Make a planning application

We no longer provide free advice on whether the changes you want to make to your house require planning permission. To find out if you need planning permission please visit the Planning Portal, which provides clear guidance on what changes you can make without planning permission and when planning permission is required.

If planning permission is required you need to make sure what you want to do complies with our guidance on guidance on residential extensions and alterations. If you're still unsure then you can seek advice from an architect or planning agent or alternatively the council offers a pre-application service which you must pay for.

Apply online

The quickest, most efficient and cost effective way to submit your planning application and fee is via the Planning Portal. You can pay with a credit or debit card for the planning application online using the Planning Portal. We don't recommend payments via cheque as this will delay us reaching a decision on your planning application.

The Planning Portal fee calculator can help you calculate the planning fee required for your application. Refer to the relevant validation criteria checklist for details of what you need to submit with your application.

Fast track service for householder certificates of lawfulness (existing and proposed uses) Toggle accordion

The council now offers a fast track service for householder certificates of lawfulness for existing and proposed uses. This service guarantees determination of the application within 10 working days of receipt of the request.

The fast track fee is £240 including VAT and this fee would need to be paid separately and in addition to the nationally prescribed application fee. If you're interested in this service, advise us at the date of submission of your application.

Using an architect Toggle accordion

Many people employ an architect to draw their plans and submit their applications. This is a good idea if you're not confident that you can draw up a set of suitable plans.

The Architects Registration Board has a register listing the name of every architect in the UK, which you may find useful. We are unable to recommend an architect.

Before submission Toggle accordion

Before submitting a planning application you should refer to the relevant validation checklist and consider all the details required to support your application. Providing as much detail as possible will reduce the number of conditions on any resulting planning permission.

Pre-application discussions

Pre-application discussions should help to speed up the development process and avoid unacceptable proposals. If you require pre-application advice you will need to make a formal pre-application request in writing and pay a fee.

Pre-application form and fees

Full details on how to make a formal pre-application request:

Be First pre-application form and fees - 11 January 2018 (PDF, 65.98 KB)

Pay your pre-application fee online

Use our online payment system and select ‘Planning payments’:

Make an online payment

Planning performance agreements (PPA)

National planning practice guidance encourages the use of planning performance agreements (PPA) for complex major planning applications.

They allow Be First to agree with the developer a project plan for the planning application from inception through to a decision being made and then the discharge of conditions, identifying the necessary resources to support this, thus increasing certainty and minimising risk for the developer.

Planning performance agreement template

Details of the cost of PPAs and the enhanced level of service you'll receive are provided in our standard planning performance agreement template:

Be First Planning Performance Agreement - January 2018 (PDF, 79.13 KB)

Conditions Toggle accordion

Planning applications can be granted subject to one or more conditions, depending on the type or nature of the application. Conditions can be restrictive or require the submission of details.

Providing the most details you can at the start of an application will help to reduce the number of conditions on any resulting planning permission which would need to be dealt with post-application.

Standard conditions

The Development Management Team often makes use of standard conditions, in addition to non-standard conditions. A list of the council’s standard conditions is available below:

Standard conditions (PDF, 74.57 KB)

Compliance or discharge of planning conditions

Many of the conditions imposed will require details to be submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority. A planning fee is required for written confirmation of compliance or discharge of any condition imposed on a planning application. The fee will be required for each submission.

We will aim to give a decision in writing within eight weeks of the submission.

Appeal against the imposition of a condition

If you disagree with the our decision to impose a particular condition or conditions, you may appeal to the Secretary of State via the Planning Inspectorate. It is advisable to discuss your concerns with the Development Management Team before doing so, because the Inspectorate can review the whole application afresh. Further details on the appeals process are available on the Planning Portal Appeals page.

Lifetime Homes standards and checklist Toggle accordion

All planning applications for new housing, including flat conversions, should be accompanied by a completed Lifetime Homes checklist, showing how the proposal meets 16 design criteria.

Lifetime Homes is a set of housebuilding standards based on:

  • inclusivity
  • accessibility
  • adaptability
  • sustainability
  • good value

The standards incorporate 16 design criteria. They aim to make homes flexible enough to meet the changing needs of current and future occupants. Policies in the borough wide development policies development plan document (2011) and the London Plan require new housing to meet Lifetime Homes standards.

We suggest that you refer to the Lifetime Home (LTH) revised criteria to help you complete the Lifetime Homes checklist.

Lifetime Homes standards checklist (PDF, 20.87 KB)

Design and access statements Toggle accordion

In some cases a planning application must be accompanied by a design and access statement. You can find information on when you must provide it and what it should include in this document:

Design and access statements (PDF, 11.45 KB)

Common reasons why your planning application might be returned as invalid Toggle accordion

Did you know that half of all planning applications submitted are invalid and therefore get delayed? This list will help you to avoid the common pitfalls.

Pitfall% of planning applications invalidGuidance
Incorrect payment51%Use the fee calculator
Missing or incorrect plans10%Read the location and site plan guidance
Missing or incorrect form7.5%Make your application online to ensure you use the correct form
Missing or incorrect drawing4%Consider enlisting support from a member of a professional body

Website feedback

How can we improve this page? Use our form to tell us about content or broken links.

This form is not for telling us about council service issues, it's only about this webpage. Contact us if you have a comment or complaint.