Frequently asked questions - Planning

Find answers to common queries or contact details for our teams here. Including service continuity during Coronavirus.

Guidance for our customers on the Planning Service during Coronavirus (COVID-19).

There have been changes to how some of our services operate due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). For the latest up-to-date information please read our Planning Services Frequently Asked Questions - Covid-19 Guidance Document.


Latest announcements

Support for pubs, cafes and restaurants

The Government announced on 25 June 2020 that it is simplifying certain planning and licensing controls for outdoor seating and stalls, making it easier for people to safely drink and dine outside. This is intended, subject to certain restrictions, to be a boost to businesses. These changes will remove the need for a planning application for outdoor markets and marquees, meaning they can be set up for longer; and provide more freedoms for areas to hold car-boot sales and summer fairs. View the Business and Planning Bill

Further guidance and  legislation will be issued shortly by the Government. If any business is considering making use of the new flexibilities they need to contact Planning Services at planning@northumberland.gov.uk as soon as possible and before they make any changes to how their property is used. We will put you in touch with the Licensing Team if this is also required when you ask us about Planning requirements. 


Questions and advice

Before contacting us please read the information on our planning webpages as these may answer your query. We cannot give you advice on whether or not permission is required over the phone or by email because it takes time and further detail to assess this properly, for step by step advice read our Do I need planning permission guidance.

For the protection of residents and staff we do not currently have any front of house/reception facilities and the duty planner 'drop in' service is suspended. However the duty planner telephone service will be available from 9:30am - 4:30pm via the Customer Services number 0345 600 6400. You may be asked to leave a message if the duty planner is on another call so please include any application reference and your email address with your message so we can provide an informed response. 

To submit an application please use the Planning Portal (you will need to pay the fee via their website) or email application documents to us at planning@northumberland.gov.uk (download application formspay the fee online and include proof of payment/receipt number with your email). Please send documents electronically rather than by post, at this time we are consulting electronically so do not require hard copies of applications despite what the application form states.

Questions about specific applications should be directed to the Case Officer for that application. Their name can be found using the reference number on our Public Access system where you can also submit comments online. For anything else if you know the name of the person/team within Planning Services you need to contact please send your correspondence directly to them. View a list of email addresses for specific planning teams. If you are emailing us about a specific site or application please include the address/reference number so we can find it.
On this page we answer some of more common questions about Planning.

If you have looked through the planning web pages and the FAQs below and these still do not answer your query, you can contact us by phone or by email using the details lower down this page.

We really cannot answer this question over the phone, by email or in person as we require specific information in the form of a pre-application enquiry and time to assess it. However, if you follow the steps on our do I need planning permission page you may be able to find the answer yourself and if you are still unsure it will tell you what to do next.

We currently don't have a map of these online. However if you email a rough location plan to planning@northumberland.gov.uk and provide the address or location of the tree we can check for you. Please include a contact email address or telephone number and try to specify the species and the Planning Service will check and inform you whether the tree itself is protected or it is protected because it is within a Conservation Area. We will usually respond within 2 working days. Further information on protected trees.

For dead or imminently dangerous protected trees a formal application is not required and it can be dealt with under a Five Day Notice. 
At least five working days written notice must be given prior to the works taking place. Please email planning@northumberland.gov.uk with details of the location of the trees and an explanation as to why the trees are imminently dangerous, or information to show that they are dead. Photographic evidence is also useful in assisting with these types of notices. On receipt of a notice, an officer will undertake an assessment. Confirmation will be made in writing to the applicant to confirm whether the works can be carried out under this process. You need to receive this confirmation before you can start any works.

The name of the Case Officer for a current application can be found on our Public Access system (further information tab) by searching using the planning application reference (on your acknowledgement letter). It takes roughly 5 days to allocate a Case Officer to an application so please allow this time before checking.

The Case Officer will contact you in advance of a site visit if they need you to be present.


If you need to speak to a Planning Officer then you can request a call back and the Officer will aim to respond within 3 working days. It is helpful if you can provide a description of your enquiry and your application reference number so that the Officer can provide you with the best response. 

   0345 600 6400

  planning@northumberland.gov.uk
The telephone number and email contacts for our teams are provided below

If you are contacting us about a specific site or application please provide the address/planning reference number so we can find it and deal with your query more efficiently. Questions about specific applications should be directed to the Case Officer for that application. Their name can be found on our Public Access system using the reference number.

​It would assist us if you could use the email addresses below to contact us rather than by post or phone. For the protection of residents and staff we do not currently have any front of house/reception facilities and the duty planner 'drop in' service is suspended. However the duty planner telephone service will be available from 9:30am - 4:30pm via the Customer Services number 0345 600 6400. You may be asked to leave a message if the duty planner is on another call so please include any application reference and your email address with your message so we can provide an informed response. 
We aim to provide you with the best service that we can. If, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the planning process, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will try our best to help you.

We also welcome any general comments, feedback, suggestions or compliments. Any feedback that we receive is passed on to our staff members and is greatly appreciated.
 
To give feedback, provide your comments or suggestions, compliment our staff or process or make a formal complaint about any aspect of the service.

To use the council’s online forms for compliments and complaints click here.