Planning News

Keep up with the latest planning announcements affecting businesses and residents in Northumberland including service continuity during Coronavirus.

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

This information was last updated 5 January 2021. 

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.

To submit an application please see our Apply for Planning Permission page.

ALERT: Validation delays. We are currently experiencing high volumes of work and as a result there are currently delays with Validation. We are working hard to get through the back log. All applications that are deemed valid will be registered from the date they were recieved. Thank you for your patience.

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 the duty planner 'drop in' service is suspended. However the duty planner telephone service will be available from 10am - 2pm Monday to Friday via the Customer Services number 0345 600 6400. You may be asked to leave a message if the duty planner is on another call (or if you call outside of these times) so please include any application reference and your email address with your message so we can provide an informed response. 

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 or view the 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.
Due to the effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic, there have been some temporary changes to planning law. COVID -19 - Planning and Business Act 2020.

Certain permissions and consents that were due to expire in 2020 have now been extended.

Outline Planning Permission

  • Outline permission that would, or has expired between 19 August 2020 and 31 December 2020 is now automatically extended until 1 May 2021;
  • Outline permission that has expired between 23 March 2020 and 18 August 2020, will require an application for Additional Environmental Approval. If granted, outline permission will then be extended until 1 May 2021;
  • Any deadline for seeking the approval of reserved matters, which would otherwise or has expired between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020, is now automatically extended to 1 May 2021.

Planning Permission

  • Planning permission that would or has expired between 19 August 2020 and 31 December 2020 is now automatically extended until 1 May 2021;
  • Planning permission that has expired between 23 March 2020 and 18 August 2020, will require an application for Additional Environmental Approval. If granted, planning permission will be extended until 1 May 2021.

Listed Building Consent

  • All listed building consents with a time limit for implementation between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 is automatically extended to 1 May 2021. If you would like written confirmation of this please follow the same procedure below for automatically extended planning permissions.
  • Listed building consents are not subject to a requirement to obtain Additional Environmental Approval.

Automatic extensions of time limit

You may wish us to provide written confirmation that the permission is extended. For a written confirmation of automatic extension of time please send an email quoting the planning application reference number with your name and full postal address to No fee is required. We are dealing with high volumes of work but will aim to provide you with a response within 7 working days of receipt. Confirmation can be requested up to 1 May 2021.

Additional environmental approval 

For an Application for Additional Environmental Approval please email the information required to No fee is required. To provide you with a response in time we must receive your application no later than 2 December 2020.

The website provides further information on what you need to submit with your application.

Futher guidance

The website provides further guidance on the extension of certain planning permissions

Modification of construction working hours

A new fast-track system has been introduced, which will allow an applicant to apply to extend construction working hours on a development site, where this is currently subject to a planning condition. The provisions will be in place so that any extended working hours can remain up until 1st April 2021. After 1st April 2021, the original conditions over construction hours will resume. How to apply to extend construction working hours on a development site.

The Council has responded to the Planning White Paper consultation which sought views on a package of proposals for reform of the planning system in England, covering plan-making, development management, development contributions, and other related policy proposals.

View the County Council's response to the full White Paper 
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.
Northumberland County Council Planning Service are asking for volunteers to carry out some online testing and provide feedback.

Northumberland County Council is now part of a government funded project called RIPA (Reducing Invalid Planning Applications) which aims to make it quicker and easier for people to submit planning applications. The project has already completed the Alpha phase view the report outlining the findings. As the project moves through the Beta phase we need volunteers to carry out some user testing and provide us with feedback and suggestions. The testing will be conducted remotely. 

If you’re interested in taking part in the Beta phase please complete the screener form. It should only take a couple of minutes to complete the form and register your interest. To find out more about the project, visit and the Lambeth project page. For help or questions, please contact the Lambeth team on

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 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. 

Planning in Northumberland: ​Developer and Agents Forum

If you would like to join our Agents forum which will allow you to receive newsletters, updates and information on meetings please complete the Developer and Agent Forum - registration form.