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Planning permission

Information on making planning applications.

When is planning permission needed?

Planning permission is required for most forms of development. "Development" is defined in Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as follows:

"The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land."

Certain works, e.g. internal alterations, and those which do not materially change the external appearance of a building have, are excluded from the meaning of "development".  Other works of a minor nature and some material changes of use can be carried out as "permitted development" by virtue of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (As Amended).  This provision most commonly applies to extensions to dwellings and industrial buildings. There are currently over thirty classes of "permitted development".  Some kinds of "permitted development" need prior notification to us before the works can be carried out, e.g. agricultural buildings and telecommunication equipment.

Applications affecting Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas and for the display of advertisements are dealt with under separate legislation and regulations.

If you are in any doubt as to whether planning permission is required, it is always advisable to contact the Development Control team for your particular area.

Types of planning applications

There are three principal kinds of planning applications - full, outline and reserved matters.

Full application

This describes both the uses proposed and the manner in which the development is to be carried out, i.e. materials, design, access and layout details. Full permissions normally last for three years. All applications for a change of use, by definition, are full applications.

Outline application

This is used to establish the general principle of a particular kind of development on a site.  Outline permission normally lasts for three years but cannot be acted upon until full details have been approved under a subsequent "reserved matters" application.  When an outline application is made the applicant can choose whether to seek approval of any of five "reserved matters" or whether to leave them all for subsequent approval.  The five "reserved matters" are:

  • Layout – the way in which buildings, routes and open spaces are provided within the development and their relationship to buildings and spaces outside the development
  • Scale – the height, width and length of each building proposed in relation to its surroundings
  • Appearance – the aspects of a building or place which determine the visual impression it makes, excluding the external built form of the development
  • Access – this covers accessibility to and within the site for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians in terms of the positioning and treatment of access and circulation routes and how these fit into the surrounding access network
  • Landscaping – this is the treatment of private and public space to enhance or protect the site's amenity through hard and soft measures, for example, through planting of trees or hedges or screening by fences or walls.

With an application for outline planning permission detailed consideration will always be required on the use and amount of development.  In addition, even if layout, scale and access are reserved, an application will still require a basic level of information on these issues in the application.  As a minimum, therefore, applications should always include information on:

  • Use – the use or uses proposed for the development and any distinct development zones within the site identified
  • Amount of development – the amount of development proposed for each use
  • Indicative layout – an indicative layout with separate development zones proposed within the site boundary where appropriate
  • Scale parameters – an indication of the upper and lower limits for height, width and length of each building within the site boundary
  • Indicative access points – an area or areas in which the access point or points to the site will be situated

The District Council decides within the first 28 days of considering an outline application, that some or all of the details are required at that stage - perhaps on a particularly sensitive site - the Authority can hold the application in abeyance until such details are submitted. This is our policy in Conservation Areas.

Reserved matters application

This is a submission for approval of details following an outline approval, and cannot be treated in the same way as an application for planning permission. In other words, it is not open for the Local Planning Authority to consider matters, in principle, that should have been considered earlier, and any conditions may only be appropriate to the matters "reserved" for later approval.

Advice before you make an application

We welcome and encourage discussions before you submit your planning application. Through prior discussions we will be able to identify issues which you may need to take into account prior to submission and therefore improving the application process. Planning Officers are available at the Town Hall, Matlock between 9.00am to 12.00 noon Monday to Fridays to assist members of the public who may require help to consider what impact a planning application will have upon their property. However, if you wish to discuss specific proposals you are advised to seek guidance through the pre-application advice process. Further information on the pre application process can be found from the following link.

It is important that you provide accurate drawings to support your application with sufficient detail to a recognisable scale. All drawings should be scaled in metric and not imperial measurements. It may also be of assistance to make any affected parties aware of the fact that you intend to submit a planning application. The Planning Aid Service provides free, independent and professional town planning advice and support for local communities and individuals.

Submitting your planning application

In the interests of expediency Derbyshire Dales encourages the submission of online planning applications via the Planning Portal. For more information visit our web page on Making an Application.

We have produced a comprehensive guidance note on how to submit a planning application.  For an application to be registered it must be made on a form supplied by us. Application forms and guidance notes are available from this site or alternatively by contacting us. Applications must be accompanied by all of the necessary information as specified in the relevant validation checklist.

If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf, all correspondence will be sent to your agent who will also be contacted if information or amendments are needed.  Planning Officers will liaise with your agent and It will be the responsibility of your agent to keep you informed of progress on your application. The decision will also be sent to your agent.

We will let either you or your agent know, within 4 working days of receipt of your application, if any further information is required to make your application valid.  If this information is not received within 14 days, your application will be treated as withdrawn.

We will register and acknowledge valid applications within seven working days.  A letter of acknowledgement will be forwarded to either yourself or your agent, providing the name and contact details of the case officer dealing with the application.