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How a planning application is considered


Once validated, we pass the application to a case officer.

At the same time, we send consultations to consultees, neighbouring landowners and properties. All comments should return within 21 days.

We then pass the application file to the case officer, who will:

  • double check that it is valid and send the appropriate consultations out
  • make a site visit to understand the context of the proposal
  • take photographs and display a site notice if required
  • begin assessment of the application, including information from the site visit and other's responses
  • seek advice from other professionals where necessary
  • request alterations to improve the application where necessary 
  • if the changes are significant, reconsult neighbours (we may allow extra days to comment)
  • write a report that assesses the development against the national and local planning policies 
  • either grant planning permission subject to planning conditions or refuse planning permission
  • pass the report through to their team leader, who will check the report and sign it off
  • issue a draft decision notice that for the development manager to check and sign off

Technical support issue formal decision notice.

What will we consider?

The Local Planning Authority can only determine applications within the guidelines set by government.  

We can only take into account comments that relate to material planning considerations.

The most common of these are:

  • statements of national planning policy (including lanning Policy Statements, Circulars, Orders. Ministerial Statements and Statutory Instruments etc)
  • the Unitary Development Plan and the Local Development Framework
  • loss of light or overshadowing
  • overlooking/loss of privacy
  • visual amenity (but not loss of view)
  • highway safety
  • design, appearance and materials

We can't take into account matters that are not normal planning considerations, such as:

  • the fear of loss of property value
  • private/ownership disputes between neighbours
  • the loss of a view
  • the impact of construction work or competition between firms
  • restrictive covenants
  • personal morals or views about the applicant
  • where other legislation imposes control e.g. Building or Fire Control or Health and Safety

We will need to weigh any material considerations in the final decision process. This is according to their appropriateness and relative importance. We consider each case on its own merit.

Making the decision

The Head of Development and Public Protection determines approximately 90% of planning applications. But, the Planning and Development Committee decide whether major or controversial developments go ahead. 

Gateshead council aims to determine all:

  • minor or household planning applications within 8 weeks
  • major developments within 13 weeks
  • applications requiring an Environmental Assessment within 16 weeks

If we receive less than five objections, we will write a report to recommend approval or refusal. Senior team members will sign and check this.

For Planning and Development Committee decisions, we also present the report to the committee. They then take the decision to either agree with the recommendation or overturn it.

In either case, we will issue the decision notice to the applicant or their agent.

Approved applications may have planning conditions attached. It's important to check these and follow them. If you don't, you may be liable to enforcement action or even invalidate your permission. 

If we refuse a planning application we will give you reasons why we did so. 

After we've made a decision 

Grant of planning permission

An applicant can make two types of amendments to an approved application:

  • non-material: we will check minor changes to a proposal within 28 days
  • material: for more significant changes, we need you change condition 1 on your permission. You will submit your revised plans that which we will consider as a new application. 

Both applications for non-material and material changes will incur a planning fee.

Refusal of planning permission

An applicant can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate within the following timescales:

  • within three months (12 weeks) for an extension to a dwelling
  • within six months for all other development

You can resolve a lot of problems before the final decision by talking to your case officer. 

You can submit one amended request within 12 months of the original application. We call this 'a free go' or 'a free re-submission' as it is free of charge. 

There is no third party right of appeal currently within the national planning system.


Contact Us

Development Management
Civic Centre
Regent Street

Phone: 0191 433 3000
Fax: 0191 433 3340