How to apply for planning permission

Prior notification of a home extension - the Government has introduced legislation to remove the need for planning permission for some rear home extensions and introduced a new process.

Making an application

Planning applications have to be made on the national standard planning application (1APP) forms. The 1APP forms cover the full range of applications for planning permission.

Planning Portal logoThe simplest way to submit a planning application is online via the Planning Portal:

To make an online application, you have to register with the Planning Portal. Registration is easy and you can complete your application form, upload supporting documents and pay fees online.

Once logged on, you will be asked a series of questions to help determine which application form to complete. A form specific to the proposal is generated once this procedure is completed.

If you wish to make a paper application you can download or print off the forms you need by following the link below:

The forms are accompanied by guidance notes to help you provide the correct information and appropriate plans with your application.

Validation checklists

The validation checklists that accompany most of the planning application forms forms will help you make sure that your application includes all the required information when submitted. You can also view our guidance on local validation requirements (PDF 594KB) which was updated in November 2014.

Location and site plans

Every planning application needs a site location plan and a block plan showing the location and boundaries of the site you are planning to work on. There is a choice of online services you can use to ensure that you meet our requirements, whether you are a planning professional or first-time applicant:

Planning application fees 

Planning application fees vary depending on the type of application. You can calculate the fee for your planning application using the Planning Portal website. Suffolk Coastal also produces a guide to the fees for planning applications in the district (PDF 72KB) - effective from 1 August 2014.

Design and access statements

Outline and full planning applications must be accompanied by a design and access statement unless the application is for engineering works, alterations or extensions to a dwelling house that is outside a conservation area or other designated area or a material change of use.

Listed building consent applications must be accompanied by a design and access statement.

More information about design and access statements is available on the Planning Portal.

How long does it take?

Suffolk Coastal aims to determine the majority of straightforward applications within eight weeks and the majority of more complicated applications within 13 weeks. You can also monitor the progress of your application online.

How applications are processed

Planning applications will be judged against Development Plan policy, Government advice and on their development control merits.

A domestic extension, for example, will be judged having regard to the policies mentioned above and on its impact in the street scene, its design and any effect upon neighbouring residential amenity such as overlooking, overshadowing or an overbearing impact. Listed building consent will be judged on the impact the proposal may have upon the character of the listed building.

The majority of applications are determined by the Head of Planning Services under delegated powers set out in the Scheme of Delegation (PDF 47KB). The final decision on an application will be sent to applicants promptly together with any conditions attached to the permission or reasons for its refusal. If permission is refused, the applicant’s right of appeal against this decision will be explained.

Applications of a wider strategic importance and those which are of significance locally are normally determined by the Council's Planning Committee. Applications can also be reported to the committee if there are local objections or representations made by the ward councillor.

If you wish to object to, or support an application, you may speak at the Planning Committee meeting considering the application. To find out more please read the leaflet below which describes the procedure in detail:

  • Having your say on planning applications (PDF 43KB) - please note that the leaflet refers to area Development Control Sub-Committees which have now been replaced by a single Planning Committee. The process for speaking at committee meetings is unchanged.

What you can expect from us

Follow this link to find out about the service you can expect when we deal with planning applications and the standards we work to.