Decisions and appeals on planning applications

Decisions on a planning applications


When a decision will be made

We have to consider and make a decision on all applications which are registered as valid. The Secretary of State sets targets for decision making. We have to reach a decision within a reasonable time frame.

For major developments, once we've received a valid planning application we have to make a decision:

  • within 16 weeks if the application includes an Environmental Impact Assessment
  • within 13 weeks if the application does not include an Environmental Impact Assessment

For all other planning applications, once we've received a valid planning application we have to make a decision:

  • within eight weeks 



Who considers planning applications 


Planning applications are considered and decided by one of three groups, either:

  • our Development Control Committee
  • one of our Neighbourhood Committees
  • or under delegated powers by managers within the Planning department

If your application is decided by the Planning department under delegated powers, the manager responsible will consider the advice and recommendation of the case officer and then make a decision.

How we make a decision

Our decision will be made by assessing the planning issues and considering them against the relevant policies in our Local Development Framework (LDF). The LDF includes our Core Strategy, the Mayor of London’s Plan and accompanying adopted guidance. We also take into account national legislation and guidance. 

We try to consult with anyone who could be directly affected by the development proposed. Anyone can send in comments of support as well as objections to an application. You can see how to comment on a planning application online.

Our decision will be to either:

  • grant planning permission (usually with conditions)
  • refuse planning permission


If we refuse planning permission we must show that the proposal would cause material harm. We cannot refuse planning permission because something will have a small effect on the environment or an amenity. We must assess the degree of harm that will be made.

Receiving the decision 


You, or your agent, will then receive a decision notice. The notice goes to whoever is given as the contact on the application form. A scanned image of the notice is then added to your application file within our online planning database.  

You can see whether a decision has been made or view a copy of the decision notice by searching our planning database for the planning application.

Right to appeal 


If we refuse planning permission, the person who applied for planning permission (the applicant) can appeal against the decision.