The Planning System
If you want to do any building work or alterations in East Herts you may need planning permission from the Council.
View Planning Applications/Decisions
You can view planning applications online or at our offices in Hertford and Bishop's Stortford.
Guides to Permitted Development
Certain types of minor changes can be made to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. This is called permitted development. Please see guides (in downloads section below) or the Guide to Planning page for further information.
How do I find out if I need planning permission?
How do I make an application?
You can make an application online at the Planning Portal or in writing. (Please note: the Planning Portal is a centralised, government run website that allows planning applications to be made to any council. East Herts Council do not run or administer the Planning Portal website)
How are the decisions made?
Planning applications are judged against planning policies in the East Herts Local Plan. The policies set out what types of development are considered appropriate and where and how the policies apply. View the Local Plan Policies and Maps. National planning policies may also apply, for more information view the Government Planning Policy.
Once your application is received, it will be validated and then passed to a planning officer in the Development Control team for them to look at the details of the application.
A site visit will generally be carried out by the officer, and you may be contacted to arrange an appointment if the site cannot be viewed from public land.
The officer will assess the application against the relevant local and national policies. They will then recommend a decision to a manager, or to the Development Control committee, who will decide whether the application should be approved or refused.
Please note that, due to restricted timescales for dealing with applications, officers are generally unable to seek amendments to applications, unless the amendment would only be a minor alteration that would not materially affect the proposal. You are therefore advised to use the Council's pre-application advice service so if the Council does have any concerns with your proposal these can be identified prior to the submission of an application.
Who decides whether I will get permission?
Ultimately, authority to determine planning applications lies with the Development Control committee. However, the Council typically deals with more than 2,200 applications per year. The majority of applications are therefore determined by planning officers under their delegated powers granted to them by the committee.
For planning purposes, the District is divided into two halves, each covered by one team of officers. Each team has a Team Leader and a Principal Planning Officer, and around 90% of applications submitted are determined by these officers.
The remaining applications are determined by the Development Control committee. The committee generally meets every four weeks and handles the larger and more complex applications, in accordance with the criteria set out in the Council's Constitution.
Development Control Committee
Larger or more complex applications may be determined at a meeting of the Development Control Committee (also known as the Planning Committee). The Council has a scheme so that, with the exception of enforcement matters, you can speak at Development Control meetings. For further details view Public Speaking at Development Control Committees.
You have a right to appeal against the refusal of planning permission or any conditions that the Council may impose on a permission. You may do so at any time up to six months from the date of decision, or within 12 weeks for householder development.
Details on how to do this are sent out with the decision notice and all appeals are judged by the Planning Inspectorate, an independent Government body. Appeals can be complicated and expensive, especially if they involve a public inquiry, so it is wise to get advice from a planning consultant, architect/agent or other qualified person before you start and particularly if you have not already done so.
Your appeal may be dealt with in one of three ways, by written representations, by an informal hearing, or by a public inquiry. In each case, the final decision is taken by the Secretary of State for the Environment or his representative. Most people opt for written representations since this generally means a quicker decision. However, all types of appeal are likely to take some time.
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Further questions about The Planning System
t: 01279 655261
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