Applying for planning permission—procedure

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applying for planning permission—procedure
  • Context
  • Who can apply for planning permission?
  • Outline, full or hybrid planning applications
  • Outline planning applications
  • Full planning applications
  • Hybrid planning application
  • Pre-application advice from the LPA
  • Status of pre-application advice
  • Circumstances where pre-application consultation is required
  • More...

Applying for planning permission—procedure

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak (see: Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on planning permission in England below). For further updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Planning and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.


Pursuant to section 57 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990), planning permission is required for ‘the carrying out of any development of land’.

‘Development’ is defined in TCPA 1990, s 55(1) as:

  1. the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or

  2. the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land

Planning permission is therefore required for operational development and material changes of use. See Practice Notes: Operational development and Material change of use.

Who can apply for planning permission?

Anyone can make a planning application for the development of land; the applicant does not need to own the land to which the application relates. However, the applicant must inform freehold and leasehold owners of the land to which the application relates before submitting the planning application, see Publicity of planning application required to be carried out by applicant before submission of application below.

Outline, full or hybrid planning applications

A decision will have to be made early

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