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.

See the planning advice service. We can check that you are on the right lines before you apply. This could save you time and money and improve your chances of having your proposal approved.

How to apply

The links below explain what you must submit, how you submit and the corresponding planning application fees to be paid when you submit.

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

The list of documents requested to validate your application is set out on the apply for planning permision page.

Validation dispute

A case officer should only request supporting information that is relevant and necessary to the application in question. If you (the applicant) disagrees with a decision not to validate a planning application on the basis that the information requested is unnecessary, please contact us to try and resolve the issue. If we are unable to resolve the issue, you have the option to use the following procedure:

An applicant can then appeal against non-determination of an application after the statutory time period has passed and no formal validation has taken place. For more information see the National planning policy guidance. 

Notification and publication

After we have validated a planning application, depending on the type, consultation and notification is undertaken. The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2015 requires that the planning authority either notify any adjoining occupier by letter, or by displaying a notice at the site. It is the practice of this authority to send letters to immediate neighbour’s giving 21 days to submit any comments they may have regarding the development proposal, rather than by displaying site notices. 

Separately the Procedure Order also sets out various circumstances when the display of a site notice is required as well as the application being advertised in the local paper (Bucks Free Press); such as when the site is within a Conservation Area or it involves works to a listed building or because, at the discretion of the case officer, it was felt that the application might be of “Wider Interest”. 

The application is also published on the Council website and those who have registered to the alert service on the  Public Access software are automatically notified by email.

On the Council website we also publish a “weekly list” (a list of planning applications, notification and consultations received that week).

 Comment on a planning application

Anyone can make comments on any planning application. See comment on a planning application for full details.

Decision making

A planning application will either be decided by a council committee, or in the majority 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 publish the decision notice online on Public Access.

Permission granted

A planning permission may include planning conditions such as hours of operation, or restrictions on adding further windows.  Some permissions are also restricted by a section 106 legal agreement. See planning conditions for more information.

Permission refused

If we refuse permission an applicant can:

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


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

Planning and Building control opening hours and contact information