Apply for planning permission

Planning permission is required for any work defined as 'development' in Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It is your responsibility to obtain planning permission where required. Failure to do so may result in enforcement being taken against you.

The planning process can be quite complex. We recommend that you read through all the steps below before starting your application process.

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Before you start...

Has the property been through planning before?

If you are unsure of the planning history of your property, the Council can provide a planning history check for a fee of £50.

Apply for planning history check

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Step 1: Understanding your aims

Before applying for planning permission, it's important to understand why the works are wanted. This can help you explore creative options when choosing what you want to develop.

Do I need planning permission?

Not all works require planning permission, so finding this out early could save you a lot of work. The Council offers a 'Do I need planning permission?' advice service. This service includes a telephone conversation with a member of the planning department and confirmation in writing via email.

Find out if you need planning permission

See the links below for guidance on whether you need planning permission:

  • Do I need planning permission? provides information on the different types of development including Article 4 directions and advert control, and what does and doesn't need planning permission.
  • Planning practice guidance (external website) provides general guidance on when you are likely to need planning permission. Use for advice on what falls in the category of 'permitted development'.
  • Planning Portal interactive house (external website) is a visual tool to help you decide whether changes to existing building need planning permission.
  • When is permission required? (external website) is guidance from central government on when you may need planning permission.
  • Planning permission explained (external website) is a summary of what planning permission is and when it is required.

Want some early advice or guidance?

We offer an initial planning advice service to anyone thinking of making a planning application now or in the future. Early engagement with us can reduce planning risks, speed your process and help ensure you get maximum value from the opportunity. For more information please see the planning advice service page.

Apply for initial planning advice

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Step 2: Refining your proposal

Once you have understood whether your proposed works require planning permission, you must choose which type of application best suits your proposal. A guide to the types of applications, what these mean and what is required is set out below:

Have you been recommended follow-on advice by a planning officer?

You only need to apply for follow-on advice at the recommendation of the Council, following the initial advice service.

If you have used our initial advice service, a planning officer may recommend that you seek follow-on advice as part of the Council's planning advice service. This will usually be for situations requiring specialist input (such as conservation, landscape, etc.) For more information please see the planning advice service page.

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Step 3: Preparing your application

After gathering all the information for your proposal, it is then time to prepare your planning application. It is important that you prepare this application correctly or the Council will be unable to process it.

What do I need to submit with my application?

For an application to be valid and meet our best practice guidelines, you must submit all of the following documents. Guidance on how to prepare each document is given in the next section.

 
Document  Requirements 

Application form

fully completed, signed, and dated - either via planning portal, or download a copy (external website)

Site/Block Plan scaled at 1:500 or 1:200 - with scale bar
Location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500, with a red line boundary

Please note that Ordnance Survey copyright law prevents us from
accepting Land Registry plans
.
Ownership certificate  included in application form, but check this is correct
Fee see planning and building control fees for specific fees
Existing and proposed elevations scaled at 1:100 or 1:50 - with scale bar
Existing and proposed floor plans scaled at 1:100 or 1:50 - with scale bar
Ecology checklist  fully completed using the ecology wildlife checklist [PDF | 140KB], with an
ecological survey if required (see below)
CIL liability Your proposal may be subject to charges under CIL.
See Community Infrastructure Levy for more information.

 

Some applications must also include:

Document  Required when Requirements 
Site Sections / levels the works include alterations to ground levels include raised/sunken patios, decking, steps, etc. scaled at 1:100 or 1:50 - with scale bar
Flood Risk Assessment the proposal is in Flood Zone areas 2 or 3 or has over 1 hectare in Flood Zone See plans and documents explained
Design and Access Statement the proposal falls within a Conservation Area See plans and documents explained
Ecology survey the ecology checklist (see above) indicates a survey is required See plans and documents explained

To check if your proposal falls within a designation set out above, see the following resources:

  • MyMaps - part of MyWycombe, shows GIS layers for adopted planning policy and planning constraints

Please note: We are currently updating our GIS layers, in addition to the layers on MyMaps we advise that you also look at the following:

How do I prepare these documents?

Specific guidance and examples of documents and plans submitted with a planning application are set out below.

 
Document name How to / Guidance  Examples 
Application form

Application form - how to [PDF | 75KB]
Download an application form
(external website)

Application form - examples [PDF | 1.01MB]
Site / Location plan

Site/Location plan - guidance
(external website)
Site/Location plan - buy a 
planning map (external website)

Site/Location plan - examples [PDF | 1017KB]
Floor plans These can be drawn electronically or by 
hand. If drawn by hand these must 
be scaled correctly.
Floor plans - examples [PDF | 177KB]
Elevations These can be drawn electronically or by
hand. If drawn by hand these must
be scaled correctly.
Elevations - examples [PDF | 201KB]

Need help making a valid application?

The Council offers a validation advice service at a fee of £25 (telephone) or £50 (face-to-face meeting). This service provides advice to applicants wishing to ensure they make a valid planning application.

Please note: this service is aimed at applicants for householder schemes and will be offered for other schemes in due course.

Apply for validation advice

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Step 4: Submitting your application

Once you have prepared your application, you must choose how to submit it to us. We prefer submissions to be made via the Planning Portal.

Planning Portal

Full payment will be taken by the Planning Portal. For examples of well written supporting documents, please see the best practice for submitting attachments [PDF | 544KB].

Submit application via Planning Portal (external website)

By email

Submit application via email

When submitting your application through any of the above means, be sure to include:

  • Subject header - including address, postcode and proposed work (extension, alternations etc)
  • Completed application form - download yours from Planning Portal (external website)
  • Attachments - ensure these are clearly and appropriately named (including drawing numbers where applicable) and check that any plans include scale bars
  • Contact name and phone number

All documents must be correctly prepared. See our guidance and examples for correct preparation.

For examples of how to submit an application via email, see the best practice document for submitting an email application [PDF | 129KB].

By post

You can send your application by post to:

Planning and Sustainability
Wycombe District Council
Queen Victoria Road
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire HP11 1BB

If sending your application by post be sure to include:

  • completed application form - download yours from Planning Portal (external website)
  • all required documents - provide originals plus one copy
  • a cheque - if paying by cheque, please include this in your application (if you do not include a cheque, a member of the planning department will contact you to arrange payment)
  • all of the plan and document requirements set out above - see our guidance and examples for correct preparation.

What we do when we recieve your application

You will be notified once the Council has recieved your application.

We cannot register your application until the correct fee has been paid. See planning and building control fees for details on the different application fees and how to pay.

Pay application fee

Once the fee has been paid your application will undergo a two-stage check:

  • Registration - checking that all the correct documents have been submitted
  • Validation - checking that the content of the documents is correct

If your application fails either the registration or validation stage, your application will be returned to you. The application fee will be withheld to allow any corrections to be made. If you do not correct your application by the end of the next full calendar month, the Council will deduct a £50 admin charge and refund the balance to you.

Once your application is registered and validated, it will be passed to a planning officer. They will determine whether, on balance, your proposal is acceptable in the context of national policy (external website) and the local development framework.

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Step 5: Amending your planning application

From time to time we may ask an applicant to amend their application. If we consider this necessary, we will contact you and explain the process.

If you wish to amend your application after submission, please contact your case officer.

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Step 6: Getting your decision

Once your planning application has been determined, you will be issued with a decision. This decision is not a simple yes or no answer.

Below are the four main outcomes/decisions that can be made on your application:

Planning conditions

Your decision may be subject to planning conditions. These are conditional requirements that must be met and discharged for the permission to be valid.

How do I remove or amend planning conditions?

Planning conditions can be discharged or amended through an application to the Council by email or post, or through Planning Portal. This costs £34 per request (householder) or £116 per request (other applications).

You can submit your condition discharge request by:

  • using Planning portal (external website)
  • emailing a completed application form (above) to planning@wycombe.gov.uk
  • posting a completed application form (above) to Planning and Sustainability, Wycombe District Council, Queen Victoria Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP11 1BB

For more information on discharging and amending planning applications, including information on Section 106 planning obligations, see planning conditions explained.

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Step 7: Appealing your decision

If your application is refused, you have the right to appeal your decision to the Planning Inspectorate against the refusal (or against conditions imposed on permission). Alternatively, you can re-apply with an alternative scheme for consideration (standard application fees and processes apply).

Appeal a planning decision (external website)

When can I appeal?

You can appeal within 12 weeks of the decision (for householders), or within 6 months (other applications). Anyone who made comments on the original application will be notified when further comments are sought during the appeals process.

Can anyone make an appeal?

Please note that only the applicant can appeal a planning decision. For more information see the appeal a planning permission part of the website.

If you are not the applicant but you are unhappy with the decision please see the complaints and compliments procedure for details on how to comment.

If you are still dissatisfied, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman on 0845 602 1983.

For any further questions about the planning application process, email planning@wycombe.gov.uk.