Apply for planning permission

Find out how to submit a planning application. We encourage you to submit your applications online during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The latest information about applying for planning permission, in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

This information was last updated 25 March 2020.

Service continuity during COVID-19

We would encourage you to submit your applications online via the Planning Portal or by email rather than on paper during the COVID-19 outbreak. This ensures will be able to process your documents electronically whether we are based at Council offices or working from home. Please also provide an email address on the application form so we are able to correspond by email rather than post.

For access to the planning portal or to submit your application via email, please click here to see our 'How to apply' page.

At present we are unable to operate the duty planner call telephone service or the drop in at County Hall, Morpeth. All calls should be made to the customer service centre on 0345 600 6400 or directly to the relevant planning officer where possible (effective from 25 March 2020 until further notice).
What you need to know before you apply.

You don't need to own land to apply for planning permission for it. This means you can apply for permission before deciding whether or not to buy a piece of land.
Anybody can apply for planning permission on any piece of land. You can appoint an agent (eg. architect, planning consultant) to apply for planning permission on your behalf and manage the application. Nevertheless, the following people must be informed about a planning application relating to land or buildings they have an interest in:
  • The owner or all the part-owner/s (if you are not the full owner)
  • Any leaseholders with at least seven years' lease remaining
  • Any agricultural tenants
For more information and to find independent advice with applications click here.
We encourage you to submit your application online via the Planning Portal below.

  • Online applications are quicker, easier and cheaper for you to submit and for us to process
  • Encouraging online working by everyone helps to provide a faster, open, transparent and accessible planning service
  • Work on applications in draft before submission
  • Avoid time delays associated with postal systems
  • Reduce the amount of paper used
  • Fees - Online submissions must be paid directly to the Planning Portal otherwise the application will not be transferred to Northumberland County Council (we are unable to take these fees directly). The Portal have produced some Financial transaction Service FAQs 
Please note: We do not operate the Planning Portal. Any queries regarding its use, such as logging in, accessing applications or paying for applications can be resolved by checking the Frequently Asked Questions section or emailing the Planning Portal directly.

For guidance on what you will need to submit with your application please view our Validation Checklist.

For customers that use iApply: please note the service will close on 31st October
iApply will be contacting users that have draft applications or recently submitted applications to advise them that the service is being decommissioned and will not accept applications made on or after 31st October. Users with draft applications may continue to complete the application and submit to the authority prior to the 31st October 2019. Submissions made before that date will be transferred to the local authority. For users with recent submissions they will be advised to download the copy of their submission from the portal prior to the 31st October in order to retain a copy for their records.For any queries please contact iApply directly as this service is not managed by Northumberland County Council.
Alternatively, you can send your application by email.  

Please note, we are encouraging you to sumbit your applications online during the COVID-19 outbreak, as opposed to hard copies. 

Please ensure you read the guidance notes and validation checklist to see what supporting information is required so we can deal with your application, or your application may be deemed invalid.

For information on how to pay click here.
This section sets out the types of consent available along with guidance and information as set out on the Planning Portal.

View the fee schedule for planning applications

For guidance on what you will need to submit with your application please view our Validation Checklist.

To avoid problems opening these forms they should be saved to your device. Right click on the form link and choose 'save link as' then complete using the free Adobe Reader desktop software / mobile app or full Adobe Acrobat software.
Number of copies required
For hard copy submissions of many applications e.g. householder we now only require one full colour copy of all documents (not four as stated on the Planning Portal forms below). However, if your application is for full/outline planning or reserved matters and is also a large e.g. major development we may require more copies. 

The council offers pre-application advice on development proposals as to whether consent is required and if proposals are likely to be approved.
This form should be used for proposals to alter or enlarge a single house, including works within the boundary/garden of a house. It should be used for projects such as:
  • extensions
  • conservatories
  • loft conversions
  • dormer windows
  • garages, car-ports and outbuildings
If your property is a listed building, you may also need to apply for listed building consent. Householder consent is not applicable if you wish to erect a new dwelling, including demolition and replacement of an existing house.
Through a relaxation of permitted development for rear extensions the limit is increased to 6m for semi-detached or terraced houses and 8m if a detached house (not including Article 2(3) designated land). These increased limits are subject to the prior notification of the proposal to the Local Planning Authority and the implementation of a neighbour consultation scheme.
You should use this application form to make a detailed planning application for development, excluding householder developments. For the purposes of this form, development includes building, engineering or other works, in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land. As such it should be used for:
  • any works relating to a flat
  • applications to change the number of dwellings (flat conversions, building a separate house in the garden)
  • changes of use to part or all of a property for which planning permission is required
  • anything outside the curtilage of the property (including stables in a separate paddock)
Applications for outline planning permission seek to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development would be acceptable to the local planning authority, before a fully detailed proposal is put forward.

This type of planning application allows fewer details about the proposal to be submitted. Once outline permission has been granted, you will need to ask for approval of the outstanding details (known as “reserved matters”) before work can start. These details will be the subject of an application for approval of reserved matters at a later stage.
Outline permission (all matters reserved)
Outline permission (some matters reserved)
Reserved matters
Where outline permission has been granted, you may, within three years of the outline approval, make an application for the outstanding reserved matters, i.e. the information excluded from the initial outline planning application. This will typically include information about the layout, access, scale and appearance of the development.
Listed Building Consent

You will need to apply for listed building consent if either of the following cases apply:
  • you want to demolish a listed building
  • you want to alter or extend a listed building in a manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest
You may also need listed building consent for any works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building. Check the position carefully with the council, it is a criminal offence to carry out work which needs listed building consent without obtaining it beforehand.
Demolition in a conservation area

If you live in a conservation area, you will need planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area to do the following:
  • demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic metres. There are a few exceptions - you can get further information from the relevant council.
  • to demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing more than one metre high next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space; or more than two metres high elsewhere.
This form should be used for proposals to display an advertisement or sign which requires planning permission. The term advertisement covers a very wide range of advertisements and signs including:
  • posters and notices
  • placards and boards
  • fascia signs and projecting signs
  • pole signs and canopy signs
  • models and devices
  • advance signs and directional signs
  • estate agents' boards
  • captive balloon advertising (not balloons in flight)
  • flag advertisements
  • price markers and price displays
  • traffic signs
  • town and village name-signs
For peace of mind that an existing or proposed use of a building is lawful or that the proposal doesn’t require planning permission, you can apply for a lawful development certificate. The certificate is a legal document which may be required if you come to sell your property in the future.
Existing use
Proposed use
Proposed works to a listed building
This form should be used to make an application for the removal or variation of a condition following the grant of planning permission or listed building consent. A variation of conditions application can be used to change the design of a scheme, where those changes are material to the application that has been approved.

Further information

Application form

Guidance notes
Following a grant of planning permission, the owner may wish to seek approval of amendments to the permission. An application for a “non-material amendment” removes the need for an entirely new planning application to be submitted where only a very small change is sought. Very small changes are termed as being ‘non-material’. Such an application, if approved, would form an amendment to the original planning permission and would be subject to the conditions and time limit of the original permission. It would not form a new planning permission and cannot be applied to listed building consents - a new application for listed building consent would be required in these cases.
This type of application will be necessary where a condition in a planning permission or a listed building consent requires details of a specified aspect of the development which was not fully described in the original application. These details need to be submitted for approval before the development can begin.
Tree Preservation Order & Trees in Conservation Area
This application applies to proposed work to trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

In conservation areas, notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level (or more than 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees).

You have to give your local planning authority six weeks' notice before carrying out work on trees which are located in a conservation area but are not yet the subject of a tree preservation order. This gives the authority an opportunity to consider whether an order should be made to protect the trees. 5 Day Notice
Where a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area and works are required because the tree is considered to be dead or imminently dangerous, a formal application is not required but at least five working days written notice must be given prior to the works taking place. Please email requests under a 5-Day Notice to  and include as much information as possible, including reasons to evidence that the tree is dead or dangerous.

Applications to remove ‘important’ hedgerows subject to protection under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. The regulations apply to any hedgerow which;
  • Grows in, or adjacent to any common land, Local Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest, or is used for agriculture, forestry or the breeding of horses, ponies and donkeys and;
  • Has a continuous length of at least 20 metres, or if less than 20 metres, meets another hedgerow at each end.
An important hedgerow is a hedge which has existed for 30 years or more and satisfies one or more of the criteria listed in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Hedgerow Regulations 1997.
Councils can consider complaints about high hedges if all reasonable means have been taken to resolve the matter.
Some proposals for developments involving demolition, agriculture or forestry and telecommunication are subject to a process whereby the local planning authority are notified prior to the development taking place. This process involves the applicant notifying the local planning authority of their intent to conduct works which are usually permitted development. The local authority must then decide whether their prior approval is required for certain impacts associated with the works.  
Agricultural - proposed building  
Agricultural - proposed road  
Agricultural - excavation / waste material  
Agricultural - fish tank (fish tank)  
Telecommunications Code Operators
Some proposals allowed under permitted development are subject to prior-approval from the planning authority on specific issues. Applications of this kind include changes of use, conversion and extension.
Notification for prior approval of a proposed larger home extension
This template can be used by a householder to notify the local planning authority of the intention to build a larger single-storey rear extension.  
Notification for prior approval for a proposed change of use of a building from office use (Class B1(a)) to a dwellinghouse (Class C3)  
Notification for prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwellinghouse (Use Class C3), and for associated operational development Notification for prior approval for a proposed change of use of a building from shops (Class A1), financial and professional services (Class A2), a betting office, pay day loan shop, launderette or a mixed use combining use as a dwellinghouse with a betting office, pay day loan shop, launderette, shops (Class A1) or financial and professional services (Class A2) to a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouses), and for associated operational development  
Notification for prior approval of proposed change of use to state-funded school or registered nursery  
Notification for prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a state-funded school or registered nursery  
Notification for prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a flexible use within shops, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, business, storage or distribution, hotels, or assembly or leisure  
Notification for prior approval for a change of use from storage or distribution buildings (Class B8) and any land within its curtilage to dwellinghouses (Class C3)  
Notification for prior approval for a change of use from amusement arcades/centres and casinos, (sui generis uses) and any land within its curtilage to dwellinghouses (Class C3)
Notification for prior approval for a change of use from shops (Class A1), financial and professional services (Class A2), betting offices, pay day loan shops and casinos (sui generis uses) to restaurants and caf├ęs (Class A3)  
Notification for prior approval for a change of use from shops (Class A1) and financial and professional services (Class A2), betting offices, pay day loan shops (sui generis uses) to assembly and leisure uses (Class D2)  
Notification for prior approval for a development consisting of the erection or construction of a collection facility within the curtilage of a shop  
Notification for prior approval for the temporary use of buildings or land for the purpose of commercial film-making and the associated temporary structures, works, plant or machinery required in connection with that use  
Notification for prior approval for the installation, alteration or replacement of other solar photovoltaics (PV) equipment on the roofs of non-domestic buildings, up to a capacity of 1 megawatt Notification for Prior Approval for a Change of use from Premises in Light Industrial Use (Class B1(c)) and any land within its curtilage to Dwellinghouses (Class C3)
If you are the sole owner of the land to which your planning application relates, you must sign certificate A on the application form. If, 21 days before the application, you were not the sole owner of any part of the land, you will need to formally notify the owner(s). You do this by completing notice one and sending it to any owner or part owner of any part of the site. You will also have to sign certificate B on the application form.
Notice One - Article 13 (This notice is to be printed and served on individuals prior to completing certificate B or C)  
Notice Two - Article 13 (This notice is for publication in local newspaper if certificate C or D is completed)
Find out about payment and timescales below.

Planning fees for planning applications are set by central government and vary depending on the nature of the development you wish to carry out.
To use the Planning Portal fee calculator can work out the cost for you click here

For the full list of planning application fees click here
Please note: the fee to amend or modify a S106 application is £234 (plus normal legal fees).

Planning application fees can be paid;  
The Local Planning Authority aims to determine most applications within eight weeks from the date the application is valid. For major applications, the process may take up to 13 weeks or longer. For pre-application enquiries, they are subject to different timescales as set out in the Pre-Application Enquiry Protocol.
Find out the basic steps following an application submission below.

When an application is submitted, the basic steps are:
  1. The council will check that all the required information has been submitted. If information is missing or incorrect, we will write to you and your application will be put on hold.
  2. We will confirm that your application is valid and give you a date by which you should expect to receive a decision.
  3. We may write to your neighbours and consult with the relevant parish or town council to let them know an application has been made. Most applications are available to view online. If the site is subject to constraints, further consultation will be carried out.
  4. A planning officer may carry out a site visit and assess the proposal.
  5. A senior officer or in some cases planning committee will make a final decision based on the assessment and recommendation of the planning officer.
  6. We will send you or your Agent a decision notice that REFUSES or GRANTS Planning Permission and any conditions attached.
Most applications take 8 weeks to be determined. For major applications, this is 13 weeks.
For a more detailed explanation of the determination of applications click here.
The government have provided a plain english guide to the planning system which provides more information on the planning system.