What happens to a planning application?

The process we follow after you have submitted a planning application

This section covers:

  • What happens when we first receive an application?
  • Who we consult when making a planning decision?
  • What we analyse and how we produce our report?
  • How long it takes for us to make a decision?
  • The final decision
  • What do I do if my application is refused?
  • Other permissions you may require

What happens when we first receive an application?

On receipt of a planning application, we will firstly check the application to ensure that it is complete.  This process is called validation.

A valid application should contain:

  • a completed standard application form
  • mandatory national information requirements, including scaled drawings and other necessary documents
  • the correct fee

Further guidance can be found in validation requirements.

If you don’t provide all the required information we will class your application as invalid.

Invalid applications

If your application is found to be incomplete or insufficient information submitted, we will write to you advising the reasons and what is required to make the application valid, this information should be submitted within 28 days.  Please note: If you have employed an agent/architect, we will deal with them.  

If the information is not received within the specified time then the application will be returned, along with a refund of any monies which has been paid with the application.

If you are unhappy about the reason for the application being invalid then please contact us to discuss the matter.  If you feel that this cannot be resolved there is an appeal process for non-validation.  Further guidance and appeal forms can be obtained from the Planning Inspectorate making a non-validation appeal – Wales

Valid applications

Once the application has been validated, it will be registered and we will send out an acknowledgement letter which provides you with the contact details of the case officer, the planning application reference number and your statutory rights regarding the timescale after which you can appeal against non-determination to the planning inspectorate.

Information submitted with a planning application, including details of the agent and applicant is public information.  These details, along with electronic images of the documents are made available on our website.  Certain personal information contained in the application such as the applicant’s telephone number, email address and signatures are not made available on our website.

Consultation and publicity

Once the application has been validated and registered it will be publicised in various ways.  

  • we must consult certain government departments, interest groups and/or specialists depending on the nature of the application together with other Council departments
  • we will write to occupiers of properties having a common boundary with the application site, to advise them that a planning application has been submitted
  • we will publish the application on the Council’s website
  • certain applications will require a site notice and/or be advertised in a local newspaper.  

This consultation period usually starts within one week of the application being registered and lasts for a statutory 21 days.

Anyone can comment on a planning application.  You do not need to have received a consultation letter to make a comment.  The comments will be assessed by the planning case officer.   Any comments should be made in writing:

For further guidance please see how to comment on a planning application

Where amendments or additional information are received a re-consultation may take place for a period of usually 14 days to an application. 

Site visit

We will visit the site and assess the impact of the application, taking into account planning policies and any responses we have received. 


We will start to analyse any relevant issues we have identified.

We are only able to take account of material planning considerations.  In considering an application, we have a statutory duty to have regard to the provisions of the development plan and any other “material considerations”.  

The most common “material considerations” include the following, although the list is not exhaustive.

  • overlooking/loss of privacy
  • loss of light or overshadowing
  • parking
  • highway safety
  • traffic
  • noise
  • affect on listed buildings and/or conservation areas
  • layout and density of building
  • design, appearance and materials
  • nature conservation
  • landscaping

Matters which cannot be taken into account are:

  • private issues between neighbours e.g. land/boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc.
  • loss of value of property

We will consider the responses received to see what comments have been made. 

If we can see that a minor amendment would resolve problems or enhance the final build we may contact you or your agent to discuss the suggested changes.

Report making

We will begin to prepare a report that includes a description of the proposal, any views expressed during the consultation period, and any policy implications.  It will have a recommendation as to whether the application is acceptable or not and will set out the reasons for approval or refusal, and any conditions which need to be complied with.

Decision making

When the report is finished a recommended decision is passed to the Development Manager to check based on planning law.

The Planning Services Manager has “delegated powers” which allows him to authorise under delegation due to his position, experience and qualifications.

If an application is complex, has a lot of objections or public interest, we may present a recommended decision to the planning committee.

Planning committee

The planning committee is made up of elected Members and is responsible for making decisions on the major and more sensitive planning applications.

You are welcome to attend planning committee meetings and listen to the debate.  However, if you wish to speak at the planning committee to make objections or representations then you will need to see speaking at planning committee 

How long does it take?

Most planning applications are decided within eight weeks, from the date it was valid, unless it is a major application and has an environmental impact assessment submitted, the time period is 16 weeks.

If the case officer cannot decide your application within the eight weeks we will send out a letter requesting that time limit be extended.  

Decision notice

Once a decision has been made we will send out the decision notice to you or your agent.  The notice will inform you if your application has been approved or refused.  

If it has been approved it may have conditions attached to it.  The conditions may restrict what you can do on the premises/land or if you need to obtain specific approval for aspects of the development, such as the materials to be used, before you can proceed.  

If it has been refused it will contain the reasons as to why the proposal was unsuccessful.  

A copy of the decision will be available on our website.

What do I do if my planning application is refused?

Ensure that you understand the reason for refusal on your decision notice.  The case officer will be able to explain them to you if you are unclear.

If you wish you can:

  • submit a revised application to overcome the reasons for refusal
  • contact the case officer for advice, as alterations may be suggested to make your development acceptable
  • Appeal.  You can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate Wales if your application has been refused or you are not happy with some of the conditions attached.  Find out more about planning appeals.

Community infrastructure levy (CIL)

CIL is a levy which is charged on certain developments.  The money received from the levy is used to support and manage the impacts of development by funding infrastructure that the Council and local community would like.

If your development is CIL liable we will issue a CIL liability notice along with your decision notice.  This notice sets out the total amount of CIL payable for your development.

Read about how CIL works on our CIL section.

Building regulations

As well as getting planning permission you may also need building control approval to ensure that the works reach certain standards and the building is safe and energy efficient.  Visit the building regulation approval section.

Other permissions you may require

Even if your work is granted planning permission, you may still require additional permissions for the work you are planning.  

Special consent is needed for:

You should also check for the following before you start work:

  • ancient monuments
  • conservation areas
  • covenants and private rights
  • licensed sites and premises
  • listed buildings
  • the party wall act 1996
  • protected species
  • Rights of way

Advice on the above can be found on the planning portal  

Contact us