Planning application fees and charges

Fees for planning applications

In most cases you must pay a fee when you make a planning application.

Our fees for valid planning applications are set by the government. You can download a guide to the fees for planning applications in England from Planning Portal: what it costs.

The Planning Portal guide sets out all current fees, along with details of exemptions from payment and reductions to payment.

Fees to be paid with your application

You can use the Planning Portal's online fee calculator to work out how much you must pay.

Planning Portal fee calculator

Planning applications will be considered invalid if submitted without the correct payment.

Fees for applications that are not validated

The cost of registering an application is usually covered by the application fee. When an application is registered but is not made valid before the allowed deadline, we make a charge to cover our costs. This charge is taken from the application fee and the remainder of the fee returned to the applicant.

Charges are as follows:

  • Householder, advertisement and similar applications £48
  • Minor, lawfulness and similar applications £96
  • Major and similar complex applications £192

If an application is invalid we will explain the reason clearly and tell you the latest date for sending us any outstanding items. We will allow more time if there are exceptional circumstances, such as the need to carry out a habitat survey during a particular season of the year.

You will be told when you may incur a registration charge if you do not submit the outstanding items.

How to apply for planning permission

Firstly, check that you require planning permission by reading the 'work that needs planning permission' section (see link in Related Pages).

We strongly recommend pre-application discussions.     

For general enquiries on planning matters the answer to many queries can be found on government web sites such as planningportal.gov.uk.   We only offer advice through the pre-application service for which a fee is payable.

For this, we will provide information about the relevant planning policies and site history and, where appropriate, the Council's standards for such matters as car parking provision and private amenity space, but we cannot tell you for certain whether or not you will get permission. This is because applications involve public participation and consultation with other bodies and decisions are sometimes made by the Planning Committee. It is not always possible, therefore, to anticipate the final outcome of an application.

How to submit an application

Making an application online is the most efficient way to submit your proposals.

You can submit an application to us via the Planning Portal website: 

Submit a planning application

The portal offers a quick and easy way to apply, with online help available. You can upload your supporting documents and pay your application fee online. Submitting your application online saves on postage and gives you immediate verification of your submission.

Please note that, when submitting a planning application via the planning portal, you will not be able to make a payment via cheque or telephone.  Planning portal submission will only be accepted with an on line payment made at the time of submission.

If you have submitted your application by post or via your agent or if your application has been identified as invalid due to the incorrect fee being received by us please pay the amount owed by completing the following form:

 Pay a planning application fee

Time to process applications

Minor applications take between 6 and 8 weeks to be processed and have a decision sent out. Major applications take up to 13 weeks to process, or 16 weeks if accompanied by an environmental impact assessment.

Making contact

If valid, we aim to register and acknowledge within 5 working days. If the application is found to be invalid, you will be written to separately and asked to provide the necessary information.  Your application will not be processed until the missing information is received, if the information is not received within the time specified then we reserve the right to nullify your submission and take no further action.

The acknowledgement letter will provide the name of the Case Officer dealing with the application and a target date by which we aim to make a decision. Please note that no contact will be entered into regarding an “update” on the progress of the application, the Case Officer will not be in a position to offer an update. The application progress can be tracked using Public Access and any important target dates can also be viewed. 

Consultation and publicity

We publicise applications and ask the views of neighbours and other interested parties, where appropriate, before making a decision.

Consultation letters and neighbour notification letters will generally be sent out within one week of receiving a valid application. A site notice may also be displayed and a notice may appear in The Enquirer.  Unless otherwise required by legislation, consultees and neighbours will be allowed 21 days to comment, after which the application may be determined.

Amendments and additional information

If your proposal raises planning or design issues but could be overcome by some minor amendment(s), and where you agree to extend the time for determination, where practicable, the Case Officer will contact you or your agent to discuss whether it is feasible to revise the scheme. A reasonable time period will be given in order for you to send us amended drawings.  If, at the end of that period, we have not received the amendments, the Council will determine the application as originally submitted.

If there are fundamental planning issues arising from the scheme then we will not contact you and your application will be determined as submitted.  Unless you hear from us to the contrary then you should receive a decision notice no later than week 8 from your application being validated.  Please note that no contact will be entered into regarding an “update” on the progress of the application, the Case Officer will not be in a position to offer an update. The application progress can be tracked using Public Access and any important target dates can also be viewed. 

Implementing developments

Any grant of planning permission may be subject to conditions which require you to submit further details for approval by the Council. Approval of details reserved by condition can only be agreed via a formal applications process for which a fee is payable.  Further details and forms can be obtained via the planning portal website.

Development must be carried out in accordance with the approved plans and any conditions attached to the permission. It is the Applicant's responsibility to let the Council know if amendments to the approved plans are necessary. If amendments are required, further planning permission may be needed. The Case Officer will be able to advise on this procedure.

The development will be subject to a planning compliance check by a Council Officer.  This inspection is separate to any inspection carried out by Building Surveying Services as part of the Building Regulation Consent process.

Planning permission does not override normal property rights and a development can only be carried out with the permission of all affected landowners. For example, permission may be needed from your neighbour for the construction access or if the development affects a party wall. In addition, due regard must be given to any restrictive covenants that may affect your property.

If you require further information, please view the Governments plain English guide to the planning system.

Information to be submitted - all planning applications

For your planning application to be valid you must send us the following items as a minimum.

Information to be submitted with all planning applications
Item Notes
Application form This must be the right form for the application type, fully completed.
Application fee Go to planning fees and charges.
Location plan This shows the site area and its surrounding context.
Site plan, sometimes called a block plan This shows the proposed development in detail.
Ownership certificate Certificate A, B, C or D states who owns the property.
Agricultural holdings certificate This is needed whether or not the site includes an agricultural holding – all agricultural tenants must be notified before an application is submitted.

Every planning application in the UK must meet these requirements.

All forms and certificates must be fully completed.

You may also need to provide a design and access statement, unless your application:

  • relates to a material change in use of land or buildings
  • relates to engineering or mining operations
  • is a householder development where no part of the property is within a site of special scientific interest or a conservation area

For more about these documents, go to: Planning Practice Guidance: validation requirements

Information to be submitted for specific application types

In addition to information that must be submitted with all planning applications, you may have to provide extra information in specific cases.

Please click on the following link to view the adopted Local List, published February 2017 (Amended and re-published most recently June 2019) Brentwood Local List of Validation Requirements pdf.

Once an application has been submitted, the Validation Team will determine whether the application is valid or not, by assessing it against the National and Local validation requirements.

Compliance of current Local Plan with National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was introduced in July 2018 and replaced previous government planning policy.  A useful reference guide to compliance between the Brentwood Replacement Local Plan and the NPPF pdf.

Wildlife checks

Biodiversity in Planning provides a free online tool for householders and small- or medium-scale developers to check whether they will need expert ecological advice before submitting a planning application. Go to Biodiversity in Planning: Wildlife Assessment Check.

This tool is not meant for large developments where formal Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are required by law.