top of page


The planning process can be difficult to understand. This is why we have created an easy to read flow chart, highlighting all of the key steps to obtaining planning permission, through to starting the building work.

The Planning Process

JAGMA The Planning Process Website Versi


How much does planning application cost?

The fee for a planning application will vary depending on the type of application and size of the development. The most common Householder Planning Application will cost £206, a Lawful Development Certificate costs £103 and Prior Approval Larger Home Extension Application costs £96. There are ways of reducing these fees depending on your circumstances. These prices are set by the government and should not vary between local authorities.

Which planning application do I need?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the detail of the proposal. Commonly an eight meter rear extension on a detached house and six meter rear extensions on a terraced/semi-detached house is classed as permitted development. However, you will need to apply for the Prior Approval Larger Home Extension Application as well as a Lawful Development Certificate. Three meter double story extensions and loft conversions are also classed as permitted development. Anything outside these limits, or if your property falls within a conservation area, has an article four direction (permitted development rights removed) or is listed, a full planning application is likely to be required.

How long does a planning application last for?

Usually, full planning applications are valid for three years. A Lawful Development Certificate remains valid indefinitely if the development described is carried out as per the granted application.

How long does it take to acquire permission?

Once you have submitted your planning application to the local authority, they will first need to validate your application. This can be done as quickly as the same day or up to two weeks after you submit your application. This time will vary depending on the local authority, how busy they are, if you have been through the pre-application advice process, and if your application is fully completed. Once the application is validated it can take up to eight weeks to receive a decision. The whole process commonly takes between eight and twelve weeks.

What is Pre-Application Advice and do I need it?

Pre-application advice is a service that most local authorities provide to evaluate your projects proposal against the current planning legislation as well as speeding up the planning application process. This service does normally cost and will vary between local authorities (the turnaround time will also vary). This is an excellent service if your proposal is complex or if you want to increase your chances of a successful application. After the council checks your proposal, they may suggest changes or let you know if there are any issues with your proposal. Please note that pre-application advice does not mean that your proposal will be granted.

Who can submit planning applications?

Anyone can submit a planning application.

What happens if the planning application fails?

If your first planning application fails, there is no need to worry, you have a few options. Firstly, you can amend your proposal to accommodate the reason for refusal and re-submit the application. The second option is to go through the appeal process. You can only appeal if you have a valid reason to do so. This process can be lengthy and may not change the original planning decision. Lastly, if your proposal is unobtainable, it may be worth looking at an alternative extension or adaptation which you would be happy with and try again with a new proposal.

I now have planning permission can I start building?

Once you have obtained planning permission, you can now start looking for a builder, however you will still need to comply with building control. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. One way is to apply for a full plans submission. For this you will need to submit detailed construction drawings. Alternatively, you can submit a Building Notice which allows you to start building with the building control officer checking work as you go. Both routes with the local authority cost the same amount, but you may choose to use an approved inspector where prices will vary. There are many options when you get to this stage but the most important thing to remember is that planning permission and building control approval are two different processes.

If you have any questions, queries or need more information give us a call on 0208 051 0789.

Visit Planning Portal website for interactive guides and more information.

bottom of page