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Planning – FAQs

Our planning team has put together a list of frequently asked questions which will help you with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority planning application process.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is needed for building, engineering and other operations as well as changes of use of land and buildings. Applications for planning permission are made to the National Park Authority and involves a legal process of publicizing and consulting on development proposals before the Authority decides whether permission should be granted or refused. However, some simple types of development do not require an application because they are permitted by law – often referred to as ‘permitted development’.

Do I need to apply for planning permission?

Small scale alterations and extensions may be permitted development but the law on this isn’t always straightforward.

We offer a permitted development enquiry service to give you a clear answer on whether or not planning permission is needed.Alternatively, at no cost, you can visit the Planning Portal – this contains lots of useful information for householders and businesses including an interactive guidance on permitted development. You might also like to know that in the following cases planning permission will always be required:

  • Front or side extensions

  • Cladding or applying render

  • Insertion of dormer windows

  • Works to flats

  • Balconies or verandahs

If you have questions about work that has been completed in the past without permission, or you need a formal determination (relating to a house sale for example)  you may need to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness.

Will I get planning permission?

Planning applications are considered against a range of planning policies and can require consideration of issues such as heritage matters, ecology, landscape protection and design solutions. They also vary in complexity.

Before you invest in plans and start filling in forms you should consider getting some advice. The Authority offers a pre-application planning advice service.  If you are a resident of the Park or a business based in the Park you can get free, face to face advice on simple proposals from a planning officer. This is accessed by making an appointment for one of our Planning Surgeries. For more involved or larger scale proposals we offer written advice on the issues raised by your proposals, ways to address them and the information you need to include in your planning application. Details of the service can be found here:  Planning Advice Service

What can I do to make sure my planning application is validated quickly?

Did you know that less than 50% of planning applications contain the correct information when they are submitted? This means that over half the applications submitted are ‘invalid’, they are delayed, usually due to insufficient basic information being provided. Please read on to find out how to avoid unnecessary delays with submitting your application.

We have lots of useful information on our webpage taking you through each step in making an application, from filling in the relevant questionnaire, using the right forms, fees, and national and local information requirements. Please take the time to read this as it will provide all the information you need. However if you require additional assistance we will be happy to help. You can call us on 01969 652345, or email

What are the common issues with invalid planning applications?

The following issues are the main reasons for invalid or delayed applications:

Plans:  Plans are often not to a recognised scale or are sketch perspective drawings. Sometimes they may not include enough detail such as windows missing. Even professionally drawn plans can contain drafting errors such as anomalies between floor plans and elevations. On all site plans north needs to  be indicated with an arrow.

Location and site plans: The quality of these is often poor, such as screenshots or printouts from satellite images taken from google or bingmaps. They are also often not to a recognised scale.

Red line and blue line boundaries: On your plans a red line has to be drawn around the site and a blue line around any other land you own. Often the red line is not drawn around the entire area proposed for development or the access to the highway not included. If you don’t include other land you own within a blue line the planning officer may not be able to suggest solutions to site related problems.  

Application forms: A common mistake is that forms are not fully completed or signed. Sometimes the wrong type of application form has been submitted. This typically happens with applications for non-material amendments / minor material amendments or lawful development certificates, for which there are different forms.

Supporting information: This is information that is vital to being able to consider your application and without it the application may be delayed or refused. For example, if your site is within the flood plain you may need to provide a Flood Risk Assessment or if replacing or removing a roof is involved a bat survey may be required. Often this information isn’t provided or contains an inadequate level of detail or relevant expert advice. Please use our Validation Questionnaires to make sure you are on the right track.

Heritage Statements: It is a national requirement that for any proposals that affect a Listed Building or Conservation Area (or other ‘heritage asset’) the applicant should provide information that describes the significance of, or what is special about, the heritage asset sufficient to understand the impact of the proposals. Applicants should do this by consulting the Authority’s Historic Environment Record :

What happens to my planning application after it has been sent in?

The first stage in the planning application process is the validation stage. This is when the application is checked to ensure that we have all of the forms, plans, fee and supporting information that we need to deal with your application. Some information (for example forms, plans and fee) is required by law and some is needed by the people we consult.

If the application is valid you will receive an acknowledgement letter within five working days, advising you that the application has been registered, the contact details of your case officer, and providing you with a site notice to display on the site, if one is required.

If the application is invalid, within five working days we will contact you to explain why it is not valid, and what information is required to make it valid.

What happens to my application after it has been validated?

The application is published on our website, neighbours and the Parish Council are notified and we consult all relevant consultees. We also request that you display a site notice in a publically accessible location at the site. The process of consultations takes roughly 21 days. During that time the case officer will visit the site to get a better understanding of the application and will familiarise themselves with your plans and supporting information. They will also assess your application to see if the proposal aligns with the policies in the Local Plan.

After four weeks the case officer will be able to:

  • update you on the consultation responses that we have received, and;
  • give an initial view of any issues raised by the proposal;
  • tell you whether the proposal is likely to be dealt with by officers using ‘delegated powers’ or has to be considered by the Planning Committee (and, if the latter, the likely date of the meeting); and 
  • whether the application is likely to be supported or not.

You will be able to keep yourself updated on consultation responses by viewing your application on our ‘Citizens Portal’

When can I expect to hear about a decision?

Most applications are decided with eight weeks – which is the ‘statutory period’ set by Government for dealing with straightforward proposals. If your application is being considered, and it becomes clear that more time is needed to reach a positive conclusion, we will work with you to agree an extended decision date, or ‘extension of time’.

If it is clear at the outset that the proposal is unlikely to be supported then we will determine the application within the statutory timescale or give the option of withdrawing the application.

We aim to deal with applications as quickly as possible. This means that after all consultations and publicity have been carried out we will consider approving the application without delay or seek amendments to resolve any problems. If it is not possible to resolve problems within a short timescale we will not prolong planning applications but will determine the application or suggest the application is withdrawn.

My planning application is going to Committee, why is this, and what will happen?

A small number of applications have to be decided by the Planning Committee. These are usually the larger or more controversial applications, or where there is some question about whether the proposal fits with Local Plan policies.  Applications only go to the Committee where they meet one of four main criteria:

  • The application is ‘called-in’ by a Member of the Committee as “a matter of public interest”; To be a matter of public interest it needs to affect a range of people or the community generally. It does not include the private interests of an individual.
  • The Parish Council disagrees with the officer recommendation, substantiates their planning reason, and the application is for more than minor ‘householder’ development.
  • A recommendation of approval is a departure from local plan policy, where the departure is deemed to be substantial.
  • The Head of Development management believes it is in the best interests of the Authority for the application to be determined by Members.

See Public Participation at Planning Committee for more information about how the meetings work.

If your application needs to be decided by the Planning Committee we will write to you at least 5 working days before the meeting to confirm that your application has been placed on the Committee agenda, provide you with a copy of the Case Officer’s report and give details of the procedure if you wish to speak at the meeting and the deadline for making comments (‘late representations’) on the report.

You can find out more about Planning Committee here.

What should I do if my application is refused?

If you receive a refusal, the decision notice will include details about how to make an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Whether or not to appeal is your choice.

The Planning inspectorate is an independent government body that is entirely separate to the Authority and they deal with all planning appeals. Further information about the Planning Inspectorate can be obtained from 

The decision made by the Planning Inspector will be in writing. The report will form the new decision notice of the planning application.

As a neighbour, I have been notified about an application. I wish to find out more and perhaps comment, what should I do?

All of the application documents are available to view on our Citizens Portal

It is here that you can register and then comment on the application. You can also track the application progress and view other comments that have been made, including those made by consultees.

Before commenting you might like to read our Guidance note for Neighbouring Residents

My planning application requires a Section 106 legal agreement (for example, for local occupancy). What does this mean?

A Section 106 legal Agreement (S106 agreement), is between the planning authority/landowner, ), and is also known as a planning obligation. They are linked to a planning permission, and are ‘land charges’, so like a covenant or easement they relate to the land and not the owner – if your house has a s106 on it and you sell your house the obligation is passed on to the new owner and so on.

S106 agreements cover things that can’t be covered by conditions on a permission, usually because they are complicated obligations, relate to land ownership or who can use or occupy a building, or involve a financial contribution towards some objective. The majority of our s106 agreements relate to occupancy of new housing by people who meet our local need criteria or to ensure that housing remains affordable in perpetuity.

The need for a s106 is normally set out in the Local Plan policy – it is required to make the proposal policy compliant. The planning officer will flag up the need for a s106 with applicants in pre-application advice, at the validation stage and during negotiations/consideration of the application. Applicants need to confirm that they accept the terms of a s106 before the application is recommended for permission, as permission is dependent upon the agreement.

What is the S106 process?

Following written agreement from the applicant and once the Planning Committee, or officer exercising delegated powers, has decided that permission should be granted the case officer sends instructions to the legal section to draft an agreement. The legal section contact the applicants or their solicitor for title deeds and other information. A draft agreement is then produced and sent to the parties involved. There are sometimes multiple parties (eg. the developer, housing association, landowner, mortgage lender etc.) and multiple solicitors checking and editing the draft before it is in  a final state to be signed by all parties. Once it is signed and legal fees are paid the planning permission is issued. There are set fees for standard legal agreements, but one that is bespoke or more complex may attract an hourly charge.

You can find out about fees here: