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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 by uploading them online.

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.

We recommend early discussions with the Contaminated Land Team to help you provide the information needed to support your application. If you don't have the expertise to submit the information you may need to hire an environmental consultant. 

Other ways to apply

If you're unable to apply online, you can download and send us a paper form. Application forms are available on the Planning Portal website.

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. For the most up-to-date scale of fees for planning and other applications please visit Fee Calculator (

If you're applying online, you must pay the fee when you apply. If you're sending a paper form 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 616879 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.

Permission for works to trees

You must apply for permission to do works to a tree with a preservation order. And you must tell us about works to trees within a conservation area with a trunk diameter of 75mm or greater (measured at 1.5m above ground level). Visit our tree preservation order page or trees in a conservation area page to find out more.

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 fees are present. We'll usually validate a claim within five days.

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


Once your application is made valid it will be entered onto 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'll 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)