Planning permission granted or refused: what next?

Your planning application has been determined and you now have your decision notice in your hand. 

Decision notices

These provide the outcome of a planning application. A copy of the decision notice is sent to the applicant (or their agent if one has been appointed to make the application on someone’s behalf). All decision notices are available online and if you have made comments on an application you can find out the outcome by looking up the application on our planning application search page.

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The decision notice will include various details and information relating to what needs to happen next, as follows:

Granted applications

Before you give the go ahead to your builder it is important that you read your decision notice carefully and comply with any planning conditions that are detailed on your decision notice. You will also need to ensure that any separate Building Regulation Applications and other statutory requirements are also in order before you start to actually build.

All granted permissions will include some kind of conditions that have to be complied with. For most basic applications this could be as simple as ensuring that you begin work within 3 years. For other types of applications you may be required to provide extra information in order to discharge a planning condition.

Only conditions that are considered to be fair and reasonable can be added to a notice. Often a condition will be added to satisfy neighbour’s concerns such as conditioning the retention or erection of a boundary fence to prevent the risk of overlooking a neighbour’s garden area. 

Be sure to read through the conditions carefully as there maybe some which will need to be discharged in writing by the planning authority before development can commence. 

Discharging conditions

Conditions that have been added to a decision notice which state that details must be agreed in writing with the district planning authority before development commences will require the applicant/developer to formally apply to the council.   This is known as discharging a condition.

Please feel free to contact the planning team to discuss how to go about this part of the process. A standard form can be used, or a letter explaining which conditions you would like to discharge. A fee is payable with each application to discharge (see Planning Portal: Fee calculator) therefore you may wish to try and discharge several conditions relating to the application in one go rather than applying separately for each condition. The council has a duty to respond to your request within 8 weeks but should the information submitted not be considered acceptable to discharge the stated condition, you will be notified as soon a possible within that time period.

However, it is hoped that as you have been through the pre-application stage you will already be aware of the type of conditions that may be attached to an approval and the type of information or detail that you will be required to submit at this stage.

Refused applications

Whether your application has been refused via the Scheme of Delegation Process (which means the decision has been made by your planning officer and agreed by the development services manager) or refused by the planning committee, you have various options to now pursue.

Further discussions with the council

If pre-development advice was not initially sought you may now wish to contact your planning officer to discuss a way forward. It may be that there are amendments which could be made to the scheme which could not be dealt with during the statutory 8 week application time but that can now be looked at. There could be concerns which were raised by neighbours or statutory consultees which justified the refusal of the application.  Or it may be that the scheme was not considered acceptable against policy considerations but alterations may make it more acceptable.

If after a discussion, any of those options are applicable you will be encouraged to enter into pre-development discussions. The planning department are unlikely to offer the pre-development service if the principle of the scheme does not comply with key planning considerations. 


There are occasions when despite pre-development discussions the formal application results in refusal. Should you feel that additional discussions with the planning department would not be beneficial, you do have the option to apply to the Secretary of State to over rule the council’s decision.

Details of the appeal procedure will be outlined on the refusal notice or use this link to access the Planning Inspectorate website. You can also view further information on how to make an appeal

Should the application be allowed at appeal there will likely be conditions attached which must be discharged by the local planning authority before development can commence. Please see the discharge of conditions section as above.