Wealden District Council
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The Planning Process

The stages that a planning application will go through, between Wealden District Council receiving it and making a decision, are explained below.

All applications are published online through our planning applications online system known as the public register where you can view key dates, plans and information associated with the application.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 introduced a requirement to serve a “commencement notice” under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA), with the new section 93G requiring persons to notify local authorities of the date they intend to commence development under a planning permission (including pursuant to a section 73 variation permission).

Use the online planning commencement form to notify us. 

This notification does not remove the obligation for you to formally discharge planning conditions and does not remove the need to submit a CIL Commencement Notice if your development is CIL liable.

Where development is not commenced on the date provided in the notice, the developer must serve a new notice with an updated anticipated commencement date. A developer can also serve a new commencement notice where they have changed their intended date of commencement (in advance of commencing).

Once your application is received, our technical support team checks the application to make sure everything that is required for us to determine the application is submitted.

You won’t pass this stage if information is missing, poor quality or you have not paid the right fee.

If we have everything we need, your application is registered as valid. If not, we will tell the agent or applicant so that they can send it to us.

An applicant often uses an agent when submitting an application. If this is the case, all communication will be sent to the agent. 

If an application is missing information and this is not provided in a timely manner the application is returned. 

Once an application is valid the application is passed to a planning case officer. We will tell you who your case officer is. 

Read more about the validation and information requirements and download forms. 

Once validated we start to process your application and will add it to the weekly list.

Your application is now public so people can see it online. 

Anyone that will be affected by your application will be notified and given the chance to comment. This includes members of the public and internal and external consultees known as statutory bodies so they can make comments. 

Our Statement of Community Involvement details public consultation and engagement measures throughout the planning application process

The planning officer will display a site notice as close to the site as possible. We may also advertise the application if required by legislation in a local newspaper.

21 days are usually allowed for comments to be received from the day we publicise the application or send out a consultation. View more information about keeping up to date with applications

The consultation expiry dates for each application is published on our planning applications online system.

The planning officer will consider factors such as policy, location, neighbour impact, consultee comments, design and wider impact.

This process takes between 8 and 13 weeks, depending on the application type where applications determined under delegated powers for minor developments (including householder applications) are generally determined within eight weeks of validation. Applications for major schemes are generally determined within 13 weeks of validation.

During the determination process, various discussions and negotiations will be taking place.

The planning officer will then write a report recommending approval or refusal of the application.

Some planning applications are reported to the Planning Committee.

A majority of planning applications, approximately 90%, are dealt with by Council officers under delegated powers. The other 10% are determined by Planning Committee

If an application is going to be determined by the Planning Committee, the applicant or their agent will be notified in line with the Scheme of Delegation which is set out in the Councils Constitution Part 7, Management Structure and Scheme of Delegation of the Constitution, Section G1.

Those who have written either in support or objection of an application that is going to be determined by Committee will receive written confirmation of the Committee date and officer recommendation to establish whether you wish to speak on the application at Committee.

There are two planning Committees that each meet approximately once a month;


The final decision can be made in two ways, either:

  • by a planning officer; or
  • by our Planning Committee, made up of elected Councillors

Once a decision is reached, it is sent to the agent or applicant and published online. 

The planning case officers report which details how the decision is formed is also published.

There are different time limits for each type of planning application:

  • Minor applications (including household) – 8 weeks
  • Major developments – 13 weeks
  • Applications involving environmental impact assessments – 16 weeks
  • Non-material amendment – 28 days
  • Applications to approve details reserved by condition – 8 weeks
  • Certificates of lawfulness for proposed or existing development – 8 weeks

If we miss the time limit to determine, the applicant has the right to submit a planning appeal.

When we issue the decision notice the decision notice will outline whether planning permission has been granted, possibly with conditions or whether planning permission has been refused.

If the application has been approved development can commence unless the planning permission has been granted subject to planning conditions that require further details to be submitted or ‘discharged’.

Pre-commencement planning conditions are often attached to planning applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant, or any subsequent developer, to ensure that the terms of all conditions are met in full. Any conditions that need to be discharged should be discharged before development can begin.

Conditions are discharged by supplying further details to us. Adequate information to discharge pre-commencement planning conditions should be submitted to and approved in writing by us before any works start on site.

You can apply online to have conditions discharged on the Planning Portal website.