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Make a planning application

How to apply for planning permission, planning application fees, and the planning process

Apply for planning permission

The simplest way to submit a planning application, is online using the Planning Portal.

To apply for planning permission you'll need:   

  • a location (site) plan
  • a valid debit or credit card for the application fee

Apply for planning permission

You can submit your supporting documents online, by uploading them. If you prefer, you can submit your application online, and send us your documents and fee by post.

For help developing a site plan, the Planning Portal's  'Buy a Plan' Service can help make sure you meet our requirements.

For further help, and a guide on what you must submit with your application, you can download a validation checklist. Please visit our planning application validation checklist page.

Other ways to apply

If you're unable to apply online, you can download and send us a paper form. Most planning forms are available on the Planning Portal website. Any forms that are not available on the planning portal can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please send us your form, with four copies of each plan and drawings, and the application fee. Please post to: Environment and Planning, Kings Court, Chapel Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1EX.

If you're having issues using the Planning Portal, you can get further assistance on the Planning Portal Help Centre website.

Please note, If you're not the sole owner of your property, or if the property is leasehold, you need to inform the owner and any leaseholders that you're applying.

Getting help from a planning agent

If you don't want to handle the planning application yourself, you can ask a planning agent, architect, solicitor or builder to do it for you.

Planning application fees

Most applications must be accompanied by the correct fee. The Government sets these, and they apply across the Country. Our planning fee's document can be viewed at the bottom of the page.

You can pay the fee when you make your application online. Alternatively, you can:

  • pay your fee on our online payment page
  • send us a cheque (please make this payable to BCKLWN and include your planning reference number)
  • phone 01553 616234 to make a card payment
  • pay by BACS

Design and Access Statement

You'll need to include a Design and Access Statement if you're applying for:

  • a major development
  • a development of one or more houses in a conservation area
  • a development of at least 100 square metres in a conservation area
  • listed building consent

You don't need to include a Design and Access Statement if you're applying for:

  • a change of use
  • engineering or mining operations
  • waste development

For further information, see Design and Access Statement on GOV.UK.

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your planning application, it goes through a number of processes before a decision is made:


Upon receipt, we'll check your application to make sure all documentation, plans, and associated fee's are present. We'll usually validate a claim within five days.

If anything is missing, we'll write to you. If you have appointed an agent, all communication will go to your agent.


Once your application is made valid, it will be entered into the register of applications. An acknowledgement letter will be sent to you or your agent. This is usually one week after validation.

The letter will provide the:

  • name of the case officer dealing with your application
  • application reference number
  • date by which we should make our decision

Your case officer will visit the site. They will prepare a report on whether we should accept your application. If you need to make changes to help your application be accepted, your case officer will let you know.


Details of the application will be published so the local community is made aware of the proposal, and comments can be made. This is usually up to four weeks after receipt.

Consultees are given 21 days to comment on an application. Consultations will also take place with statutory agencies, utility companies, and other council departments.


You'll usually receive a decision eight weeks after you submit your application, or 13 weeks for a major application.

The decision on your application will be made by either:

  • a senior planning officer, after considering the report written by your case officer
  • our planning committee (made up of elected councillors, advised by senior planning officers)

Making changes to an application

You can make minor changes up to five weeks into the process. But major changes could lead to long delays. 

If you want to make major changes, you may wish to consider withdrawing your application and starting again with a new one. Your case officer will be able to advise you on this.