Planning application process explained

This page summarises the planning permission process. It’s relevant to applicants, neighbours, objectors and anyone interested in planning.

Pre application

See Do I need planning permission? for general guidance.

We provide a pre-application service to advise you on whether you may need planning permission.

How to apply

You can apply online using the Planning Portal or using a paper form. See:

Once we receive an application, we will “validate” it – check that it meets with set out requirements and has the appropriate fee.

Notification and publication

After we have validated a planning application, we will:

  • send a letter to those most affected by the proposal inviting them to make comments
  • post a planning application notice near the site
  • advertise new applications in the Bucks Free Press
  • publish online using Public Access
  • publish in the “weekly list”

Comment on a planning application

Anyone can make comments on any planning application:

  • online using Public Access
  • in writing by post
  • in writing by email

See Comment on a planning application for full details.

Decision making

The power to “determine” (or decide) planning applications rests with either a council committee, or in 98 percent of cases, delegated to senior planning officers.

Our Planning Committee meets every four weeks to consider major or controversial planning applications. See Planning Committee explained for further details and advice on public speaking at Planning Committee.

After the decision

We will place the decision notice on the application file and online on Public Access.

Permission granted

A planning permission may include planning conditions such as hours of operation or restrictions on adding openings to an elevation.

Permission refused

If we refuse permission an applicant can:

  • re-apply with an alternative scheme, or
  • appeal against the refusal to the Planning Inspectorate.


The only right of appeal is for an applicant against planning refusal. There is no legal right to appeal against a decision for planning approval.

See: Appeal a planning decision for further guidance.


If you are unhappy with the way we have arrived at a decision, you can complain.

Contact information

Web form: Planning team


  • Telephone: 01494 412 246