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Timescale for applications

The council has eight weeks to make a decision on planning applications of a minor nature (such as minor extensions to properties and changes of use), 13 weeks to make a decision on applications of a major nature (housing schemes, power stations and large commercial developments) and 16 weeks on applications accompanied by an environmental statement.

During this time the case officer will consult, in appropriate cases, the owners of property who might be affected by the application, the local highway authority, parish councils, public services and other organisations.

The officer will investigate the site history, review relevant planning policies and consider whether or not the proposal is acceptable in principle. If necessary, discussions are held with the applicant and amendments are made to the application. Every application site is inspected. Many applications are straightforward and uncontroversial.

The Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture generally determines these on the council’s behalf (known as a delegated decision.) In other cases, a recommendation on whether or not permission should be granted is made to the Planning Committee.

Some complicated or large-scale applications may take longer to decide. In such a case, the applicant is consulted to seek agreement to an extended period. If there is no agreement, the applicant has the right of appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.