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Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I see plans relating to an application I am interested in? 

You can view plans on line through the Councils Public Access system accessible through the planning pages of Gateshead Council’s public access system.

For current applications you can also come to the Council's reception at the Civic Centre quoting the application reference number. For older applications we request that you contact us in advance, as the file is likely to have been archived away.

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Do I always need planning permission?

If you are ever in doubt as to whether planning permission is required, it is best to contact Development Control. Do not take a chance and don’t always follow the advice of other parties (including Builders and conservatory Companies) as they may not know for sure. For example, you may live in a house that had its permitted development rights removed, and therefore any development no matter how minor will require planning permission and a third party may not know this.

We will be happy to give you informal and impartial advice and we provide simple guidance notes the website.

Don’t assume because a neighbour has done something similar without permission you can do it too. Your neighbour may not have permission and needed it or there may be different histories affecting each property.

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How long will it take before I get a decision?

Applications relating to domestic properties will normally be determined in 4-8 weeks. Due to their complex nature applications affecting commercial properties may take a little longer. In any event we will aim to determine all standard applications (known as ‘minor’ or ‘other’ applications) within 8 weeks and all 'major' applications within 13 weeks (16 weeks for applications supported by an Environmental Assessment).

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If my application is refused can I appeal against the decision?

Yes, you have up to 6 months from the date of the decision issue to appeal against a refused application but only 12 weeks in relation to an application refused for a domestic extension. Forms can be obtained online via the Planning Inspectorate’s website;

or by writing to: Planning Inspectorate, 3/24 Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN

Prior to making an appeal we recommend you discuss any potential changes to the refused scheme with the planning officer as there may be a solution that can avoid the need to appeal.

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Can I discuss the application with an Officer?

Copies of submitted applications are available on the Coucil's website or paper versions are available at our reception currently on the second floor (with lift access) of the Civic Centre. 

If you wish to discuss the application with the specific case officer dealing with your application you will need to make a prior appointment, as they will not be available if you call without an appointment.

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When are Planning Committees held and can I attend / speak?

Planning Committees are normally held on a Wednesday on a three weekly cycle and normally in the Bridges Room on the first floor in the Civic Centre. If you wish to speak for or against an application you will need to make sure this is absolutely clearly stated in writing within your representation on the application. Only two persons can speak for and against and this is on a first come first served basis. Substitutions are allowed where these have been requested in writing in advance of the meeting. If there are two speakers they must be raising separate issues to each other. The meeting is public so anyone can attend.

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What applications go to Planning and Development Committee?

Not all applications go before Committee. Approximately 90% of planning applications are determined under what is known as delegated powers. This means that the decision on whether or not to approve an application has been passed to the Head of Development and Public Protection, whose officers make a recommendation that requires agreement by the Assistant Development Control Manager and subsequently the Development Control Manager prior to issue and signature of the Head of Development and Public Protection.

Most major applications are reported to Planning and Development Committee as are those with five or more objections, those where a Councillor has requested in writing that it be reported to Committee or those which in the opinion of the Head of Development and Public Protection should be reported to Committee.

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Do I need landlords consent?

If you are a tenant (residential or commercial) you need to notify your landlord (the land owner) that you are making a planning application on their building or land. Please also check your deeds as often the original developer of a housing estate adds a covenant requiring their permission to make extensions (usually with a fee) as well as needing the consent of the Local Planning Authority.