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:
- Use classes and permitted development rights explained - 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.
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?
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.
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)
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].
You can send your application by post to:
Planning and SustainabilityWycombe District CouncilQueen Victoria RoadHigh WycombeBuckinghamshire 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 receive your application
You will be notified once the Council has received 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:
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 email@example.com
- 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 conditions, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.