Frequently asked questions - Planning

Find answers to common queries or contact details for our teams here.

On this page we answer some of the frequently asked questions about planning

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 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 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
The telephone number, address and email contacts for our teams are provided below

If you are responding to a letter or email from us please use the contact details provided on that communication and have any reference number or other relevant details to hand so we can deal with your query more efficiently.

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  • Development Management (Planning Officers) 
  • Planning Enforcement (breaches of planning)
  • Central Registry Team (validation, consultation letters)
  • Planning Comments
  • Conservation Team (listed buildings, conservation areas, ecology, archaeology, marine and coastal conservation, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) / /
  • Planning Policy (Local Plan, current and emerging planning policies)
  • Neighbourhood Planning
  • Historic Planning Files (requests for information on an historic planning applications that cannot be found on Public Access)
  • Highways Development Management team (planning applications for new highway development, associated transport and highways outcomes)
Building Control
All queries relating to building regulations approval are dealt with by the council’s building control team. Contact details for each area team are provided on the building control pages.

Development Management
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF

We cannot give you advice on whether or not permission is required when you visit our offices, please see our do I need planning permission page for advice. Questions about specific applications should be directed to the Case Officer for that application and you would need to make an appointment with them directly.

County Hall opening times:
Monday to Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 4:30pm

If you need to drop information off outside of the above opening hours there is a standard sized letterbox to the side of reception. Please clearly address the information to the correct person / Department. The information will be picked up on the next working day.

     0345 600 6400   

Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00. Friday 08:30 - 16:30. 

We cannot give you advice on whether or not permission is required over the phone, please see our do I need planning permission page. 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.

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.