Understanding the Stages of Planning Permission

So you’ve finalised your drawings and you are ready to submit your planning permission application.

What happens next?

In this blog post, we unravel the mysteries of the planning permission process, breaking it down into stages so you know exactly what to expect.

Step 1 – Application Submission

First things first, you must formally submit your application. This typically includes detailed plans, drawings, reports, and other documentation outlining the proposed development, its design, impact on the environment, and compliance with local planning policies and regulations.

The application fee is also paid at this stage. We handle all aspects of the application submission on behalf of our clients here at Taylor and Co Architects.

Step 2 – Validation

Once received, the local planning authority will check the application to ensure you’ve submitted all the relevant information and documentation. They will request any missing documents before processing the application.

Once all documents have been received the application will be validated (accepted) and you will receive an acknowledgement.

Step – 3 Consultation

The application is now subject to a period of public consultation. It is during this period that members of the public, stakeholders, and other relevant authorities are given the opportunity to comment on the proposed development.

Your neighbours will receive a letter notifying them of the proposals and where appropriate, notices are placed on or near the site to direct people to the application which is publicly available on the local authority website.

The formal consultation period normally lasts for 21 days.

Any comments received during this period are considered by the planning authority as part of their decision-making process.

Step 4 – Site visit and assessment

If a site visit is required, the planning officer will visit the site and carry out an inspection. They will gather any site specific information such as photographs and consider neighboring properties and the local landscape.

Step 5 – Consideration

Once all information has been gathered, and the consultation period has closed, the planning officer will review the application and make a thorough assessment. They will take into consideration the local and national planning policies, the site’s suitability for the proposed development, design quality, impact on the environment, and the representations received during the consultation period.

Based on all this information, the planning officer will reach a balanced view and provide their recommendation. This may include amendments to deal with any issues raised or to improve the application.

Step 6 – A decision

Decisions are made in one of two ways. Either under delegated powers or by planning committee.

Under delegated powers, a decision is made by senior officers who have been given the powers to decide planning applications under certain circumstances.

Major or complex applications are usually made by a planning committee, which is made up of 12 elected members who sit once a month.

Once a decision has been reached, a decision notice is issued. If it has been approved, this sets out the conditions, but if it has been refused, it will set out the reasons why.


Although it can be daunting, here at Taylor and Co Architects we are familiar with all aspects of the planning process so we can guide you through it and manage it on your behalf.

Get in touch to find out more.