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Obtaining planning permission - overview
An application for express planning permission for development is made to the Local Planning Authority. This will normally be the district council or London Borough, or the county or county borough council in Wales.
'County matters' are the responsibility of county councils in non-metropolitan areas. These include the winning and working of minerals and the deposit of waste.
For the detail see the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2010, SI 2010/2184 (DMPO). There is now a standard application form. An application may be made by someone who is not the land owner, but must include a certificate that notice has been served on the owner and certain tenants.
The local planning authority must publicise applications, in most cases by displaying a site notice on or near the land to which the application relates for not less than 21 days, or by serving notice on any adjoining owner or occupier. Some applications must be advertised in a local newspaper.
development which would affect the character or appearance of a conservation area or the setting of a listed building
development not in accordance with the development plan (unless the planning authority propose to refuse consent), and
'major development' (eg buildings with floor space of 1,000 square metres or more, and development on sites of one hectare or more)
The DMPO requires local authorities to list certain information on their websites and to keep information relating to non-material amendments in their planning registers.
Design and access statements
For development consisting of building operations (but excluding some types of domestic works), the application must be accompanied by a design and access statement (in England) or an access statement (in Wales).
The issues which design and access statements must address are specified in the DMPO (article 8), and include:
an assessment of the site and its surroundings
a list of consultees
an evaluation of the proposal
an explanation of Design and appearance of the scheme, and
an explanation of how access will be achieved
From 6 April 2010, it is not necessary to submit a Design and Access Statement in relation to s 73 applications or for applications to extend time or for a specified list of relatively minor development (unless in a conservation area or World Heritage Site).
Environmental impact assessment
Development which is likely to have significant effects on the environment may require an environmental statement. Examples include:
wind farms (with more than two turbines or in a sensitive area)
industrial estate developments larger than 0.5 hectare, and
golf courses larger than one hectare
An environmental statement forms part of the environmental information which a planning authority must take into consideration as part of the planning process. In these cases, the permitted development rights do not apply.
Other information may be required. Details should be given on the planning authority's website.
Development involving the formation, laying out or alteration of any means of access to a highway must be the subject of consultation with the local highway authority. The Environment Agency must be consulted where the development is of one hectare or more. Other cases may also require consultation.
An application can be made for outline planning permission for development consisting of building or other operations. If permission is granted, it will be a condition of the planning consent that details of the 'reserved matters' must be subsequently approved by the planning authority. Reserved matters (in England) may include:
The planning application must include some details in these cases.
Generally, the planning authority must issue a decision notice within eight weeks of receipt of a valid application. The application must include all the required information and the appropriate fee.
The period is 16 weeks where an environmental statement is required and (in England) 13 weeks in the case of major development. Some of these periods can be extended by agreement.
Grant of permission
In England, the time period within which development must be 'begun' is now three years (but the local authority may alter this). The period is still five years in Wales. There is no general time limit for 'completion' of a development, but a 'condition' attached to a consent may specify this and it is possible for a planning authority to issue a completion notice.
For outline consents, application for approval of reserved matters must be made within three years (in England) of the date on which outline consent was granted, and the development begun within two years of final approval of reserved matters.
The general rule is that planning permission runs with the land, but consents may be limited in time, or made personal.
Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is the basis for planning obligations. These are often made by agreement with the local planning authority, but can be unilateral. They are frequently used where it may not otherwise be possible to achieve planning consent. Planning agreements are the means of securing planning gain.
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