The decision-making process
The following questions and answers are designed to guide you through the decision-making process. You may also find it useful to read our guidance on the application process.
- How is a decision made about my application?
- How do I speak in favour of my application?
- Who is responsible for talking to interested parties?
- Who makes the decision on my application?
- How do I find out what has been decided about my application?
- What if my application is refused?
- How do I appeal against a decision?
1. How is a decision made about my application?
The planning officer assigned to your application will usually visit the site and assess your application against the authority's planning policies and guidance. If changes to your proposal are needed, your planning officer will contact you (or your agent).
Once the period of public consultation has ended, your planning officer will take into account any comments on your application. Your designated planning officer will write a report and make a recommendation that your application be either approved, approved with conditions or refused.
The planning officer’s report will give reasons explaining the decision and which polices were used. If your application is approved with conditions attached. These are listed in full in the report.
2. How do I speak in favour of my application?
You (or your agent) can speak in support of your application before a decision is made. This only applies to applications that are decided by the planning committee.
- You will be allocated three minutes to speak.
- You may be asked questions by members after you have spoken.
- All speakers must comply with our public participation scheme.
- Both objectors and supporters of an application can speak.
If you want to arrange a time slot to speak at a planning committee, please contact Democratic Services before 12 noon two working days before the meeting you wish to speak at:
3. Who is responsible for talking to interested parties?
The planning officer assigned to your application will make sure it is correctly advertised and all the necessary people are consulted. This may include:
- Parish councils or parish meetings
- Local authorities
- The local highway authority
- Other interested parties
4. Who makes the decision on my application?
Your application could be decided by:
- senior planning officers under delegated powers
- members at the planning committee
Applications that are straightforward and follow planning policies are decided by the senior planning officers under delegated powers. The vast majority of planning applications are decided in this way.
Applications that are major or sensitive or raise significant policy issues are considered by the Authority’s members at the planning committee meeting which is held on a Friday once every month; view our calendar of meetings for full details.
Exceptionally and rarely, if the planning committee decides to approve an application that is against the National Park Authority's planning policies, it will be referred to the next meeting of the whole Authority's committee for further consideration.
5. How do I find out what has been decided about my application?
- We will write to you (or your agent) within three working days of a decision being made.
- We will write to all the people who have been consulted or have commented on your application within ten working days.
- Decision notices are available on our website within three working days.
6. What if my application is refused?
If we refuse an application or impose conditions, we will write to you explaining the reasons. If you do not understand why your planning application has been refused or how the decision has been made, your planning officer will explain this to you in more detail.
If your application has been refused, you may be able to submit another application with modified plans free of charge within 12 months of the decision on your first application. Ask your planning officer if changes to your plans could lead to your application being accepted.
7. How do I appeal against a decision?
If you disagree with the decision on your application, you have the right to appeal to an independent planning inspector, who is appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Appeals are intended as a last resort and they take several months to decide. It may be quicker and easier to discuss whether changes to your proposal would make it more acceptable.
The deadline for submitting an appeal is six months from the date of the application decision letter unless the application is a householder application, in which case an appeal should be made within 12 weeks of the date on the decision notice.