1. Do I need planning permission?
If you are in doubt as to whether planning permission is required or not, it is best to contact the Planning Helpdesk on 01284 757675 for advice. The Planning Portal's Interactive house allows you to see planning information in a fun and interesting way and can relate to a particular room/area.
2. Can I come in and discuss a proposal with a planning officer?
Advice can be obtained in 2 ways:
A. It is possible to speak to a planning officer at West Suffolk House, but we strongly advise that you call at least 24 hours in advance to check that an officer will be available. The officer will be able to provide general advice on the planning process and policies. This advice is oral and free, regardless of the type of proposal but regrettably planning officers are unable to provide site-specific advice. If you require site specific advice you will need to submit a pre application request.
B. On payment of a fee you will receive a comprehensive pre-application advice service. With this service you will benefit from: A dedicated case officer A meeting with planning and other technical officers, as appropriate*. The meeting will cover a range of topics. A summary list of these is available to view on our website A comprehensive written response in the form of a Pre-Application Report/letter or email. A template of the report is also available on our website.
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3. How long does the application process take?
For domestic applications the normal response is four to six weeks. Commercial applications, due to their complex nature may take a little longer. In any event the Authority will endeavor to determine all applications within eight weeks. Most applications can be dealt with under the council's Scheme of Delegation. Some applications have to be reported to the Development Control Committee which meets once a month.
4. Where can I get Ordnance Survey maps from?
Our Ordnance Survey licence only permits us to sell site location plans that are to be submitted as part of a Planning Application. The charge for four site plans for a planning application is £23.00. Ordnance Survey maps are, however, available from other organisations.
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5. Can I obtain copies of the plans?
Yes: It is possible to obtain copies of plans provided they are part of the planning decision. The borough council will make a charge for any copying that it has to carry out.
6. Can I speak to the Planning Officer dealing with my application?
Yes the officer's name and direct dial telephone number are on all correspondence sent out.
7. How can I view details of the application?
A copy of the planning application is available to view at Planning Helpdesk during opening hours, Monday to Friday 8.45am-5pm. All planning applications received from January 2006 are available to view online from our Online Planning and building Control page.
8. How long do I have to comment/object?
You have 21 days from the date of registration of the application to submit your written comments to the Planning Department.
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9. When are the committee meetings held and can I attend/speak?
The Development Control (Planning) Committee meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. Dates of other meetings can be found by clicking on the Planning Committee dates 'more information' on the Planning Home Page. They are public meetings that anyone can attend. Those wishing to make representations will need to register the day before up to 5pm by:
Telephone - 01284 757120 or 01284 757176 or 01284 757613
by fax, addressed to Democratic Services, to (01284) 757110
It is also possible to register to speak outside the Council Chamber up to 9.50am on the morning of the meeting.
You can view committee agendas and see recommendations being made on applications that will be considered by the Development Control Committee. Agenda papers will be on the website five days before the meeting.
10. If my application is refused, can I appeal?
Yes, you have six months from the date of issue of the decision notice to appeal against a refusal. Forms can be obtained online via the Planning Inspectorate or by writing to:
Department for Communities and Local Government The Planning Inspectorate Room 3/24 Hawk Wing Temple Quay House 2 The Square Temple Quay Bristol BS1 6PN.
11. Can I find out the location of my boundaries and who owns a parcel of land?
The council does not keep land ownership records and has no power to rule where there are boundary disputes, this is a legal matter. Land ownership records are held at HM Land Registry at Earle House, Portland Street, Kingston-upon-Hull, Humberside HU2 8JN.
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12. Can I obtain a copy of a decision notice?
Yes, there is a charge of £7.50 per consent but copies of all decisions on applications received since January 2006 are on the website within the Online Planning - application details
13. Where can I view the 2001 Census?
15. Can i arrange a site meeting to discuss a new proposal?
The Council is very pleased to be able to offer pre-application advice for a fee. However to ensure that you, the customer, receive the best quality advice and ensure that staffing resources are used in the most effective manner you must first submit details in writing either by post, email, or by completing the enquiry form on our website and the relevant fee. Planning matters can be very complex and it is important to be able to research the planning history of any site and to ascertain what the relevant policies of the Development Plan are before being able to offer any opinion. Officers will only be able to comment on the acceptability of a proposal and will not be able to offer advice on what is possible on a site. The more information you provide the more detailed and informed the officer response will be. From this information officers will carry out a desk top appraisal of your proposal and respond in writing. If appropriate a meeting in the office may be arranged to discuss and in some exceptional circumstances an officer may arrange a visit to become familiar with a site and its surroundings. You can visit our website for further advice on the pre-application advice service and the associated fees.
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16. Can you recommend any architects or planning consultants?
We regret that it is not appropriate for the Council to recommend any business or individual. Details of local architects, surveyors and planning consultants are available from the local phone books and directories and from
the RTPI at rtpiconsultants.co.uk
the RIBA at ribafind.org
or the RICS at rics.org/Services/Findasurveyor
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17. How do i comment on a planning application?
You have 21 days from the date of registration of the application to submit your written comments to the Planning Department. Either by email, letter or online when viewing the application online. Please note that any comments received will be placed on the application file where it will be available for public inspection and copying. It will also be published on the Council's website. It will be used in the determination of the application and in any appeal that may be made by the applicant relating to the decision made by the Authority on the application.
18. Are my comments published?
Any comments received will be placed on the application file where it will be available for public inspection and copying. It will also be published on the Council's website. It will be used in the determination of the application and in any appeal that may be made by the applicant relating to the decision made by the Authority on the application.
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