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 Peak District National Park Authorities' Public Access Module. You can search by name, address or application reference number. Recent applications are shown on a Weekly List.

The application will be forwarded to neighbours and a variety of consultees including the local parish or town council and county highways. The National Park's ecologists, landscape architects or conservation officers may also be involved. Other organisations such as English Heritage, the Environment Agency, or Natural England 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 area manager and a decision issued.

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. An application may also go to committee, if for example one of the consultees takes a view which is contrary to the recommendation of the planning officer.

Editorial Comment

Planning within the Peak District National Park

Like elsewhere in the country, the planning system has been revised. The Core Strategy, adopted in October 2011, forms part of the Peak District National Park Local Development Framework (LDF) and sets out the spatial policies designed to shape development in the National Park. The LDF includes a suite of supplementary planning documents (SPD's) covering design, affordable housing, sustainable building etc.

Most applications will be determined on the basis of the Core Strategy, a number of saved policies from the 2001 Local Plan and emerging neighbourhood plans.

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

Culture

The withdrawal of the duty officer system combined with the introduction of pre-application enquiry fees have made development control officer's less accessible than in the past. However, providing the pre-application fees remain comparatively modest they are unlikely to be a significant deterrent. For many straightforward developments, a pre-application enquiry simply adds costs and delays to the overall process. However in some cases the policy issues may be finely balanced and a pre-application enquiry can help to secure a positive outcome.

Officers are generally proactive and if problems do arise, during consultation, for example, then officers will invariably discuss the implications with you.

Peak Park Planning

Planning decisions in the Peak District National Park are informed by policy at several levels:

Planning Policy is a key part part of the National Park Management Plan, a master plan which sets out the strategic vision for the Park.

A variety of detailed guidance documents are also available. These include:

  • Design Guide - general developer guide
  • Detailed Design Guide - for architects
  • Protected Species Guidance
  • Archaeology Guidance
  • Local Needs Housing Guidance
  • Draft 106 Agreements
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Building
 

Pre-application Advice

The Peak District National Park Authority have introduced charges for providing pre-application advice. For example, The fee for minor householder developments, agricultural developments and prior notifications is £100.00. The fee for a new dwelling or residential change of use is £200.00.

Certain householder developments may not require planning approval. Officers will provide free guidance on whether an extension, or outbuilding for example, constitutes permitted development.

The council no longer provides access to a duty officer. If you wish to see a planning officer, you will need to make an appointment.

For further information on fees, visit Pre-app Advice Fees.