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.

What you need to know before submitting your application.

Please note we are currently receiving a high number of applications that are 'invalid' (meaning they do not contain all the information required or this information is incorrect). We strongly encourage you to read our Validation Checklist to provide the correct documents with your application. If you do not it will unfortunately be deemed invalid. This will cause delays to your application and increases the time it takes us to process it. An application will only be deemed ‘valid’ and passed to a Planning Officer from the date we received all the required information.

How to avoid an invalid application: 

  1. Read our Validation Checklist. It tells you what you need to submit according to the application type. E.g. Checklist 5 shows what is needed for a householder application. The checklist then points you to the notes that explain the detail needed for each document type.
  2. Most applications require a location plan. Please check the red line is clear and includes any access from the site to the public highway. You can purchase a location plan online using the Planning Portal. We cannot accept photos of plans or google maps in place of a scaled location plan. View guidance to help you better understand what your location plan should look like. View a map showing the public highway.
  3. For all plans submitted please ensure they state the scale as required, they measure to the correct scale and are submitted at the original page size e.g. A2. We cannot accept photos of plans.
  4. Include an email address and make it clear to understand. That will be how we communicate with you so is essential.
  5. Submit the fee with your application. Refer to Fees and Payment below and make it clear how and when you have paid by quoting your receipt number. 
  6. Amendments made after submission will cause delays. Check everything is correct and clear the first time, before you submit it.

If you are unsure how to provide this information yourself you can appoint an agent (e.g. architect, planning consultant) to manage the application and apply for planning permission on your behalf. If you use an agent, all correspondence will be sent directly to them. To appoint a professional planner search the RTPI directory of planning consultants. For free, independent planning advice and assistance for individuals and community groups try Planning Aid England. If further advice on validation requirements is required, we do offer a pre-application service which can help with this.

Anybody can apply for planning permission on any piece of land regardless of ownership. Nevertheless you must inform the owner or all the part-owner/s (if you are not the full owner), any leaseholders with at least seven years' lease remaining and any agricultural tenants. Use the article 13 notifications below (Notification of an application to the owner of the land) and please include a completed copy with your application.

For details of how we handle your information please read our Planning Application Privacy Notice .

Make your planning application online.

We would encourage you to submit your application online via the Planning Portal rather than on paper during the COVID-19 outbreak. This ensures we can 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 electronically rather than by post.

  • User friendly system with step by step help.
  • Complete forms and upload documents - no need to print paper copies.
  • Draft your application, pay and submit online when ready 
  • Application fees and a service charge 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).
  • If your submission contains documents with a large file size please see guidance on how to reduce supporting documents file sizes.
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 Planning Portal Frequently Asked Questions section.

Contributions to Sport and Play in former Tynedale and Wansbeck District Areas

The Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) (England (No. 2) Regulations 2019 came into force on 1 September 2019.  These regulations make a number of important changes to the operation of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and section 106 planning obligations. These changes included removing altogether the ‘pooling restriction’ which prevented charging authorities from entering into more than five section 106 obligations to fund a single infrastructure project and allowing authorities to charge developers for the costs of monitoring planning obligations.

Following a review of the relevant legislation and policy, Northumberland County Council will be requesting contributions towards Sport and Play infrastructure in the Tynedale and Wansbeck Areas for development of one or more dwellings for any application validated on or after 1st April 2020.

The relevant documents and guidance are available to view on our website but you will be contacted by the case officer if this applies to your planning application. 

Section 106 Agreements - Guidelines on Contributions to Play & Sports Facilities (Tynedale District Council Area)

Section 106 Agreements - Guidelines on Contributions to Play & Sports Facilities (Wansbeck District Council Area)

Alternatively, you can send your application by email to

Please note, we encourage you to submit your applications online via the Planning Portal during the COVID-19 outbreak, as opposed to hard copies. 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.

The largest file size we can receive by email is 25mb per email. If your submission contains documents with a large file size, please see guidance on how to reduce supporting documents file sizes.

Our security system prevents us from being able to access documents on CD or on USB memory sticks or via links such as We Transfer etc. However, you can submit documents via Cryptshare which is a secure way of sending larger/multiple documents to us. You upload the documents to Cryptshare, create a password and then submit the documents. You can upload around 5GB so you should have plenty of room. Please note: The password you create must be sent to us at the above email address, so we are able to log in and retrieve the documents at our end.
Submitting a valid application is straightforward if you follow this advice. It explains how to ensure your application and supporting documents meets all requirements.

How to prepare a valid planning application

It is important that you understand what documents are required to support your application. This is dependent on the location, scale or type of development you are proposing. Failure to provide the correct documents may result in your application being returned to you, or being classed as 'invalid' until the correct information is provided. An application will not be passed to a Planning Officer to decide until the application is 'valid'.

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

This section sets out the types of consent available along with guidance and information as set out on the Planning Portal.

For guidance on what you will need to submit with your application please view our Validation ChecklistPlease ensure you read the guidance notes alongside the form and provide the correct documents with your application or your application will be deemed invalid.

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.  

Changes of use:

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), takeaways (Class A5), betting offices, pay day loan shops or launderettes (Sui Generis Uses) or a mixed use combining use as a dwellinghouse (Class C3) with a shop (Class A1) or financial and professional service (Class A2), betting office, pay day loan shop or launderette (Suis Generis) to dwellinghouses (Class C3), and for associated operational development
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)
  • This permitted development right has expired based on the time limits detailed in legislation (i.e. where the approval date falls on or after 10th June 2019). New proposals under this category may well require planning permission.

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)
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 of proposed Change of Use from Business (Class B1), Hotels (Class C1), Residential Institutions (Class C2/C2A) or Assembly and Leisure (Class D2) 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 Buildings to a flexible use within Shops (Class A1), Financial and Professional Services (Class A2), Restaurants and Cafes (Class A3), Business (Class B1), Storage or Distribution (Class B8), Hotels (Class C1) or Assembly and Leisure (Class D2)
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 or casinos (sui generis uses) to restaurants and cafés (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
View the application form and further detail on the new route for applicants seeking to extend construction site working hours introduced in the Business and Planning Act.

The aim of the new temporary fast track deemed consent route under section 74B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is to enable urgent changes to construction working hours to support safe construction working in line with the government’s latest social distancing guidance on construction and other outdoor work. For many construction sites, implementation of this guidance will require changes to working practices, including staggered starts and finishes, requiring different hours of operation to those which are currently permitted for the site through planning conditions. Local Authorities have 14 calendar days to determine such applications and no fee is required.

Application Form for Modification of Conditions relating to Construction Working Hours (Word document)

Please email the completed form to Note that applications can only be made electronically.

Visit the website for further guidance on the modification of planning conditions relating to construction working hours.
Anybody can apply for planning permission on any piece of land regardless of ownership. 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
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 complete certificate B, C or D and formally notify the owner(s) using the applicable notice below. You will also need to include a copy of the completed notice with your application. The guidance note accompanying the relevant application form explains further.
This notice is to be printed and served on individuals prior to completing certificate B or C: Notice One - Article 13

This notice is for publication in a local newspaper if certificate C or D is completed: Notice Two - Article 13 

The information below outlines when Hazardous Substance Consent is required, how to apply for consent and how to access the public register of sites with a Hazardous Substance Consent.

Hazardous Substance Consent is required when substances on a site are at, or in excess of the 'controlled quantity' as set out in the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015. What constitutes a Hazardous Substance are set out within the same regulations.

Apply for Hazardous Substances Consent on the HSE website. An online 'wizard' to guide applicants through the major-hazard information required in an application for hazardous substances consent is provided on the same HSE website. You cannot apply for these on the Planning Portal.  Find out what to include in your application and how much it will cost on the website. The timescale for a decision is 8 weeks from the date we receive all the required information/fee. Pay for your application online.

Public Register of Sites

Section 28 of the Planning (Hazardous Substance) Act 1990 requires the Council to maintain a public register of sites at which hazardous substances are permitted to be located.

Search our Public Register. To view all the applications in Northumberland use the advanced search and pick Hazardous Substances Consent Application from the drop down Application Type list (leaving all other fields blank).

Find a planning application fee and how to pay.

Fees for planning applications are set by central government and vary depending on the nature of the development you wish to carry out.

Our List of Planning Application Fees and Exemptions should be read in conjunction with the Planning Fees and Charges Supplementary Guidance Document for further clarification on how planning fees are calculated.

The Planning Portal fee calculator can help you work out the cost of your application. 

Pay for a planning application online

Please note: Application fees and a service charge must be paid directly to the Planning Portal if using their system otherwise the application will not be transferred to Northumberland County Council (we are unable to take these fees directly).
Find out the basic steps following an application submission.

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. 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.
  6. We will send you or your Agent a decision notice that REFUSES or GRANTS Planning Permission and any conditions attached.
View a more detailed explanation of the determination of applications. The government have provided a plain english guide to the planning system which provides more information on the planning system.

Pre-application enquiries are subject to different timescales as set out in the Pre-Application Enquiry Protocol.