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Submit a planning application

The easiest way to submit a planning application is to use the Planning Portal - the government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.

Registration is easy and you can complete your application form, upload supporting documents and pay fees online.

The benefits of applying online include:

  • immediate delivery and acknowledgement
  • save on postage and printing costs
  • online help when completing applications
  • record of your completed applications
  • easy online payment

You can also complete your application form online and submit supporting documents by post.

Paper application forms

Paper copies of the forms can be downloaded from Planning Portal Paper Form Chooser.

Local validation

In addition to the national criteria, information specific to our district is required. Please ensure you have read our validation requirements and addressed any issues covered.

See below for the Validation Checklist, Local Validation Requirements Matrix and Key to Matrix of Requirements. To speed up the validation process, read our best practice guide on submitting electronic applications, given below.

Working on a property in Letchworth Garden City? You may need consent from the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.

Fees and charges

Every application must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Full details of planning application charges are available at the Planning Portal.

Use the Planning Portal's Fee Calculator to calculate the fee for an application.

The fee regulations allow local authorities to charge a planning application fee where permitted development rights have been withdrawn. Such applications attract the appropriate fee for the application.

Planning fees increase

On 6 December 2023 statutory planning fees for all applications increased in accordance with the changes made by the government via the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023.

Find more information about the fee changes and related regulations on the Planning Portal.

Key changes include:

  • increase planning application fees by 35% for applications for major development and 25% for all other applications
  • introduce an annual indexation of planning applications fees, capped at 10%, from 1 April 2025
  • remove the fee exemption for repeat applications (known as the "free go") – an applicant will still be able to benefit from a free go if their application was withdrawn or refused in the preceding 12 months, subject to all other conditions for the free go being met
  • reduce the Planning Guarantee for non-major planning applications from 26 to 16 weeks

How to pay

You can pay online through our Online Payments service by selecting Payment for Other Services and then selecting Planning.

You will need your planning application reference number.

Biodiversity net gain

From 12 February 2024 developers in England are required to deliver 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) when building new housing, industrial or commercial developments. This will apply to new planning applications, rather than existing applications.

BNG is measured in biodiversity units calculated through the statutory metric tool. This calculates how many units a habitat contains before development, to then calculate how many biodiversity units are needed to provide at least 10% BNG. The statutory biodiversity metric considers the size, quality, location, and type of habitat. 

BNG can be achieved through on-site units, off-site units, or through statutory biodiversity credits. These credits will be available as a last resort from the government, to prevent delays in the planning system. 

It is also important that BNG provides lasting benefits for the environment. Significant on-site and all off-site gains will need a legal agreement with a responsible body or local authority to monitor the habitat improvements over the 30-year period. 

As BNG is implemented on 12 February 2024 it will apply to applications for major developments only and will be implemented for small sites (between 1 and 9 dwellings) from 2 April 2024. Roll-out of BNG for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects is expected in late 2025. 

Further information on BNG can be found on GOV.UK and on the Planning Portal.

Publicity of planning applications

Once a planning application is registered, all information, apart from signatures, personal email addresses and personal telephone numbers, will be made publicly available on our Planning Application search pages. Individuals and organisations offering their services may contact you. The Council does not endorse or approve any builders, surveyors, trades persons or other supplier, and advises householders to obtain quotes/references and check the legitimacy of any contractor who contacts them before making payment.

Validation checklist