Make a planning application

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.


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Last updated: 12 December 2019

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