Q I’ve sent a planning application but I haven’t heard anything after almost a month. Will this delay my permission?
A Councils have a target of eight weeks to decide applications for single houses and 13 weeks for large schemes. The clock starts ticking from the day after receipt. So, even if the acknowledgement letter isn’t sent out straight away, it shouldn’t affect the time table.
Councils try to meet the deadline because their performance is partly judged on hitting such targets. This isn’t always a good thing, however, as some councils refuse permission rather than go over the target date, regardless of the merits of the application.
Another dodge some councils use is to find some ‘defect’ with a planning application which means they don’t have to register it until the ‘defect’ is rectified and thus they delay the clock starting. It’s infuriating but there’s little you can do to get your planning application back on its proper track.