Frequently Asked Planning Questions (FAQ's)
This page provides answers to some frequently asked questions regarding planning.
We tell neighbours about new applications by letter, site notice or newspaper advertisement. Click here for further details of this process
Or you can sign up for an automatic email alerts (called Alert It), informing you of planning applications within certain limitations, for example a distance of up to 500 metres of where you live or within a Ward.
The number of emails you will receive depends on the types of planning application notifications you want to be informed of, including neighbours' extensions, a change to a business or housing developments.
This 'alert-it' process does not cover all applications (excludes householder permitted development notifications) but is quicker than receiving a letter. You can choose to receive notifications on behalf of someone else in the borough, allowing them to stay informed for relatives or those without access to the internet. Sign Up here
The online database has information on progress on applications made to the Borough Council. It will include details of the decision after it has been made along with information about any appeal against the decision.
However, some planning applications including those for minerals and waste development and applications related to county council services are made to Hertfordshire County Council. Its website contains details, progress and decisions on these applications which are decided by the County Council.
Yes, the online database has information on most Borough Council planning applications since 1985. After 1995 the database includes some information on appeals, legal agreements and copies of decision notices.
The interactive map shows the reference number of most planning applications since 1974. Details of these applications can be seen at our offices in Welwyn Garden City. Please contact the Planning Support Team if you are making a special visit to make sure we have the information you need.
There are several website/organisations which you may wish to use to find help:
Information can be found on our Altering your home? web page.
Sorry, we do not have this information.
You may want to try checking your deeds or tenancy agreement. If these are not clear or don't cover the land you need information on, there are several places you can go to for further help:
Sorry, we can only look at the planning issues rather than your rights as a homeowner. However, you may want to check your rights with your solicitor and/or under the Party Wall Act.
The primary basis for consideration of any planning application is the Development Plan. This lists the policies that your proposals will be judged against. To find out whether your house is in a conservation area or is a listed building, please refer to the Interactive Map . You may also want to check what other people have applied for in the area through the Planning application database . Alternatively we offer Pre-application Advice to potential applicants.
No, the council is not able to make recommendations for building companies.
When planning permission is granted originally for some developments permitted development rights may be removed to allow the council to retain control over future development on the site. Therefore, before going ahead with any development you are advised to speak with a planning officer to determine whether permitted development rights have been removed.
The cost for a householder application is £172. The cost for minor and major applications will vary depending on the nature and size of a development. The web link to the right includes application forms and further information on fee's.
You will need to complete an application form either yourself or through an agent such as a planning consultant or architect. This needs to be submitted with the plans detailing your proposals, relevant documents and the correct fee. The validation checklist for the type of application detail all the information required. Further information is available within How to make a Planning Application.
Plans need to be clear and detailed and drawn to metric scale. You can draw your own plans but most people will employ a planning agent or architect to do this for them. The Council is not able to make recommendations in relation to agent/architect services.
Every planning application needs a site location plan and block plan showing the location and boundaries of the site you are planning to work on. You can use the Planning Portal's 'Buy a Plan' service to ensure that you meet our requirements, whether you are a planning professional or first-time applicant.
A number of people will be notified of, or consulted on your planning application. This will include neighbours of the site, elected members (your Ward Councillor), Town and Parish Councils and statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency and Hertfordshire Highways.
A decision on a planning application should be made no later than eight weeks from the date of validation of the application. This timescale is different for major planning applications where the decision should be made within 13 weeks.
91 per cent of applications are dealt with under delegated powers. This means that the case officer for the application makes a recommendation to the Head of Planning who has the authority to make the decision on the application. All other decisions are made at the Planning Control Committee which is made up of Elected Members. The Committee is open to all members of the public to attend and speak.
Information on decisions made on planning applications can be viewed on the council's website, at the council offices in Welwyn Garden City, or by phoning the Development Control section. If you would like a copy of a decision notice this can be obtained from the council. A fee will be payable and is dependent upon the number of pages to the decision. Please contact us for more details.
Welwyn Garden City is one of only two Garden Cities in the country. In recognition of the quality of the garden city environment and to protect the amenities of residents the High Court, in 1973 imposed a Scheme of Management covering most of the town.
The council is keen to ensure that the town's environment continues to be of the highest quality. Because of this consent is required for:
This consent is separate from the need to apply for Planning Permission and Building Regulation approval which may also be required.
The Estate Management Scheme booklet [1MB] (this is being updated with the 2009 revised publication) gives more details. The Estate Management Application Form [63KB] can also be downloaded here. Further details of the scheme can be found here.
In Hatfield, planning permission is required (from 12th January 2012) if you are going to use your property as a House in Multiple Occupation.
Development Consultation Forum's as held as required to give local councillors and neighbours a chance to see developers proposals early in the planning application process.
This page was last updated on 19/09/2013