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Planning and Building Control

Planning is interested in the way our towns, cities and countryside are developed. This includes the appearance of buildings and the use of land.

We aim to protect the natural (Trees) and historic (Listed Buildings) environments.

Building Control look at building works to ensure the sustainable use of fuel and water, the safety and health of people in or about those buildings. 

For many works to buildings or trees, separate permissions will be required from us.

Validation Delays 

We are currently experiencing a peak in applications which, together with staff shortages, has caused our usual validation timescales to slip - we are working to minimise any delays but please note, however, that despite our best efforts, some delay may be unavoidable. 

Update on our planning service - Effective 23rd December 2022

We continue to have a high number of planning applications currently awaiting decisions. Our current average timescales for deciding applications are as follows:

Householder applications – 14 weeks
Minor applications (including replacement dwellings) – 18 weeks

To provide certainty to all our customers, a request for an extended time period to determine your application will be made to your agent by one of our Technical team at the time of validating your planning application. If this extended time period is agreed, we will update the website with the new expiry date and the officers will work to meet this realistic timescale as far as possible.

For applications that are pending a decision and are expired, we will be in touch with you to agree an extended time period for a decision as soon as we are able to provide this. 

In order to create capacity for us to deal with the applications, phone lines to contact planning officers are only open:

  • Tuesdays 10am to 12pm 
  • Thursdays 2pm to 4pm

Planning officers are not available to take calls outside these times. If a planning officer has any questions about your application, they will contact you.

Please do not contact the planning department for an update on your application. You can monitor the website for comments and consultation responses on your application using the online search facility. See:

In order to prioritise issuing decisions, we are not currently accepting amendments during the course of the planning application. Should you wish to seek initial views on a proposal, please use our preapplication advice service. See:

To speed up the determination of your application, please note the following advice:

  • Please ensure your application includes all the necessary information.
  • Please do not submit updates or revisions to your application unless requested to do so by the Planning Officer
  • Please submit current photographs of the site and surroundings to help your case officer assess the application.
  • Please put up a site notice if asked to do so and send additional photographs if requested. If you cannot do this, please let us know promptly – failure to display a site notice correctly will cause a delay in processing the planning application. 

If your application is not showing a named case officer currently, we will assign one as soon as we are able to do so. Thank you for your patience while our officers deal with a heavier than usual workload.

Chiswell Green Appeals - Public Inquiry

The Inquiry took evidence and submissions between 17 & 25 April 2023 in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans. The session scheduled for 26 April was not needed. It will meet again for Planning Conditions and Closing Arguments to be heard on Tuesday 9th May (from 9:30am in the Council Chamber and on our Live Stream). Please note that capacity in the Council Chamber is limited and spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The Inquiry will however be live streamed so will be available to view online at Note: The recording of each’s day’s live stream becomes available around 8:30pm.

The core documents and submissions can be viewed on our web page:

Chiswell Green Inquiry

Planning and Building Control teams

If you need support the first point of contact will be your Section Owner. Your section owner can be found here

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