How Long Does Planning Permission Take?

What do we do?

At Walters Architects we help clients achieve planning approval all the time but are often asked, ‘how long does planning permission take?’. The truth is, it varies between application types and planning departments.

How Long Does Planning Permission Take
Listed Buildings can take longer to achieve Planning Permission due to their unique character.

How long does the Planning process take?

Domestic applications should take approximately 8 weeks to be decided. A more complicated or larger application should take 13 weeks. However, it sometimes takes longer. It just depends how big and complicated the application is.

Obviously, a new housing development will take longer than a simple loft conversion.

The reasons applications take so long include; the site, the size of the development and the nature of the application. Listed Buildings may take longer than normal buildings. Works within Conservation Areas also take longer.

Decision times have changed dramatically in recent years. It’s becoming even more difficult to get planning applications processed and approved within the suggested timescales.

The Planning Portal has made the process much better, although the overall system still needs further improvement.

How Long Does Planning Permission Take
Most High Streets are Conservation Areas so planning can take a little longer to achieve

Why is this?

Getting hold of anyone in charge of an applications is difficult. Unfortunately, we simply cannot call the Planning officer in charge anymore. Local Authorities are under staffed and they don’t give out individual phone numbers anymore. Emails are sometimes returned or totally ignored. It has become a real lottery.

We are currently advising clients to allow 3 – 6 months for a small application. They possibly need to consider 6 months to a year for larger applications. Housing schemes can take a couple of years.

Most planning departments restructured over a decade ago to compensate for the Recession and have not replaced the staff and a lot of planners have moved over to the private sector, leaving councils massively under-resourced.

The need for larger housing developments has caused further issues at Local Authorities across the country.

What can I do?

It really is best to plan ahead. Allow plenty of time for design and to submit applications.

Find out more about the way your local authority is performing by going online. Just check the dates of some planning applications near to where your project is based.

For more information, please visit our website or call the office to discuss your requirements.

We look forward to discussing your specific requirements and helping you navigate the process.