Make a planning application
Steps to take
If you already know what you are doing you should make your application online at the Planning Portal (note there is a £64 charge for using their service).
If not, this guide will explain what you need to do to make a planning application in Richmond upon Thames.
- Check if you need planning permission
- Find the correct type of application, form and fees
- Check what you may need to submit
- Submit your application and pay fees
- Application process
Step 1 - Check if you need planning permission
It is recognised that planning is a complicated subject, and under ‘permitted development rules’ not all developments require planning permission.
You may choose to use the Planning Portal website, which provides information that will help you determine if your development requires permission or not. However, if your property is in a conservation area, it may be protected by an Article 4 direction, in which case you will need to apply for permission for work that would otherwise be allowed.
Gaining professional advice
Alternatively, you may consider seeking advice from professionals in the field. This can be from both the pre-application service the Local Planning Authority offers, and engaging with architects and planning consultants:
If you want clear, impartial and professional advice at an early stage you may benefit from our pre-application advice service, which offers different levels of advice.
Alternatively see our advice and information on the planning application process.
We do not offer a Duty Officer appointment service.
Engaging with local architects and planning consultants
Although anyone can submit a planning application, to ensure that the submission is valid and the quality is sufficient to ensure that delays are minimised, you may consider using a professional in the field. There are a number of local architects and planning consultations that can be used. The Council is not able to make recommendations however to ensure that the professional is suitably qualified you can check:
- The Architects Register
- The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) - directory of planning consultants
Step 2 – Find the right application form
There are many different application forms. The right one to use depends on the type of application you are making.
The Planning Portal provides guidance on this. Alternatively you can view a full list of planning forms.
Step 3 – Check what else you might need
To prevent avoidable delays or refusals, you must ensure that your application submission is accompanied with all necessary reports to meet policy requirements.
Please ensure all documents submitted, including reports, plans and drawings that need to be reproduced at a particular scale, are saved in Adobe PDF file format (scalable to the original paper size).
Failure to comply with the following could result in your application remaining invalid:
- National list of requirements
- A guide to Discharging Planning Conditions(pdf, 159KB)
- Heritage Statements(pdf, 533KB)
- Health Impact Assessments
- Basement Assessment User Guide (March 2021) (pdf, 230 KB)
- Fire Safety Policy - London Plan Guidance
Advice from partners which may be relevant
If your development involves the loss of, or would prejudice:
- The use of all or any part of a playing field;
- land which has been used as a playing field and remains undeveloped; or
- is land allocated for use as a playing field,
It is recommended that you refer to Sport England guidance, including but not limited to, ‘Playing Fields Policy and Guidance Document (March 2018);
- The Environment Agency produces Guidance for developments requiring planning permission and environmental permits.
Local Validation Checklist
- Local Validation Checklist (pdf, 437 KB)- Adopted December 2019, minor update published January 2020 and April 2021
With respect to a Section 73 application, the information required will depend upon what changes are proposed or the purpose of any condition it is proposed to remove or vary and national or local policies, or other material considerations, which may have changed significantly since the original grant of permission.
The information required may include any of the requirements outlined in the Local Validation Checklist (LVC) where the threshold applies. You are advised to discuss what information will be required with planning officers before submitting an application. Where the local planning authority considers that information is required and it is not provided the application will be treated as invalid.
Step 4 – Submit your application and pay fees
The easiest way to submit your application is to use the Planning Portal website, where you can make your application and payment online. Our fees page details current charges.
Ensure any electronic files you submit with your application meet our requirements.
If you don’t want to use the Planning Portal you can print a form and apply by post.
Step 5 – Application process
Once we have received your application it will follow this process:
- Applications are validated
We check that everything was submitted that should have been, including fees. If there are problems we will be in touch
- Neighbour notification period
The public are notified for a period of 3 weeks. During this time objections and supported comments can be submitted
- Assessment of the application
Please do not contact us for updates to your application during this assessment period unless it is urgent
- Officer report is written
The Officer managing your application will recommend your application for approval or refusal
- Officers report is reviewed by Senior Officers or a Development Control Manager
The decision is either made at this stage, or the application is referred to the Planning Committee for a decision. (Your case may be referred to a Planning committee if the recommendation is contrary to third-party representations, or is a departure)
- Decision is issued
The targets to determine applications are:
- 8 weeks
- 13 weeks for applications for major development
- 16 weeks if an application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment
You can check the current status of applications online.
If your application is successful, you will need to arrange a street condition survey before any work starts.
Step 6 – Appeal
Depending on the outcome of your application you may want to appeal.
Appeals must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with strict time limits. All appeals must be lodged with the Planning Inspectorate.
Find more details about our appeals process or what to do if your planning application has been refused:
If you are still not sure about the appeal process, you can contact us at Development Control (Planning) on 020 8891 1411, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up to: Planning
Updated: 23 May 2023