Making a Planning application

1. Making a planning application

These pages give you information on what you need to know and what should be submitted with your planning application. It also includes the forms that you need to submit a part of the planning application.

Planning Portal Guide can help you identify if you need planning permission.

We encourage applicants to apply for planning permission electronically. Planning applications may be submitted via the Planning Portal or  by emailing mineralsandwaste@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

If you wish to submit a hard copy planning application for a Minerals or Waste Development please send it to: Minerals and Waste Planning, Walton Street Offices, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UA

You will be notified once we have received your application.

We process and decide on applications for:

  • Managing waste
  • Extracting minerals
  • Applications for our own use, eg. County Council owned or managed schools and libraries and other buildings

For an application to be considered valid it must include a completed application form, comply with national information requirements, include correct application fee and adhere with local information requirements.


The National Information Requirements

  • A Location Plan
  • Ownership Certificate and Agricultural Land Declaration
  • A Design and Access Statement*

*Applications for waste development, a material change of use, engineering or mining operations do not need to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement

In addition to this the Council require additional information that needs to be submitted in order for your application to be Valid.


Where to view a valid application

Validated planning applications are available to on the Viewing Planning Applications website

This allows you download application documents; comment on an application; view important application dates; see if an application has been appealed; and view current enforcement cases. The links to these are below:

  • view submitted planning applications
  • download application documents
  • comment on an application
  • view important application dates
  • see if an application has been appealed
  • view current enforcement cases

2. Pre-Application Advice

We offer planning advice to anyone thinking of making a planning application.  This service allows us to explore the aims, issues and opportunities for a given site with you. Early engagement with us can reduce risk, speed up your process and help you get maximum value from the opportunity. 

The Planning Practice Guidance website sets out the process and expectations on pre-application discussion.

If you would like to pre-application advice please forward a query to: mineralsandwaste@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Pre-application advice is a chargeable service. The fee depends on the type of development proposed and whether you require any technical advice, such as relating to drainage, ecology or archaeology

There is a charge for this service and a full list of Council Fees and Charges can be found here

3. Application fees

Planning fees in England are set nationally by the government and are detailed in the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012, as amended. 

The most common fees have been set out in table by A Guide to the fees for Planning Applications in England on the Planning Portal website

Alternatively you can calculate the planning application fee using the Planning Portal's online fee calculator

Floor space is the gross amount (all storeys, including basements and garaging) to be created by the development shown in the application. This is an external measurement, including the thickness of any external and internal walls.

Any fraction of the stipulated unit of site area or floor space included in the application should be corrected upward to the 0.1 of a hectare or square metre respectively.

Where an application falls within one or more fee categories the higher amount is the fee payable.

4. Design and access statements

A Design and Access Statement (DAS) must accompany all planning applications, except for:

  • Applications for a material change of use to land or buildings (not including operational development)
  • Engineering and mining operations; and, 
  • Householder development (except in a designated area such as a National Park; SSSI, AONB, World Heritage Site and the Broads).

It is considered that a formal statement should accompany the following types of minerals or waste planning applications:

  • Ancillary development at a quarry eg. a bagging plant
  • A waste transfer station
  • A materials recycling facility
  • An in-vessel composting site
  • A green waste windrow composting facility
  • An in-vessel composting facility
  • Development at a sewage treatment works requiring planning permission e.g. a new control building

A statement will not be required for:

  • Mineral extraction e.g. a new site or an extension to an existing site
  • Landfill - as this is a material change of use to land
  • In addition a DAS will need to accompany any application for new schools and other county council buildings including the erection of temporary classrooms.

The DAS should be one statement containing a design element and an access element.  The design should include:

  • The amount
  • The layout
  • The scale
  • Landscaping
  • The appearance of the development

The access part of the statement should demonstrate:

  • The assessment of the site and surrounding development where relevant
  • Involvement of consultees and the local community
  • How all users will have equal and convenient access to buildings, spaces and the public transport network
  • How the development can adapt to change
  • What policy has been adopted
  • Access for emergency services
  • Relationship to the Strategic Highway Network
  • Site parking and manoeuvring

Details of the statutory requirements and more detailed advice about preparing a Design and Access Statement are available in the following documents.


6. Questions about Planning applications

Do I need planning permission for x? and if so who do I need planning permission from (i.e. the District Council or the County Council)

It is always safe to check with the Local Planning Authority first. The Minerals and Development Management Section provides the statutory functions as the minerals and waste planning authority for Buckinghamshire. It provides a service in handling planning applications for mining, quarrying and landfill sites and often waste management facilities. We are also the Local Planning Authority for all County Council development, for example, schools, libraries and highways. For most new buildings, extensions, alterations and changes of use of existing buildings or land, you will need planning permission from your District Council.

What are the planning constraints on x piece of land?

This will depend on the application. We keep a planning constraint checklist which we can check for you. Please contact us.

Who is dealing with site x / application y?

You can check the planning applications on line. If you cannot find what you are looking for contact us.

Can I have a set of applications forms?

You can download application forms at the planning application guidance notes and forms page.

What are material considerations?

Section 38(6) of the Planning  and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 states that  if regard is to be had to the development plan for the purpose of any determination to be made under the Planning Acts, the determination must be made in accordance with the plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

What is the development plan?

Development Plans set out the local planning authority's policies and proposals for the development and use of land in their area. The development plan guides and informs the day-to-day decisions as to whether or not planning permission should be granted under the system known as development control.

There are three elements to the Development Plan for the County:

  1. Neighbourhood Plans
  2. Local Planning Policies prepared and adopted by the District Councils
  3. The Buckinghamshire County Council Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

How long will it take to get planning permission?

This depends on whether the application is taken to the Development Control Committee or not. If no objection to the proposal is received during the consultation period the application can be determined under delegated powers. The Development Control Committee usually meets nine times a year.

The statutory period for applications is normally eight weeks for reg 3 applications. For minerals and waste (major) applications, these normally take 13 weeks to process. However, those which are accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment, the statutory period is sixteen weeks. This does not always mean applications are determined within these periods. However, where an application is likely to go over this determination period then an agreement of an extension of time is agreed between the planning authority and the applicant. For more information visit Planning Guidance

If the application was considered a departure from the Local Development Plan it may be sent to the Secretary of State before the issuing of any planning permission.

Who makes the decision?

The Development Control Committee in consideration of advice from the Head of Planning and Environment. Decisions on smaller schemes / uncontentious decisions can be made by officers using delegated powers.

Can I have a copy of the committee report?

You can view and download all the reports.

How do I get the decision overturned?

There is no third party right of appeal. A decision can only be challenged through the courts on a point of law. If planning permission is refused, the applicant has a right of appeal to the Secretary of State. There are three ways in which this could be included: written representation, public inquiry or informal hearings.

It is advisable that the decision is discussed with the planning officer before deciding whether to make an appeal, so that a full appreciation of the reasons underlying the decision is gained.

The chances of an appeal being successful depend on the merits of the proposals and how they fit in with local and national planning policies.

One important thing to consider is how the proposal fits in with the development plan for the area. The Local Planning Authority’s decision notice will list which policies in the development plan influenced decision. When the inspector considers an appeal, he/she will take into account:

  • the development plan;
  • any plan which is still being prepared;
  • any other planning advice published by your LPA;
  • all other relevant facts; and
  • national advice and guidance on planning policy.

Some planning restrictions apply nationally. These include development on green-belt land, access to main roads and the development of good-quality agricultural land.

See the advice printed on the back of all decision notices issued.

More information about appeals can be obtained from the Planning Inspectorate web site.

Who monitors the sites once approved?

We do.  Please see our enforcement page, for more information on our enforcement role and responsibilities.

Who deals with pollution control issues?

The Environment Agency.

More information about pollution control

For further information on the enforcement of minerals and waste planning controls please contact:

Minerals and Development Management, Planning and Environment, Buckinghamshire County Council, County Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UY

Telephone: 01296 395000

What happens to my planning application when you become a unitary authority if it hasn’t been determined?

Following the implementation of the Buckinghamshire (Structural Changes) Order 2019, the existing county and district councils will be abolished and a new Buckinghamshire Council will go live on 1st April 2020.

There will be no immediate changes to services and your planning application will continue to be determined in accordance with the Local Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Elections for the new Buckinghamshire Council will take place in May 2020. During this time the Buckinghamshire Council will continue to discharge normal council business including determining planning applications.