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Planning process explained

The planning applications process can take from around 8 weeks for minor applications through to 13 weeks for larger major applications. Here we explain what happens at each stage of the planning application process. 

Planning applications process 


When we receive your application it will be registered on our system. Your application will then be checked  to ensure we have all the information we need and meets our validation requirements.

We will then send you a letter confirming that the application has been validated or a letter requesting further information before the application can be validated. Keep this letter safe, it has your planning application reference number on and if valid, details of which case officer will be dealing with your application, as well as the date by which a decision should be made.

If you use an agent to act on your behalf, all contact will be made to them instead of you. All documentation will be sent to them, including the final decision notice.

After an application has been validated we aim to have a decision within 8 weeks for all minor application and 13 weeks for all major applications. If we are unlikely to meet these targets we will let you know.

Advertisement and consultations

Once an application has been validated it will be open for consultation. The application will be able to be viewed online and comments made on the application.

Letters inviting residents to make comments on the application will be sent to any property which bounds the application site. Site notices and press notices may also be erected or published.

In the majority of cases responses will be invited within 21 days from the date on the letter or notice. If you have received a letter, please check the period by which you are requested to make comments by.

Government bodies, interest groups and specialists may also be consulted depending in the application.

Site inspections

As part of every application received the planning officer dealing with the application will undertake a thorough site inspection to assess the impact of the proposed development.

In exceptional circumstances we may also deem it necessary to undertake a site inspection from neighbouring properties.

Decision making

After the consultation period has ended a decision will be made on the application.

Ashfield District Council, like all authorities, has a delegation agreement that certain types of application are decided under delegated powers by planning officers. In other cases, applications will be decided by the Planning Committee. Whilst the majority of applications are dealt with under delegated powers, approximately 10% of applications will be decided by members of the Planning Committee.

Should an application be refused permission, the applicant can lodge an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The applicant can also appeal conditions attached to any approval if they are deemed to be unfair or unreasonable.

There is no third party right of appeal for objectors.

There is more information on how to lodge an appeal on the planning appeals web page. 

Legal agreements

For some larger developments, there may be a requirement to enter into a legal agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act. This is usually required to provide affordable housing and site specific local infrastructure such as open space. Contributions may also be required for improvements to transport infrastructure, highways, education and health. Applicants will be advised of what specific requirements and contributions are required prior to a decision being made.

Applicants will be asked to pay our legal fees in drafting, negotiating and completing any required legal agreement.