Planning application process - five steps

This page explains what happens to your planning application after we receive it. Use the links below to find out more:

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Step one: We register your application

Application forms are sent to us by the Planning Portal - find out about applying online.  

The first thing we do is check that the forms, plans associated documents (such as the design and access statement, transport assessment, tree report) are complete and the fee has been paid.

For almost half of all applications we receive, we do not get given enough information and some are incomplete. If information is missing or if your application is not accurate, we will return it to you and tell you what we need. Unfortunately we can't register your application until it is complete.

Need help getting your planning application ready? To help you get your planning application ready, why not find out about the pre-application service we can offer. We charge for this service, but it can help you to save time and money in the long-run. Find out more about our pre-app service.

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Step two: We tell you what will happen

When we have all the correct information, we will write to tell you that your application is registered with us.

We will let you know the date your application was registered, contact details for the officer dealing with your application and the date a decision is likely to be made.

Your application will be given a planning reference and will be added to our planning system.

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Step three: We will advertise your application

Once your application is registered, we will tell people about your application. We will write to nearby residents and/or put up notices around your development site. Sometimes we do both of these things.

We may also advertise the application in the local newspaper.

By law we have to give local residents 21 days to view your application and to give us their comments about it.

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Step four: We will consider your application

We look at whether your application is in line with local planning policies and all other planning considerations. We consider the views of local residents and organisations that we talk to about your application - such as the Environment Agency or English Heritage.

We will visit your site and consider your proposals in relation to all relevant local features. Sometimes this can only be done when you are there with us, so please make sure you supply your contact details with your application.

If we have concerns about your proposal, but think you could do something to sort them out, we will usually try to contact you to see if the application can be changed.

You have the option at any stage to withdraw your application in writing to give you time to tackle our concerns. Sometimes you can make an amended application free of charge. Please contact the officer dealing with your application to check whether this applies in your case.

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Step five: We will make a decision on your application

The majority of planning applications received are determined under delegated powers conferred to officers under the council's constitution. Generally applications  are reported to the planning committee if:

  • significant planning objections  are raised by a parish / town council and officers are recommending approval
  • a councillor of Lichfield District Council has 'called - in' an application
  • it is on/relates to council owned land
  • the applicant is either a councillor of Lichfield District Council or an officer of the council
  • there is a S106 legal agreement pertaining to 2 or more obligations

If your application is considered by the planning committee, you may wish to attend the meeting. Find out more.

The government encourages us to make decisions on most applications within eight weeks. For major applications we aim to make decisions within 13 weeks.

We do our best to make decisions in these timescales but sometimes decisions can take longer. The planning officer handling your application will let you know when to expect a decision from us.

From the 1st March 2017, applicants / agents will be notified electronically of the decision for their planning application/s.

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Can I appeal a decision?

If you seek permission to carry out works to your property and your application isn't decided within a set period (usually 8 weeks), or you get a decision that you disagree with, you have a right to appeal. Appeals are made to the First Secretary of State in England. All appeals are administered by the Planning Inspectorate. Find out more.


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