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Planning application process

Development Control advice notes 

The following explains how your planning application will be processed and determined.


1. Validation 

Your application will be checked to ensure all documents and fees required by the law have been submitted. If items are outstanding, you will be advised of the omissions and invited to complete the application.


2. Consultation and Publicity 

The council is required to publicise all planning applications.

The publicity can take 3 forms:

  • a notice posted on our site
  • individual letters to adjacent and/or nearby properties or;
  • publication of a notice in a local newspaper.

The letters sent to neighbours or nearby properties will inform them that the application has been made and advertisements, where required, are placed in the appropriate local newspaper and on the site. These will explain how to view plans and how to comment on them, usually 21 days from the date of publishing.

Consultations are sent to various bodies to obtain their expert view.

3. Consideration and Assessment 

The site is inspected and the application assessed by the case planning officer, taking into account planning policies from the Local Plan and other sources such as The National Planning Policy Framework, the Melton Local Plan, consultation responses and public comments and of course site specific factors, such as how the proposal appears in its surroundings and affects its neighbours.

4. Negotiation

If there are problems with the application but there is scope to solve them through minor alterations, the officer will contact you to seek suitable amendment. This will identify the nature of the problem, what measures are needed to overcome it and a timetable within which revised plans are required. It may be necessary to repeat stages 2 and 3 if amendments are made which significantly change the application.

If the application requires significant alterations to make it acceptable, which would not be possible in the time scale of the application, then it is unlikely that contact will be made by the case officer and the recommendation will be made on the plans as submitted.

Occasionally, problems are identified to which there appears to be no realistic solution. In these cases, we would not normally make contact and the application will be determined as submitted.

5. Recommendation

The application case planning officer will make a recommendation to the person or body authorised to make a decision. This will be the Development Committee or the Head of Regulatory Services, who have the authority to make a decision in certain circumstances when delegated.

If the application is to be decided at a Committee meeting, you will be contacted and advised of the time, venue and of the arrangements to enable you to take part. This will also be explained to any objectors or supporters of the application.

The meetings are held in public and the Committee papers (including a written report on the applications concerned) are published one week before it meets. Therefore, the notice given is limited to this period.

The Planning Committee reports can be inspected online (by selecting the appropriate meeting date) or at the Council offices. Papers will be available also one week before the meeting.

6. Decision

A decision is taken on the application by the appropriate body. Where the decision lies with a Committee, there may be a site inspection by the Committee prior to making a decision.

In reaching a decision, the law limits the matters that can be taken into account to the "Development Plan," (the Local Plan policies relating to the application) and to other planning matters, often referred to as "material considerations".

What does and does not qualify as a "planning matter" varies between applications, but can generally be summarised as the impact of the development proposed on the surrounding environment and infrastructure. Matters that should not be taken into account include:

  • who is applying,
  • their past history
  • the effect on the value of neighbours property.

Further information about the role of the planning system and on planning matters is available on our planning pages

Once a decision has been reached on your application you, or your agent, will be notified in writing of the decision. 

When granting any planning permission, the council will be concerned to ensure that neighbouring properties and the local environment are not adversely affected and may therefore impose conditions as appropriate to include control of the following;

  • times of operation;
  • road safety and parking provision;
  • noise emission;
  • numbers of personnel employed;
  • permitted development rights;
  • the period of consent (to assess any effects of the business);
  • landscaping and boundary treatment.

Once you have planning consent you will still require Building Regulations and you should contact Building Control regarding your proposal. If Building Control requires any alterations to the approved plans you should contact the Development Control Team immediately, in order to ensure your planning permission remains valid.

7. Timetable

The Council is allowed 8 weeks to determine applications, failing which applicants may appeal against the absence of a decision. The duties of publicity and consultation (see 2 and 3 above) occupy the first 4-5 weeks of an application and the Council can normally only start to formulate their view of an application after this period has elapsed and all necessary replies are received.

The Council aims to make a final decision within the 8-week period (which it achieves in around 80% of cases). This can be a result of a number of reasons such as the need for additional information, awaiting the submission of amended plans or the need for an application to be presented to a Committee meeting.

Last updated 6 September 2021
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