Q: Do I need planning permission?


This will depend on:

  • the scale and location of the proposed works or development
  • the planning policies related to the application site.

We recommend you visit the Planning Portal which provides extensive general advice on the need for planning permission. Users can access an interactive house, a list of common projects and more to support the submission of a planning application.

Q: What documents do I need to make a planning application?


Take a look at our validation guide to submitting applications before making a planning application. 

Q: How do I apply?


The best way to apply for a wide range of planning permission is online, using the Planning Portal which will allow users to complete the relevant form, attach documents and submit payment. Users can also apply online to discharge a condition. 

If an application cannot be submitted online, users will be able to download and print paper forms for submission from the Planning Portal website. 

Our preferred method of application is online through the Planning Portal which is easy to use. 

Using the Planning Portal will save the user the cost of agents or other advisers. It may take time to apply, but you can save your work and come back to it at any time. 

Q: How much will my application cost?


The cost of an application varies. See the list of fees online .The Planning Portal also have a fee calculator which can be used to determine the cost of an application. 

Q: Who is notified about a planning application and what does that mean?


he public notification allows anyone who may be interested in the application to comment/make a representation on it.  We must allow at least 21 days for responses. 

Depending on the type of application, we may notify in the following ways: 

  • a site notice 
  • a press advert 
  • a weekly list 

We may also write to other council departments, amenity groups, or bodies such as the Environment Agency or Historic England for their views on a proposal. 

Q: How do I comment on a planning application?


For further information on how you can comment on a planning application please see the Planning Website at Viewing Applications, Decisions and Appeals Online – Rother District Council 

Q: When should I submit my comment by?


We must receive your written comments within 21 days of the start of the Public Notification period.

Q: What comments are taken into consideration during a consultation?


We can only consider planning comments about: 

  • whether the proposed use is a suitable one for the area 
  • whether the appearance and size of a new building is in keeping with its neighbours and the surrounding area 
  • whether the external alterations to an existing building are in character 
  • whether any neighbouring property will suffer any overshadowing, overlooking or loss of privacy 
  • whether there will be any increase in noise and disturbance, for example from the movement of any extra traffic 
  • whether new public buildings have satisfactory access for the disabled 
  • whether new access road and vehicle parking areas will be safe for road users and pedestrians 
  • whether, in the case of an application for an advertisement, the proposed sign is too large, unsightly and/or is likely to give rise to any highway safety issues
  • whether a public footpath is affected
  • whether there is any visual impact upon the landscape i.e.. loss of trees and hedgerows
  • whether the proposal conflicts with the Council’s planning policies

Further information can be found on ourPlanning Website at Commenting on planning applications – Rother District Council 

Q: Can I make amendments once my application has been validated?


If your scheme only requires relatively minor changes to make it acceptable, negotiations may be undertaken to obtain satisfactory amended plans. A number of factors influence this judgement although the primary ones are: 

If the proposal is contrary to policy and it is unlikely that negotiations could overcome this or if the scheme is sub-standard (for example owing to density, design or highway reasons), the case officer will progress your application to a determination without conducting negotiations. The reasons for refusal will advise the applicant/agent of which issues were considered to be unacceptable. 

Q: How long will it take to make a decision on a planning application?


We aim to determine most planning applications within the statutory time periods – usually 8 weeks (or 13 for major developments and 16 for EIA development) from the date of validation. 

Most applications are decided by planning officers under delegated powers, but in some cases may be referred to the Planning Committee. Planning Committee meetings are held monthly.  

If we need extra time we will contact you to agree an extension of time.  

Q: Once an application is made to discharge conditions attached to a planning permission can I add to or revise the information?


We will progress the applications for the discharge of conditions on the basis of what we have received. 

Q: What are reserved matters?


Reserved matters relate to design, external appearance, siting, means of access and landscaping for the erection of new buildings, where outline permission has been granted. Conditions attached to the permission may require other details to be approved e.g. materials, but only those in the five categories mentioned are reserved matters. 

Q: When can I start work once a decision has been made?


You can start work either when you have received planning permission from us or, if the permission includes details to be approved by condition, once those details are approved. Your decision notice will outline any conditions that need to be discharged prior to any commencement. 

Q: What if I am unhappy with a planning decision?


If we refuse permission or impose conditions, we will give you the reasons. If you are unclear about the reasons for refusal or the conditions imposed, you can read the officers delegated report which is published online and provides the context for the decision.  You may submit a pre-application request to discuss the refusal or condition details with a case officer, alternatively you can appeal. 

Only applicants have the right of appeal. 

If you are the applicant, you can appeal against the decision to the Planning Inspectorate. Their website has appeal forms. 

You can appeal against:

  • a refusal of planning permission 
  • conditions attached to a planning approval 
  • a decision not being made within eight weeks of our receiving a valid application (this is known as a deemed refusal and we advise you to contact the case officer before you make an appeal of this type) 
  • an enforcement notice relating to unauthorised development. 

Q: Where do I find professional help?


The Planning Service is here to help and advise you through pre-application planning advice, but if your project is complex or controversial, or involves particular design or conservation expertise, you may want a professional to act for you. We are unable to recommend a particular professional agent but recommend that you seek advice from appropriately qualified professionals. A list of professional bodies is below:

This list is not exhaustive and other professionals may be able to help you. 

If you do engage an agent, all correspondence and enquiries will go through them and they will receive the decision notice. 

We will assume your agent has advised you about the risks that may arise if you do not follow our advice. Your agent should also be able to advise you about the foreseeable issues associated with your proposal. So, if you have any problems with your application, please contact your agent. 

Q: How do I find out if a building is listed?


You can find out if a building is listed by visiting the Historic England website. 

Q: How do I find out if a building is in a conservation area?


You can check whether a building is in a Conservation Area via our on line mapping system at Designations – Public Maps – Rother D.C. – WebGIS 

Q: What does  “use class” mean?


The planning portal provides a detailed explanations about use classes. 

Q: What is the difference between planning and building control?


Planning looks at the use of the land and decides whether the proposed building work can go ahead and in what capacity. 

Building control is concerned with the technical side such as making sure building regulations are upheld and public safety is maintained. 

More information about building control can be found on the East Sussex Building Control Partnership website. 

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