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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. 

Update on our planning service - Effective 12 April 2024

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 – 18 weeks
Minor applications (including replacement dwellings) – 18 weeks
We are currently allocating applications that were made valid in the week commencing 4th March 2024 to a planning officer. 

As a result of the higher number of applications we have awaiting a decision, we are taking longer to allocate applications to a case officer. In general, we are working through applications in order that they were made valid, however we are aiming to give priority to the following application types:

  • Technical applications (e.g. prior approvals), which can obtain permission by default if these are not decided in accordance with the relevant timescale
  • Certificates of Lawfulness for householder development
  • Non-material amendments
  • Discharge of Conditions
  • Householder applications which are, in the view of the Council, simple in nature (e.g. This would not normally include applications with multiple elements proposed, applications within the Conservation Area, proposals to Listed Buildings or applications within the Metropolitan Green Belt).
  • Applications which, in the view of the Council, are a straightforward resubmission of a previous proposal

If your application is not showing a named case officer currently, we will assign one as soon as we are able to do so.  Please be assured that even if no officer is showing we have carried out the necessary consultations and notifications on the application. In order to give certainty to all our customers, the case officer will, upon allocation, request a realistic extended time period for a decision. 

If you have a professional agent submitting the application on your behalf, all dialogue with case officers takes place through them. Please ask your agent for an update if your case has been allocated to an officer.

The Council's Planning team is streamlining our service to ensure we can meet the needs of all our residents.

Our Planning phone lines are open:

Monday to Friday 09:00 to 13:00

You can access our Planning Duty Managers twice a week

  • Tuesdays 10:00 to 12:00 and
  • Thursdays 10:00 to 12:00 

Please note, planning officers are only available to speak to applicants or their agents about their current "live" planning applications. 

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. 

Our online service is available 24/7 where you can view and track current applications, explore the Local Plan, make new planning applications plus much more.

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:

Any amendments during the course of the planning application will now go through our chargeable service, which is at the discretion of officers in accordance with our guidance. 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. 

 Thank you for your patience while our officers deal with a heavier than usual workload.

Public Inquiries

Colney Heath Appeal

Appeal by Tarmac Ltd of application 5/2022/0599 at Land adjacent to Colney Heath Football Club, Colney Heath, St. Albans

The Inquiry is due to commence on 23 April 2024 in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans

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

Colney Heath Inquiry


Tollgate Road Appeal

Appeal by Vistry Homes of application 5/2022/1988 at Land To The Rear Of 42-100 Tollgate Road & 42 Tollgate Road Colney Heath St Albans Hertfordshire

The Inquiry took evidence and submissions between 19 & 28 September 2023 in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans. 

The core documents and submissions can be viewed on our web page: Tollgate Road Inquiry; the Inquiry Webcast is available via


Chiswell Green Appeals

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 met again for Planning Conditions and Closing Arguments to be heard on Tuesday 9th May. 

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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