Planning customer charter

We want you to receive an excellent customer experience. To enable this we have created nine standards you can expect from us when you need our help.

1. Service standards

  • When you contact us, it is our aim to be able to answer your query at the first point of contact. If we are unable to do this:
  • We aim to return any voicemail messages left on the same, or next, working day
  • If you contact us with a query by our general planning email account, we will confirm receipt by email within two working days, advising you of the officer dealing with that matter, their direct contact details and intended timescale for response
  • We will respond to any queries within the timescale stated
  • If you contact us looking for information, we will help you to find it by making as much information as possible available on our website, and show you how to find it.

2. Pre-application

  • We will encourage you to obtain pre-application advice wherever possible
  • When we receive a request for pre-application advice we will confirm safe receipt; and tell you by when and who will be dealing with your query and provide an estimate of any likely extra costs involved
  • We will respond to your pre-application inquiry at the time and in the form we say we are going to reply
  • We will advise you of what additional work we need from you to enable us to reach a positive conclusion for your proposals if it is possible to do so.

3. Submission of application (validation)

  • When we receive an application from you, we aim to tell you whether it is valid or not within five working days
  • If for any reason we need additional information, we aim to tell you in writing what information we need, and give you 14 days to provide that information
  • Where possible we will advise you of places where you can get information to help you make your application valid.

4. Notification and consultation

  • We will publish a list weekly on our website of all applications received
  • When we receive a planning application on land or buildings directly next to a property you occupy, we will tell you of the application
  • When an application affects a listed building, or its setting, or affects a conservation area, we will post a site notice near to the site, so that the community is aware

5. Commenting on planning applications

  • We will advise you where you can get details of planning applications we have notified you of and how you can comment on the application
  • We will advise you on making comments, and issues that can or cannot be taken into account in reaching a decision
  • If you choose to comment on application, we aim to confirm safe receipt of any comment by email.

6. Decision making

  • All decisions will be made in accordance with the relevant legislation, taking into account only giving weight to matters which are material and relevant
  • If you are the applicant, you will be advised of the intended mechanism of decision, whether it’s under the scheme of delegation or at committee
  • If you have commented on a planning application, the points made will be taken into account in reaching any decision
  • A copy of the officer’s report on any application should be available to view on our website within 48 hours of the decision but in some cases may take up to 30 days.

7. Major applications

  • We are keen to encourage positive development within the borough
  • We aim to enable community involvement in deciding all major applications that have a significant effect on the community
  • We will work towards the best quality of decisions and will put making the right decision first.

8. Enforcement

  • We will take any allegations of breaches of planning control seriously
  • We aim to undertake an assessment of any complaints about breaches of planning control
  • We aim to keep all parties in the enforcement process informed of our actions, and advise them of the outcomes of any investigations.

We want to deliver the best possible planning service that we can. If you have ideas on how we can improve our service, please tell us. Write to:


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