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Your Ultimate Guide To Getting Planning Permission


As a landowner, gaining planning permission is essential to maximising the value of your most important asset.

Here we will look at every angle of the planning permission process to help you enjoy success as a landowner while connecting you with a wealth of valuable advice and resources.

Let’s dive in.

What is planning permission?

To sell your land to the right developer, understanding the concept of planning permission is essential—so we’ll start by using a practical definition:

Planning permission is essential asking your council or local planning authority (LPA) whether you can conduct a certain type of building work on your land. To gain planning permission, you must meet certain criteria and apply through the official planning portal.

Gaining planning permission is vital if you want to maximise the value of your land and enjoy a healthy return on investment (ROI).

Full planning permission and outline planning permission are the two most common types of application, with both offering different stipulations as well as benefits.

To understand the main differences between the two types of application, read our essential guide to outline planning permission.

Do I need planning permission?

Your need for planning application will depend on the type of work you’re looking to have carried out on your land.

In some cases, you may not need a planning permission at all. For example, you may be able to convert certain buildings onsite into dwelling houses through permitted development rights. But, be aware: these rules constantly change.

In most cases, particularly on agricultural land, you will need some form of planning permission to realise your land’s full potential.

Expanding on our explanation of common planning application types, here is a rundown of the application routes that are likely to apply to you:

  • Full planning permission: A type of application that gives the applicant all the necessary permission to commence building work on-site.
  • Outline planning permission:  An initial form of permission that establishes the principle for development with a view of gaining full permission within a particular time frame.
  • Reserved matters: A type of application that effectively ‘completes’ an outline application, securing the final details for official site commencement. Our guide to ‘what are reserved matters in planning permission?’ will help you understand this common planning concept on a deeper level.
  • Change of Use application: A branch of application that allows an applicant to vary the land usage on-site.

Before you consider applying for planning permission, you should explore these common types of application in detail and consult expert advice to ensure you make the best choice according to your circumstances.

How to apply for planning permission

Applying for planning permission is a relatively straightforward process as you can submit all of your documents, information, and evidence through the online Planning Portal.

Once you know which type of planning permission is suitable for your land, the Planning Portal will prompt you to provide information and answer questions that are relevant to your specific application process.

Once all the information requirements are satisfied, you can submit your application along with the appropriate fee. 

On submission, you can send all information and payments to the relevant LPA.

For a detailed explanation of the end-to-end process, read our guide on how to apply for planning permission.

The cost of planning permission applications


All this talk of fees has probably got you pondering the question, ‘how much does planning permission cost?

Well, as no two applications are exactly the same, there is no clear cut answer to the cost of planning permission. But, as a rule of thumb, planning applications will incur costs depending on the size and scope of the proposal.

A useful tool for calculating your prospective submission fee is the Planning Portal website’s official fees calculator. 

This handy service allows you to enter site details and the type of your application—eliminating any unwanted financial surprises later down the line.

Also, planning application costs commonly vary due to the following factors:

  • Validation requirements: Different LPAs will have varying submission requirements. Without meeting these requirements, the LPA will not validate an application and costs will differ depending on the extensivity of these requirements.
  • Site constraints: Aspects including ecology, flood risk, and heritage can all incur additional costs during the planning application process.

The planning appeals process

At this point, it’s worth noting that you may also incur additional costs if you plan to pursue your site beyond a planning refusal.

Getting a refusal is certainly not the end of the road and there are viable avenues you can explore as a landowner.

So, if you do receive a planning refusal, our detailed planning appeal process appeal information will help you understand what to expect and what you need to do.

How long does it take to gain planning permission?

A lot like specific application costs, the length of planning permission can vary depending on a number of factors.

That said, the guide timeframe for a planning application to reach determination from submission is eight weeks. For larger or more complex applications, the time from submission to determination takes around 13 weeks.

Our definitive planning permission timeline will give you a comprehensive rundown of processing periods while offering advice on how to minimise any unnecessary delays when submitting your application.

How long does planning permission last?

Double bell clock

Typically, planning permission lasts for three years from the date of when it’s granted. If you fail to take action within the three year period, you will have to have to go through the entire application process again.

For outline planning applications, the rules are slightly different. When outline approval is granted, a developer has three years to submit a reserved matters application—and if successful, gains two further years to start commencement on-site.

If you have full planning permission and it’s approaching the lapse date, you can lawfully commence very minor elements of the work such as pegging out a pedestrian footpath, or starting on the landscape works. 

Read ‘How long does planning permission last? A Practical Guide’ to find out more on the subject.

Planning application opportunities: what to consider

As landower, gaining planning permission will increase your chances of securing a healthy sale and enjoying the profit you deserve.

While planning permission is a vital aspect of land promotion and development, there are factors and opportunities you should consider before making an application:

  • Site constraints: Every site will have constraints whether that be ecological, flooding or landscape sensitivity, for example. You can, however, mitigate these issues through the development and can reflect them in the scheme design.
  • The LPA’s policy: The planning status in your LPA may present a shortfall of affordable housing land, or the Local Plan may be out of date—both of which offer an opportunity for planning. The LPA may also be preparing a new Local Plan which could provide opportunities for site allocations.
  • Type of development: Different sites will suit different usages. For example, a busy road side destination may suit a drive-thru restaurant or a greenfield site in a small village may suit a rural exception scheme if there is a proven local need for affordable housing.
  • Neighbours: You may also want to consider how your neighbours will react to you applying for planning permission. It should be noted that you do not necessarily need the support of your neighbours, especially if the LPA is supporting your proposals. Find out more about planning permissions neighbours rights with our informational guide.

Note: If you are unsure whether your land is suitable for planning, it is always best to get your site appraised by a planning professional to identify its true potential.

Final thoughts

While the Planning Portal is easy to navigate, the end-to-end planning permission process can prove challenging.

There is a great deal to consider when it comes to securing planning permission but as industry experts with over 15 years of experience, we can guide you to success risk-free.

At Montague Land Partners, we will help you navigate every step of the planning permission journey at our own financial risk while taking every measure to ensure your land realises its full potential.

Want to get started? Contact us and we will be happy to make your land-based dreams a living, breathing reality. We look forward to hearing from you.

Want to know what we can do for you?

Want to know what we can do for you?