Planning application process

Planning and building control

Alert

Applying for planning permission

This step-by-step guide explains what happens when you make an application for planning permission.

  1. Check if you need planning permission 
  2. Check the cost of your application – Use the fee calculator on the government’s Planning Portal
  3. Ensure you have provided the correct information with your application 
  4. (For additional floorspace over 100 square metres) Check if you need to be assessed for the Community Infrastructure Levy (see section below)
  5. (For major developments) Check if carbon reduction standards apply to your application (see section below)
  6. Make your application for planning permission 
  7. We will validate and acknowledge the planning application 
  8. We will consult the necessary parties on your planning application 
  9. A site visit is carried out by the case officer 
  10. We will review your application and make a recommendation (see section below)
  11. We will make a decision on your application 
  12. A decision notice is issued (see section below)

If you aren't happy with the decision we issue, you can make an appeal (see section below).

Covid-19 update Click to get info

Unfortunately, Waltham Forest Planning Officers are also no longer able to continue to carry out site visits for planning applications. Therefore, the case officer will be asking the applicant / agent to submit photographs of the site and neighbouring properties and a live video 360 degrees of the whole site and context. If we receive any objections to proposals, we will of course be asking objectors to also submit photographs and a live video. We will be using these submissions in combination with google earth/street view to view the site in context.

If, from the details we receive from applicants / agents and neighbours, we are concerned that this will not enable a sufficient assessment of the proposal, then unfortunately we will have to delay the determination of the application and ask applicants / agents to agree an extension of time until such time that we can carry out a site visit in person.

Set out below are the limits on the types and size of files we can receive, which is an extract from our local validation checklist.

File Type

  • All drawings should be attached as .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) files.
  • Other files types that will be accepted are .jpg, .doc and .xls files only.
  • All files should be clearly labelled / named referencing the drawings they contain.

File Size

  • The maximum size of any single attachment must be no more than 5MB.
  • All drawings submitted electronically must be A3 or smaller.

For live videos please use file types that can be viewed in windows media player such as .mov (from an iphone), .asf, .asx, .wax, .wm, .wma, .wmd, .wmv, .wvx, .wmp, and .wmx.

As we are all working remotely at present, we are having issues with receiving larger files by WeTransfer, if you are using Microsoft Outlook then please use Mimecast; alternatively please save the document / video into a one drive file and share it with the case officer.

Where we are able to, the Council will continue to assess and determine planning applications.

Most applications must be implemented within three years of the consent, otherwise they expire.

To deal with situations where developers have been unable to implement consents because of Covid-19 the Government has implemented measures to automatically extend the life of applications which have lapsed or will lapse between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.

Applications which will lapse between 19 August 2020 and 31 December 2020 will automatically be extended to 1 May 2021.

Applications that lapsed between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 2020 can be reinstated and extended to 1 May 2021, subject to applying for an Additional Environmental Approval from the Council.

Applications should be submitted to planningvalidation@walthamforest.gov.uk

Further guidance on the extension of certain planning permissions

The CIL is a fee charged on new developments by the Mayor of London and councils in England to help pay for facilities and community services such as transport schemes, schools/colleges and medical/health services.

For more information and to check if this applies to your proposed work please go to our Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) page.

Zero carbon standards apply to all new major residential developments (10 or more housing units). This means that financial contributions will be required to ‘offset’ all carbon emissions through the council’s Carbon Offset Fund.

For more information on carbon standards go to our planning obligations page.

The case officer will review your application, taking into account:

  • local and national policies – for more information go to our local plan pages
  • any responses received from statutory consultees (for example the GLA, Transport for London, Historic England, Environment Agency) and other interested parties

The case officer will visit the site, will write a report which will include an assessment of the proposal and make a recommendation to either grant permission or to refuse permission.

Material considerations that the officer will take into account when assessing your proposal include:

  • layout / density
  • scale and massing
  • privacy
  • daylight / sunlight/ overshadowing
  • access / traffic
  • local economy
  • design / appearance
  • noise / smell
  • landscape
  • cumulative impact
  • previous similar decisions.

Non-material considerations that will not be taken into account:

  • history of the applicant
  • loss of a private view
  • commercial competition
  • change from previous scheme
  • impact on property value
  • restrictive covenants
  • ownership of land / right of access

Amendments to proposals, once submitted

In general, we don't negotiate once an application is submitted. However if the case officer thinks that minor changes will make the proposal acceptable, they may request these during the application process.

However, if significant changes are required to make the scheme acceptable, or the proposal is contrary to policy and it is unlikely that minor changes could overcome these issues, the case officer will progress your application to a determination without conducting negotiations. 

 

 

Decision notices Click to get info

We aim to decide planning applications within:

  • eight weeks for minor applications
  • 13 weeks for major applications
  • 16 weeks for major applications with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Please note that time periods may differ from those stated above where an alternative time period has been agreed with the agent or applicant.

Why haven’t I got a decision on my planning application yet?

Please first check your emails as we usually send them to the email address given by your agent or by you if you did not use an agent. All decisions are also available on our planning applications search.

If you still find that you have not received a decision and you did not use an agent, then please contact your case officer directly. Your case officer’s details are provided on your acknowledgement letter.

If you used an agent for your application then all correspondence and enquiries will go through them. They will receive the decision notice. We will not discuss a case with an applicant where there is an agent. This is to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication.