Once we receive your application, we will carry out a number of steps.

Validating your application

We will check that you have submitted all of the required documents and drawings, and you have paid the correct fee. If there are any problems, we will contact you.

Notifying neighbours 

We will put up a site notice advertising your application to neighbours. During the three week notification period, they can submit objections and comments.

Once the notification period has ended, you can remove the notice.

We suggest that you speak to your neighbours about your proposal before you submit your application.

Carrying out consultations 

We will send consultations to the local parish or town council, and in some cases to other organisations such as Essex County Council's Highways Authority. 

Visiting the site 

We may need to carry out a site visit for your planning application. If we can see the location of your proposal from the road, we will not need to come on to your property. 

If your proposal is to the rear and is not accessible, we may ask for access. If you are not home, we will leave a card, asking you to contact us to agree a convenient time for us to visit. 

We will also display a yellow notice either outside or near the site. Once the date for comments has passes, you can remove the notice. The date is clearly displayed on the notice.

Assessing the application 

We don’t issue updates during the assessment period, but you can check the status of your application online.

Writing a report 

Your case officer will write a formal report, and recommend your application for approval or refusal. 

Making a decision 

The Director of Sustainable Communities deals with most applications, under delegated powers from the Council. 

We will tell you if the Planning Committee will decide on your application.

Issuing a decision 

We will issue a decision within:

  • 8 weeks for standard applications
  • 13 weeks for applications for major developments
  • 16 weeks if your application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment 

Occasionally, it may take longer for us to issue a decision. If this happens with your application, we will contact you and ask for an extension of time.

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