Quick links to useful pages
Making a planning application
Before you make your application, you might want to get some from a planning officer, who will provide informal advice on what might be considered acceptable to the Local Planning Authority. Alternatively, you could check if your proposal conforms to the policies in the Local Development Plan.
Application forms can be downloaded from this website. There is a separate application form, help/guidance note and validation checklist for each type of application. Applications may also be submitted electronically via the Planning Portal Once the application has been submitted, the Development Management section of the Planning Department will deal with your application. Please see What Happens to Your Application for full details.
How you can help the process
If the application is complicated, consider engaging a professional architect or designer who will organise submission and negotiation on your behalf.
- Before you submit an application, seek advice from the planning pages on the Council's website or the Planning Portal at www.planningportal.gov.uk.
- Informal meetings can be arranged but there is a charge for these meetings based on the size and scale of the proposal. Meetings for works that only require Listed Building Consent are exempt from these charges. To discuss applications for household extensions, there is a Duty Planning Drop-in Service available in our Customer Service Centre on Monday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm and Wednesday mornings between 9am and 12.30pm.
- Visit your neighbours and show them the plans. This can often avoid conflict at a later stage.
- Ensure that all the information requested on the form and the relevant validation checklist is supplied. Scaled drawings of the existing situation and of the proposed development are required, together with the application fee.
Our Technical Support team is available between 2pm and 4pm daily to advise you. Supply any extra information or amended drawings speedily upon request to avoid delays.
What you can do during the process
If an agent has submitted an application on your behalf, all correspondence will be sent direct to him or her. The letter or email advising you or your agent that the application has been registered will include the name of the officer dealing with your application. You may contact the officer to discuss the progress of the application between 2pm and 4pm daily, although it would be advisable to wait for at least four weeks to allow for the end of the consultation period. This will ensure that the officer has received most, if not all, of the required responses from consultees, including neighbours. If you have decided to employ an agent to act for you, it is often advisable to let him or her negotiate with the case officer on your behalf.
If your application is going to be considered at Committee, you are welcome to attend and listen to the proceedings. You will also have the opportunity to speak if you wish, but must register your wish to do so on the day of the committee meeting by calling 01727 819347 between 10am and 2.30pm. You will be given three minutes to state your case. An objector may also do the same, but there can only be one speaker for and one against each application. Speakers may share the three-minute slot by mutual agreement.
If you and your neighbour are applying for planning permission to carry out building work to both your properties, the Planning Department may consider that the work will only comply with the requirements of the Local Development Plan if both developments are carried out and completed simultaneously. This normally means that unless the developments are completed together there will be issues surrounding light and amenity to the neighbours. You will be asked to complete a concurrent build section 106 obligation. This is a signed agreement that you and your neighbours will build your respective developments at the same time. Further information can be found in the Guidance Notes for Concurrent Builds. The draft Section 106 template can be found here.
Date of last review: 01 June 2012
Care of trees on development sites
Trees within development sites are vulnerable to damage in two areas:
- The trunk and branches making up the crown of the tree can be damaged by demolition and construction vehicles.
- The roots are often overlooked are easily damaged by ground compaction and excavations.
Ground compaction is the most common form of damage and leads to trees declining or dying within a few years after a development has been completed.
In order to assist you in the correct tree protection methods when building near trees and to help you to comply with your planning conditions, St Albans District Council has produced the fact sheet below to give you advice and guidance in caring for trees on development sites.