Planning FAQ

How do I make a planning application?

Decide what type of application you need to make. This could be a full or householder application but there are a few circumstances when you may want to make an outline application - for example, if you want to see what the council thinks of the building work you intend to carry out before making detailed drawings (but you will still need to submit details at a later stage). You can apply online to send the completed application forms to our Brympton Way Office, together with the correct fee. Each application must be accompanied by documentation as detailed in the national and local validation checklists. It is not necessary to make the application yourself. If you wish, you can appoint an agent (eg; an architect, a solicitor, or a builder) to make it for you. Anyone can make an application, irrespective of who owns the land or buildings concerned. However, if you are not the owner, or if you have only part-ownership, you have to inform the owner or those who share ownership.

How long will my application take?

All applications should be decided within an 8-week timescale which is set by Government. Officers will aim to decide your application within this period but if your application is large or complex and/or needs to go the Area Committee then it may take longer. For Trees in Conservation Area the decision period is 6 weeks. At the end of the 6 weeks if you have not heard from the Planning Office you can proceed with the specified works.

Do I need permission for adverts/advertising?

The display of all signage is controlled by national legislation. However, some types of advertisement are excluded from control, while many others benefit from what is known as Deemed Consent, which does not necessitate the submission of a formal application subject to certain restrictions. More information is available by going to

Do I need permission for a change of use?

In many cases, a change of use of a building or land does not require planning permission. Planning permission is not required when both the present and proposed uses fall within the same 'class' as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. It is also possible to change use between some classes without making an application. Planning Permission is normally required where the current and proposed use are in different classes, one or both does not fall within any class or there is a mixture of different uses involved. Before you negotiate a lease or buy a property, it may be advisable to consider whether you need to obtain planning permission for your intended use and, if so, your chances of getting it.


Do I need permission to do works to a listed building?

You will need to apply for Listed Building Consent if either of the following cases apply. (1) you want to demolish a listed building. (2) you want to alter or extend a listed building in a manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. You may also need Listed Building Consent for any works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building. Check the position carefully with the Planning Office - it is a criminal offence to carry out work which needs Listed Building Consent without obtaining it beforehand.


Do I need permission to create a drive/drop a kerb outside my house?

An access made onto a classified road requires planning permission. Please note that the consent of the Highway Authority may also be required. The provision of a hardstanding of any size for private domestic use is permitted, as is the formation of an access to an unclassified road. Planning Portal advice on creating a drive/drop a kerb

How much will my planning application cost?

The amount payable varies according to the type of development proposed. The revenue from fees contributes towards the cost to the council of handling applications and the fee is not refundable unless the application is invalid. Where the local planning authority fails to determine your application, or where you submit a valid application and then withdraw it at any time before it has been determined, the fee will not be refundable. However, if the local authority fails to determine your application, you can appeal.

SSDC Planning application fees sheet    Use the Planning Portal Fee and Volume Calculator

As a result of the time and resources involved in giving pre-application advice, from the 1 May 2017 we have introduced pre-application charges based on the type of proposal. 

Additional Costs - Copying, History Cards, Decision Notices etc.


How long does a planning application last?

Generally, unless your permission says otherwise, you can begin the development at any time within three years of the granting of planning permission. If you have not started work by then, you will probably need to reapply. If the permission is subject to conditions, for example, requiring you to submit for approval details of a specified aspect of the development which was not fully described in the application, these must be dealt with before the development can begin. If outline permission has been granted, you will need to submit a further application for approval of anything that was not covered by the outline application (known as "reserved matters") before starting work. This must be done within two years of the grant of outline permission.

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