Planning Application Process
How we deal with your application
The Council is obligated to promote good planning practice. Planning is the positive means of enhancing and protecting our environment, whilst allowing the development necessary for our economic and social well being to take place in an appropriate way.
Development Control is a process that regulates the development and use of land. It is essentially a quasi-judicial process governed by the law, and can be complex both in its administration and decision-making.
Pre-Application Discussion negotiations will be welcomed before an application is made in order to encourage high quality applications and to ensure they can be dealt with as efficiently as possible. The advice given will seek to be accurate and objective, based on the information provided, but will be without prejudice to the formal consideration of a planning application. To make an initial enquiry, please contact us.
When Planning Permission is not Required for a Development
The Council will normally require the submission of an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development. The reason for this is to ensure consistency and certainty of advice, and to avoid confusion or delay in the event of a future sale of the property.
Submitting a Planning Application
It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that the application is submitted correctly and you should consult the Council's Validation Policy, or http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/. For applications relating to wind energy, please see our supplement to the Validation Policy.
Valid applications will be registered and acknowledged within 3 working days. All correspondence, discussions and negotiations about the application will take place directly with agent or applicant. The Council is actively promoting the submission of Planning Applications on line through the Planning Portal and this is the preferred method of submission. Please note that the application fees have recently increased.
If planning applications directly affect surrounding properties, individual letters will be sent to those properties and a record kept. Applications that have wider implications will also be advertised by Site Notice and may appear in the local Press. A period of 21 days from the date of our notification letter will be allowed for written responses on planning applications.
Comments should be sent by email to email@example.com or in writing to Development Control, First Floor, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup OL13 0BB. Letters commenting on applications will receive an acknowledgement. Relevant written comments which constitute material planning considerations will be taken into account before the decision on an application is reached. In due course, a copy of the Council's decision will be issued.
The Council cannot reject a proposal simply because a number of people are against it. They can only consider objections which are relevant to planning issues.
Dealing with an Application
The case officer will make an early visit to the site. In normal circumstances, the officer will not contact the applicant or agent prior to a site visit. If the need for further information arises while the application is being dealt with, the applicant will be notified immediately of that need and the reasons for it. If a scheme is found to have a weakness or deficiencies, suggestions will be made to the applicant, with a time limit for their return. In such circumstances more time may be needed to consider a revised application before a decision can be made. If revisions are made to the application, the consultations process will begin for a second time, although only last for a period of 7 days, dependent on the nature of the revisions.
Where, in the Council's view, there are serious objections or policy issues which the applicant would be unlikely to overcome by negotiation, applications will be likely to be refused without further reference to an applicant or agent. Central Government set the Council a target to determine minor planning applications within eight weeks and major Planning Applications within 13 weeks. Notwithstanding that, applications will be dealt with as quickly as possible, and the applicant will be kept informed about their progress, five weeks into the determination period.
Making the Decision
The Council has adopted a scheme under which certain kinds of applications can be dealt with under delegated powers by nominated officers of the Council, the Development Control Committee will decide all other applications.
The Development Control Committee is a public meeting and members of the public can speak in favour or against application. Motions for Approving or Refusing the application will be made by the members of the Development Committee and voting will take place. If you have made representations on a planning application that will be determined by the Development Control Committee, one week before the meeting you will be sent full details as to how you can get involved with the process.
Full details of all the Council's Committee procedures are available from the Democratic Services Section.
Revisions to Approved Applications
The process of making revisions to existing planning permissions has been reviewed. You can view the guidance here. Application forms and current fees and other documentation is also available to download from the Portal.