, Bradford adopts design guide. And more stories...
  • Planning news - 30 April 2020 30th April 2020
    Fund set up to help heritage sector through Covid-19, Consultancy launches Covid-19 tracker, New regulations for Welsh local authority meetings should help planning. And more stories...