Application Process

Temporary Changes to Decision-Making Processes

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and Government guidance in relation to self-isolation and social distancing, and having reviewed its governance arrangements for making planning decisions, the Council has put in place the following temporary measures until further notice:

  • All planning committee meetings have been cancelled
  • The Head of Planning and Housing will continue to determine all non-contentious planning applications
  • For contentious applications/matters, including:
    • If a local ward member or town/parish council object to or support a planning application (or approval of a reserved matter) that is contrary to an officer recommendation, or
    • If an application is made on behalf of the Council or is submitted on behalf of a councillor, member of staff, or their immediate family

The Head of Planning and Housing will seek views in writing from members of one of our two planning committees and take any views received into account prior to determining the application, with the decision and any views expressed being published on the Council's website

  • The Council's Constitution is currently being updated to reflect these temporary changes, which will be subject to on-going review, with the intention of returning back to our usual governance arrangements as soon as it is lawful and feasible to do so
  • In all other respects, the Planning Team will continue to process and determine applications as far as it is practicable and lawful to do so

The Application Process

This page outlines the application process and explains what applicants and neighbours should expect as an application progresses. In addition to the below, we have prepared specific guidance for householder development (extensions to residential properties).

The information below is summarised in a flowchart .

Registration and Validation

When we receive an application, we register it and give it a number. We will quote this number when we contact you; please also use this number when contacting the Planning Authority.

The case officer then checks that the application includes all of the information we need by using the Planning Application Local List. If there is anything missing, the officer asks the applicant or their agent to provide it. The application process stops until we receive the missing items.

With the exception of outline planning applications, all planning applications and lawful development applications determined after 1 February 2018 may have a liability for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Further details on how CIL is calculated can be found in our CIL guide.

When applying for permission, please use the links available on our Apply for Planning Permission page.

Planning Application Fees

You can pay application fees by cheque, credit or debit card, BACS and soon via the planning portal. These guidance notes advise how to do this.


Once we have everything we need, we write to any property sharing a boundary with the application site, including those opposite. We often post a site notice too.

We consult our councillors and the parish council on every application. For some applications we get advice from experts like Warwickshire County Council Highways or Historic England. We have to advertise others in the local press, currently the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald.

You can find the documents and plans for any recent application and comments from people on current applications in our E-Planning system.

Site Visit

The case officer visits the site as soon as possible to check that the plans are right and the effect of the proposal.

If something needs changing, we may ask the applicant or agent for new plans. If the changes are significant, we will consult the relevant people again.


When the consultations and negotiations have finished, the case officer writes a report about the proposal. In the report, the officer:

  • addresses any comments people might have made
  • checks the proposal against our policies, which are contained within the Core Strategy 2011-2031
  • finds the most important points for and against the proposal (the "material considerations")
  • decides how important each point is (its "weight")
  • recommends approval or refusal, depending whether the proposals are in accordance with the Core Strategy or whether material considerations indicate a different approach should be taken.

In determining householder applications, following public consultation and changes made as a result, Extending Your Home was adopted by Stratford-on-Avon District Council on 1 October 2007 as a material planning consideration. The council chose not to adopt the document as a ‘Supplementary Planning Document', and it was neither included in the Local Development Scheme nor subject to sustainability appraisal. However, the council still attaches considerable weight to the document as it has undergone a consultation process compliant with Planning Policy Statement 12.


We make decisions in one of two ways. For simpler applications, a senior officer checks the report and signs off the decision.

Planning Committee Decisions

The council now operates two planning committees, covering the east and the west of the district, and exercises, within the committees' areas, the council's powers and duties relating to development.

The planning committee usually looks at larger and more complex applications. Five working days before the meeting, we publish the agenda, which includes all of the case officers' reports. The council is committed to extending public involvement in the planning process. Members of the public are invited to speak at the planning meetings during consideration of an application. However, registration should be no later than 14:00 on the last working day before the meeting. If you wish to register you should email or call 01789 260245. A leaflet, Public Involvement in Stratford-on-Avon District Council Planning Committees, provides further advice and guidance.

Whether it is a senior officer or the councillors who decide an application, we issue most decisions within:

  • eight weeks for domestic extensions
  • eight weeks for minor applications
  • 13 weeks for major applications

We issue the decision as soon as possible after we make it.

Decision: approval

The permission lists any conditions we have had to apply to make the proposal acceptable. Some conditions ask for more details on an aspect of the proposal, while others specify the use of the development. Applicants can reduce the number of conditions by providing comprehensive information with their application.

A fee is payable per written request to discharge conditions and not per condition. The fee chargeable by the authority is £116 per request (or £34 where the condition relates to planning permission for extending or altering a dwelling house or other associated residential use in the curtilage of a dwelling house). The fee must be paid when the request is made, and cannot be received retrospectively. It does not matter when the permission was granted. The letter or form must clearly identify the relevant permission (planning application number) and the condition(s) concerned.

Requests to discharge planning conditions that are received without the appropriate fee will be returned unanswered. No fee is required for the discharge of conditions attached to applications for Listed Building Consent, Conservation Area Consent or Advertisement Consent. The Government requires authorities to deal with all requests within eight weeks, and fees are refundable if no response is sent within 12 weeks of the date of receipt. There is no 'free go' if the council decides that information submitted is not sufficient for a discharge of a condition or if a further request for written confirmation is submitted.

We know that it can be tempting to order materials or hire builders as soon as it seems likely that we will grant permission. However, it is best to wait until you receive the permission itself; things may change at the last minute, and conditions may prevent work from starting straight away.

Decision: refusal

When we refuse an application we explain why on the refusal notice. The report goes into more detail. if you feel that you can change the proposal to make it acceptable, you can use the pre-application process to submit amended plans for comment. If you submit a new application within a year of the decision date, your second application is usually free.

Appeals: applicants

The applicant can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate if we refuse their application, or impose a condition they think unjustified. When we are notified of an appeal, we forward all documents, plans and comments to the Planning Inspectorate .

We will usually write to invite further comments and provide more information at that stage. However, the Inspectorate does not accept extra comments on most appeals for domestic extensions.

Appeals: neighbours

Only the applicant can appeal against a planning decision. As a neighbour, you cannot appeal if we approve something you do not like. However, you may be able to exercise your rights under other laws, such as the Party Wall Act. We recommend that you seek independent legal advice.

If you think that we made a mistake in the way we handled the application, you can use our complaints procedure to let us know. We cannot change the decision after we have made it, however. The only way to change a planning decision is to seek a Judicial Review. Strict time limits apply and, again, you will need independent legal advice.

Last updated on 01/04/2020

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