How to apply for planning permission

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Health Assured team

29 June 2021

Planning Permission

According to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, planning permission is required if an applicant intends to build something new, make a major change to a current building, or change the use of the building. There are several different types of planning permission including full, outline and householder planning consent.

Full Planning Permission

Full planning applications require detailed proposals to be submitted as part of the application process. The proposal should include details about the work being completed and include drawings/plans showing these intended changes.

Outline Planning Permission

This application allows individuals to submit a general overview of the intended development to understand if the request is likely to be accepted. This type of application is usually used by developers of large areas of land to determine whether a full planning application is likely to be granted before drafting and submitting a full proposal.

If permission is granted, the applicant will then provide the remainder of the information for the planning application using a ‘Reserved Matters Approval’ application. There is typically a time limit of three years from the date that the Outline Planning Permission was granted to submit an application for Reserved Matters.

Householder planning consents

These are requests to alter or enlarge a single house, or to conduct work on a garden/boundary line. Anything that falls outside of this remit would require a full planning application to be submitted.  

Planning permission is not always required and there are numerous permitted developments which individuals can complete without obtaining planning permission, such as sheds or conservatories, if built in line with your Local Planning Authorities (LPA) terms and conditions. As a general guide, work consisting of interior alteration which has no material effect on the appearance of the building, or the change in use falls within the same class as the previous usage. This is known as Permitted Development Rights and can be found under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

Making an application

Planning permission applications can be submitted online through your Local Planning Authority website or via paper through the post. For postal submissions, 4 copies of the documentation will be required.

Once an application has been submitted, the LPA will review and decide whether the application was valid. For an application to be considered valid a fully completed application must have been submitted, the application fee must have been paid and the application would need to comply with both national and locate requirements. It is therefore recommended that applicants seek advice from the LPA before submitting their application to ensure they are abiding by any local requirements.

The LPA will then respond with a ‘validation notice’ or a ‘non-validation notice’. If individuals receive a non-validation notice, you may need to resubmit the proposal including the relevant information. However, it is recommended to speak to the LPA directly, to find out whether it is an issue that can be easily remedied without submitting a completely new application.

If individuals receive a validation notice your application will be processed by the LPA and information of the application will be published on the planning register on their website.

This allows interested parties such as neighbors to raise any concerns they have about the proposed changes. Valid grounds for objections include the following.

  • Significant loss of light.
  • Infringement of privacy.
  • Lack of access.
  • Impact on highway safety.


The LPA will consider the application and any objections raised to provide an outcome within 8 weeks for minor applications and within 13 weeks for major applications. If an application is accepted the development can begin, subject to any conditions.


The application process for planning permission in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland differs from England and Wales. For more information, please contact Health Assured through our 24 hour helpline on 0800 028 0199.

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