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Making a planning application

Submit a planning application online via the Planning Portal
The most efficient way to submit a planning application is by using the online service from the Planning Portal, however downloadable planning application forms are available
Planning Portal online planning application fee calculator

What do I need to submit?

Planning application fees, forms and checklists vary depending on the type of application. Under certain circumstances you may also need to submit a design and access statement, or a heritage statement.

For small developments (1 or 2 dwellings) on existing residential or greenfield sites on land which is potentially contaminated or where the proposed end use is sensitive you will also need to complete a land contamination questionnaire.

Every planning application needs a site location plan and block plan showing the location and boundaries of the site you are planning to work on, the required supporting documentation, the completed application form and the fee. Required supporting documentation can be found on the relevant checklist.

Ordnance survey plans can be purchased from Customer Services at the Marina Customer Service Centre, Lowestoft or you can use the Planning Portal's 'Buy a Plan' service to ensure that you meet our requirements, whether you are a planning professional or first-time applicant.


It is advisable to check at the outset with the Planning Office to see if permission is needed.

Submit a planning application

The appropriate application form and supporting documents to be submitted.

Receipt and validation

Upon receipt of a planning application, we will check to make sure that all of the relevant application forms have been completed correctly and that all of the necessary plans, drawings and other supporting information has been submitted with the application.

Once all of the necessary information has been submitted, the application will be validated. An acknowledgement will then be sent to the applicant or agent and the application is recorded within the planning register, which the Council is required to maintain and make available for public inspection.


Depending on the proposed development, it may be necessary for the local planning authority to formally consult with other departments or statutory bodies over the proposed development. The Council will also send a formal consultation to the local Parish or Town Council.


Neighbour notification letters will be sent to selected local properties in writing. When appropriate, site notices will be displayed. Some applications are also displayed in the local press.

What policies are taken into account?

Policies in the relevant Local Plan will be taken into account when considering planning applications.

Scheme of Delegation

Most minor applications are decided by senior planning officers under the Scheme of Delegation. Major or controversial proposals are considered at a meeting of the Planning Committee.


Applications are usually determined within:

  • 8 weeks - minor applications (smaller developments) and other applications (extensions, conservatories, advertising signs etc)
  • 13 weeks - major applications (developments of ten or more houses and larger commercial or industrial proposals)


The applicant has the right of appeal to the Government against refusals.

View an application

Suffolk Biodiversity Partnership - guidance on local requirements for biodiversity and geodiversity

Local requirements for protected species - criteria and indicative thresholds for when a survey and assessment is required.
Local requirements for designated sites and priority habitats - criteria for when a survey and assessment is required.
Local requirements for designated geodiversity sites and features - criteria for when a survey and assessment is required.
Ecological survey seasons