Planning decision outcomes and what they mean

Once your application is submitted, has made its way through the process of being validated and gone through consultation, you will generally be left in one of three common situations, so where do these leave you?

  1. Application approved

According to the Office for National Statistics, from April to June 2021, 89% of all planning applications made (regardless of type of application) were approved.  Most consents are granted subject to conditions, even if it is the standard time and plan conditions which you must follow.

Depending on the conditions you can generally proceed to develop exactly what has been approved without any further restriction or need to gain further approval of certain matters before you start the development.  If granted with conditions, the decision notice you will receive from the Council will outline the conditions you have to comply with.  The exception to this would, of course, be outline consent which requires submission of reserved matters to complete the permission granted.

It is very important to read all conditions and understand what they require before undertaking any works at all. The reason it is so important to read conditions is due to the requirements that may place upon you. There is chance that a condition may require discharge before any works start (a pre-commencement condition). If these conditions are not discharged there is possibility that you may be in breach of your permission which is as good as starting without planning consent.  A breach of a planning condition itself remains enforceable for a ten-year window.  Additionally, if the Council declines to approve the discharge there is possibility that it will lead to enforcement action if you have proceeded too early.

Upon grant of a permission Eldnar Consultancy provide you with a standard information sheet that will answer most questions regarding conditions to ensure that you don’t miss anything when implementing your consent.  We can also advise you on matters and mechanisms such as deemed discharge which can, if used correctly, speed up condition approvals for some matters.

2.Application Refused

The one that you do not want! Whilst it will be disappointing to receive a refusal on any application, it is important to read the decision notice, and delegated report, that the Council will issue as this should contain reasons and justification for refusal.

You have two options following a refusal, being:

  1. The ability to re-submit a revised application within a year without charge (commonly known as the “free-go”) to try to overcome the refusal reason(s).  The ability to re-submit without charge will only apply to applications that are NOT permitted development.  If the application is one for permitted development a new application will have to be submitted with fees being paid again, if this is something you wish to do.
  2. The option to appeal the decision via the Planning Inspectorate. Be aware with this option that there will be time constraints on how long you have to submit an appeal. This is typically 6 months from a decision date or the due decision date (non-householder (S78 appeals)) or 12 weeks (householder).


This decision is one that can be a grey area and can be difficult to navigate especially if there was a distinct lack of correspondence with the Council and you have no idea as to their thoughts.  Non-determination generally occurs when the application was not determined within the statutory time frames and you are getting no response from the Council.  This situation can leave people with little option but to proceed to appeal.

This approach should be left as a last resort as it is often trickier to go appeal with little indication as to what the Council’s decision would have been.  In some cases, you may have had correspondence from the Council on which to base the main issues for consideration at all but if not, you can be left uncertain of whether, if determined, the outcome would have been positive or negative.

For further information on appeals, please do get in touch with us, or book a 15-minute free mini chat through our website: Contact – Eldnar Consultancy