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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 18th September 2023

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 received a letter confirming the application was valid circa 14th June 2023 to a planning officer. 
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.

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. 

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

Public Inquiries

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 Public Inquiry will take place in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans between Tuesday 19 September and Thursday 28 September.  On opening day the Inquiry will commence at 10am, otherwise at 9:30am. It is not scheduled to meet on Monday 25 September.

There is limited capacity for around 50 members of the public in the Council Chamber and, if needed, we will operate on a “first come, first served” basis.  The chamber is fully accessible.

The Inquiry will also be live streamed / webcast; please visit to watch - either live or the recording archive (note: webcasts do not appear in the archive instantly; they become available within a few hours).

The current Inquiry timetable is now published on the Inquiry page, but do note that some change is likely (at the Inspector’s direction); this could include the day’s start time.

Tollgate Road Inquiry

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

Planning and Building Control news

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