The Planning Process

The first hurdle is validation. It can take about a week for officers to determine whether the application is technically proficient and has the right supporting documentation.

If valid, it will be placed on the planning register. You can search for the application via the Derbyshire Dales District Council's Planning Search Page. You can search by name, address or application reference number. Recent applications are shown on a Weekly or Monthly List.

The application will be forwarded to neighbours and a variety of consultees including the local parish or town council and Derbyshire CC Highways. The council's countryside officers or building conservation officers may be consulted. If required, other organisations such as the Environment Agency, or the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust may also be consulted. Neighbours and consultees have four weeks to register an objection.

The vast majority of applications are dealt with by an individual officer. The officer will make a site visit, consider the consultee representations and prepare a delegated report for the head of planning who will sign and issue the decision.

Most full applications, including householder applications are dealt with within eight weeks from receipt of a valid application. Agricultural Notices or GPDO's will be dealt with in four weeks, major applications in twelve.

In exceptional circumstances, a development control officer may wish to delay determination - say pending receipt of further information.

Major and more complex applications will be dealt with by committee. Applications being dealt with by an individual officer may also be referred to committee, either by the case officer or a ward councillor. This may happen in response to representations made by one or more consultees.

Editorial Comment

Planning within the Derbyshire Dales

Like elsewhere in the country, the planning system is being revised. The key document in the Local Development Framework, (LDF) will be the Derbyshire Dales Local Plan. The draft submission to the Secretary of State was found to be unsound and a new Local Plan is currently being prepared.

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) covering specific issues such as affordable housing and conversion of farm buildings have already been adopted, others will be published in due course.

For the present, most applications will be determined on the basis of saved local plan policies.

The National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance may also be taken into consideration.


Development Control Officer's are accessible, open-minded and professional. Reviewing plans at an early stage increases the likelihood that the design is acceptable to both the client and the Derbyshire Dales District Council. The plans are more likely to approved without too many unresolved conditions. If problems do arise, during consultation, for example, then Officers will invariably discuss the implications with you.

Derbyshire Dales Planning

Outside of those areas covered by the Peak District National Park, planning decisions are informed by policy at two levels:

In due course, the strategic vision for the Derbyshire Dales will be set out in the revised Local Plan.

A variety of guidance notes and supplementary planning documents (SPD's) are also available. These include:

  • Validation Guidance
  • Technical Guidance on supporting plans
  • Tree Guidance
  • SPD on Affordable Housing
  • SPD on Barn Conversions
  • SPD on Landscaping
  • SPD on Shop Fronts
  • SPD Matlock Town Centre
  • Draft 106 Agreements

Pre-application Advice

Derbyshire Dales District Council continue to offer free professional advice on all planning matters. This includes specialist advice where listed buildings, conservation areas or tree preservation issues are involved.

Draft plans cans be submitted for review and revisions made prior to formal submission.

Reception staff are available for general advice, but for more detailed enquiries it advisable to make an appointment beforehand.