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How to apply for planning permission

Applying for planning permission can seem daunting, but there is a clear process to go through.

Applying for planning permission

All valid applications must include specific documents, drawings and plans depending on the type of application. Check what you need before you apply using the links and checklists below.

We are often unable to proceed with applications because the accompanying plans are missing or not good enough. We need a series of accurate drawings and plans clearly showing what you are proposing.

Please note that there are new validation requirements for applications relating to certain types of development such as housing within identified river catchments of the River Eden Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and River Derwent and Bassenthwaite Lake SAC. Applications within affected areas (the parishes, or parts of the parishes. of Boltons, Sebergham, Brigham, Dean, Great Clifton, Greysouthen, Little Clifton, Loweswater and Winscales) will now need to demonstrate nutrient neutrality.  Further information is available on the neutrient neutrality page.

The best way to apply for planning permission is through the Planning Portal. This allows you to submit all types of planning permission, and download plans. It can also be used to see how much it will cost.

Apply for planning permission online

Remember you can only apply for planning permission to us if the property is outside the Lake District National Park boundary. If it is inside, you will need to apply to the Lake District National Park Authority

How much will my planning application cost?

There are set fees for the type and scale of application. Use the Planning Portal to determine the fees for your application.

Check the fees online

How can I pay my planning fees?

You can pay your fees a number of ways:

  • Via the planning portal (use the link above) as you are applying
  • Telephone us on 0300 373 3730 and make a payment quoting the reference number of the application or by contacting the planning department direct on 01900 878703. Please note that we do not accept cheques.

If you are intending to build your own home or have a custom design built for you, then you may be eligible for a grant to cover the planning application and building regulations fee. Visit our Self-build and custom housebuilding grant page for details.

What happens once my application is received?

Once you have submitted your application it will be given a unique reference number and go on the public planning application register . We will then consult with statutory consultees and the local community on your application.

If you wish to amend an application, speak to us first. You may need to submit a new application.

You can find out more information about how planning decisions are made via the Planning Portal  or the Planning Practice Guidance.

Who makes the decision on my planning application?

A decision will be made on your application by either the planning officer concerned, or by the Development Panel which is made up of a number of councillors.

An elected member can call-in an application so that it is considered by the Development Panel.


Types of application and checklists

The Planning Validation Checklist guidance document explains more about the validation process when you make an application.

More information on specific types of planning applications can be found in the following sections: 

This application should be used for proposals to alter or enlarge a single house, including works within the boundary/garden of a house.

This includes projects such as:

  • Extensions
  • Conservatories
  • Loft conversions
  • Dormer windows
  • Garages, car ports and outbuildings
  • Properties in Article Four or Conservation Areas for windows and doors

Check that the development you are carrying out should not be considered as a Minor (or Full) application.

The fee for the householder application is £258.

Find out more about this application on the Planning Portal .

Apply for planning permission online

The following documents will help you with your application

Download the householder application validation checklist

Download the replacement windows and doors validation checklist

Download the householder application form

Download the householder prior approval for larger rear extensions validation checklist


You should use this application form to make a detailed planning application for development, excluding householder developments.

This includes building, engineering or other works, in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land.

As such it should be used for:

  • Any works relating to a flat
  • Applications to change the number of dwellings (flat conversions, building a separate house in the garden)
  • Changes of use to part or all of the property to non-residential (including business) uses
  • Anything outside the garden of the property (including stables if in a separate paddock

Download the following validation checklists:

Agricultural and equestrian building checklist

Change of use checklist

Full application (minor) checklist

Full application (major) checklist

Full application (wind turbine) checklist

Where can I find out more information?

The Planning Portal provides more information on this type of application .

Make an application online

Applications for Outline Planning Permission seek to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development would be acceptable to the local planning authority, before a fully detailed proposal is put forward.

This type of planning application allows fewer details about the proposal to be submitted.

Once outline permission has been granted, you will need to ask for approval of the details (“reserved matters”) before work can start.

These details will be the subject of a “reserved matters” application at a later stage. 

Find out more about outline planning consent from the Planning Portal .

How to apply for outline planning consent

Use the relevant validation checklist to ensure all the necessary information is provided and then apply online via the Planning Portal.

Download the Outline Planning Application checklist (minor)

Download the Outline Planning Application checklist (major)

Apply for outline consent online

There are other types of planning application, such as advertising consent and reserved matters consent.

If your development requires one of these, go to the Planning Portal to find out more and to make an application.

Amendments to your work

If you make amendments to what was approved in the planning permission prior to starting work, or during construction, then you should reconsider your approval and investigate the need for any further applications to address any modifications.

How do I appeal a decision?

A decision on your planning application will be made by a planning officer, or the Development Panel which is made up of a number of councillors.

If a planning application is refused, the Council will set out the precise reasons for this and the planning policies as to why the application was refused. If you consider that the reasons of objection can be overcome through revisions or amendments to your application, then you contact us for some advice on resubmitting your application.

Alternatively should you wish to challenge the Council's decision then you have the right to submit an appeal with the Planning Inspector. You can find out more on the Planning Portal website .

Only the applicant can appeal against a decision to refuse an application. Objectors are not able to appeal against a decision which does not go in their favour.

What if I don't own the land?

You don't need to own land to apply for planning permission for development on it. However, you do need to either serve notice on the owner or owners or have taken the appropriate steps to publicise the intention to apply for permission when a owner is not known. An application will need to be accompanied by the correct certificate of ownership:-

  • Certificate A: When all the land within the site is in your ownership.
  • Certificate B: When the land owner is known. Notice will need to be served on them.
  • Certificate C: When not all of the landowners are known.
  • Certificate D: When no landowners are known.

Details of the relevant notices to be served on the owners when known can be found on the Planning Portal website .

When not all the landowners (Cert C) or none are known (Cert D) then a notice needs to be published in an appropriate publication circulating in the locality. In Allerdale area the following publications are deemed to be appropriate:

  • Times & Star – For Workington, Cockermouth, Maryport, Allonby, Brigham, Crosby, Dearham, Great Broughton, Little Broughton, Seaton and sites within other villages and the countryside near to these parishes.
  • The Cumberland News – For Aspatria, Silloth, Wigton, Bothel, Kirkbride, Thursby and sites within other villages and the countryside near to these parishes.
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