The decisions process

All decision notices are available on line 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 making process has 4 stages:

  1. Application validation
  2. Consultation period
  3. Consideration of an application
  4. Issuing of a decision notice

Application validation

An application is checked by our technical officers to see if is valid. If it is not valid, or we have not received the information we require to make a decision then it does not move to the next stage. These checks are to see if:

  • a fee has been submitted and is correct (if needed)
  • the correct plans have been submitted
  • one copy of the plans has been submitted
  • one copy of the correct application form has been submitted
  • all parts of the application form have been filled in correctly
  • certificates have been submitted and the correct notice has been served as required
  • a Flood Risk Assessment has been submitted (if required)
  • a Design and Access Statement has been submitted (if required)

The technical officer will contact the applicant or agent if any of this is missing or needed and the application will be put on hold. The applicant or agent will have 10 days to submit the information. If the information has not been received within that 10 day period the application and fee will be returned.

Once an application is valid, it is entered into the planning register and the consultation period begins.

Local Validation List

Further to a 6-week consultation in late 2023 regarding proposed Local Validation Lists for planning applications, the Central Lincolnshire authorities of City of Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey have reviewed the comments received, and in response, prepared a report which sets out how this has been used to shape the adoption of our Local Lists.

This Local Validation Checklist and Summary of Consultation Responses report [pdf / 308 KB] is available to view and download .

Thank you to all those who responded to this consultation.

City of Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey have worked jointly to develop Local Validation Lists following the adoption of the 2023 Central Lincolnshire Local Plan to ensure a consistent approach is applied, linking directly with the requirements set out in the adopted Local Plan.

The following Local Validation Lists will be used to ensure that the necessary information is provided at the point of planning applications being submitted, and to prevent any delays in validation.

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The adopted local lists for all three authorities were scheduled to come into effect Monday 20 May 2024, however due to technical issues experienced with updating our systems, implementation of the local validation requirements for West Lindsey District Council will be delayed until the week commencing on 3 June 2024.

These requirements however will form part of the validation process for North Kesteven and City of Lincoln from 20 May 2024.

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Local Validation Lists documents

Consultation period

We will contact a number of individuals in writing, including the parish council and immediate neighbours to the site. Archaeology at Lincolnshire County Council may also be consulted. A public notice will be posted near the site and if the law requires it, a similar notice will be published in the local paper. During this time anyone can make comments to support or object to the application.

For all applications the public consultation period is 24 days. All comments received are available for inspection on the planning application file. The next stage is the consideration of the application.

Applications received in the previous week are published weekly.

Consideration of an application

The case officer will carry out a site visit. They will consider the proposal in the light of national and local planning policy such as the planning policy guidance notes, planning policy statements, the local plan as well as all comments received during the consultation period.

If a conflict with planning considerations arises, it may be possible to make a modification to the proposal, for example, making changes to a design to make a proposed building more compatible with its surroundings. An officer will endeavour to contact the applicant or agent to discuss the possibility of amended plans in such cases. If the amendments are significant enough, a re-consultation exercise may occur. Consultees will have 14 days to put forward any comments.

Agendas, reports and minutes of previous Planning Committee meetings.

The formal assessment and decision making

Once the consultation period comes to an end, the planning officer can write up the formal assessment. This is called the scheme of delegation report. The report will describe the proposal, discuss any comments received and how they have been considered or dealt with and discuss how the scheme does or does not comply with the relevant planning policies. Applications are considered against national, regional and local policies. The adopted Central Lincolnshire Local Plan is the current plan which all applications within West Lindsey are assessed by.

Where an application is of such significance as to cause strategic, district-wide, regional, or national issue then this may be referred to the planning committee to determine.

During a planning committee meeting there will be an opportunity for the applicant/agent to put forward a case to support the application (total 5 minutes), there will also be the opportunity for a case to be put forward against the proposal (total 5 minutes). Councillors will then take a vote as to whether or not the application should be granted, occasionally they may defer making a decision should they decide a committee site visit would be beneficial before making a decision.

Issuing of a decision notice

Once a decision has been made, a decision notice will be issued (if the applicant has appointed an agent, we will forward this to the agent). All decision notices are available online, you can find out the outcome by looking up the application on our planning application search page.

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If granted, the notice will state the reasons why and include any conditions which must be adhered to. These conditions sometimes have to be settled before any building work starts but if this is the case it will clearly state the requirements on the decision notice.

If refused, the notice will include the reasons why. Following a refusal, advice can be given as to whether or not a revised application may lead to a favourable decision. An applicant also has the right of appeal to the Secretary of State, details of how to appeal will be included in the decision.