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  • Writer's pictureNFC Homes

How long does it take to acquire planning permission?

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

If you're considering applying for planning permission on land that you own, it's important to understand the process of applying for planning permission and how long it could take. Applying for planning permission isn't easy, and there are lots of hurdles along the way. It can take months but it’s not unusual for it to take over a year. Applying for planning permission is a multi-step process. Let's explore how to apply for planning permission and how long this could take depending on your plans.

How does obtaining planning permission work?

Applying for - and obtaining - planning permission is a lengthy process that involves a number of external third parties and professionals. Exactly how long the process takes depends on the type of land you want to build on and the type of planning permission you want to obtain

1. Draw up a scheme

Before you can apply for planning permission, you'll need to draw up a scheme for your land. This essentially means drawing up plans for exactly what you want to build and where. You'll usually have to employ a team of professional architects to draw up accurate plans for you.

2. Meet with the council

After you've drawn up your plans, book a pre-application meeting with your local council. Here, you'll discuss your plans and get feedback from the council on your design, the location you want to build in, and the likelihood of obtaining planning permission on your site. They'll also let you know of any third-party reports you're required to obtain. After this meeting, correct your plans and carry out any actions that your local council recommended before applying for planning permission.

3. Prepare a full application

If your pre-application meeting went well, prepare a full application for planning permission. This involves obtaining a number of third-party reports including reports on highways, flooding, air quality, noise, and energy. When you're planning application is ready, submit it to the local council.

4. Wait for the decision

After you've submitted your application, you'll have to wait a number of weeks to receive a decision. Officially, this is supposed to take between around 8 and 13 weeks depending on the type of application you make and the availability of your local council, but in actuality, it can take up to a year.

5. Next steps

Hopefully your application is then approved and you are able to decide what to do next.

If your planning application is refused then you can then either Appeal to the Government Inspector or make changes to your scheme and re-submit it to the local council.

How long does it take to acquire planning permission?

How long it takes to obtain planning permission depends on how quickly and efficiently you complete the first stages including preparing and submitting your application and on the speed and availability of your local council.

Drawing up your plans and obtaining relevant reports, can take many months and for most people with full-time jobs and other responsibilities, it realistically can take much longer.

Once your application has been made, the length of time it takes to receive a response varies greatly. Depending upon the size of your application and the policy of your local council, the outcome of your application may be decided by council officers, or it could go to a vote in a full meeting of council members. If your application requires the latter, it could take a lot longer to process.

Contact NFC Homes

If you've got land to sell and you want to make sure you get the best price possible for it, then do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. We can help you to sell your land through our expert local market research and extensive experience in marketing land to interested buyers. And more importantly, we can help you acquire planning permission. For expert land promotion advice, make sure you contact NFC Homes today.


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