Planning applications

There are a large number of planning applications submitted to Northumberland County Council each week.

These could be for a variety of reasons such as a bedroom above a garage to a factory or housing estate.

Applications are also often submitted for the change of use for a business premises.

Anyone can submit a planning application.

Most applications are dealt with quickly and all parties are content.

On occasions applications can cause concern to others such as neighbours or business competitors .

The planning process can be very complicated.

We receive a lot of enquiries from residents about planning applications & we have created this page with a few links to help them gain some understanding of the subject.

It must be understood that if an application is submitted  and someone does not like the application they can submit their views and these will be read but for the Council to refuse any application there must be sound legal/ planning objections.

Your County Councillors are here to support and advice residents.

A common question is –

Q) Will our Councillors take on our case against a neighbour who has applied for a house extension we do not like, and stop it  ?

A) Your Councillor will look at the facts and give advice, link in with the planning department to ensure the application and process are followed correctly, the Councillor may speak at a meeting (if the application goes before a committee) but the Cllr must have grounds to object.

Q) Will the Councillor go to the press and object / support ?

A) The Councillor may decide to do that, but as they have made their views known in public about the application it would probably preclude them from being part of any planning process (if the application goes to a committee) and for them to take part in the decision making process including asking officers questions in such a forum.

When is planning application required Click here

Pre application adviceClick here

The planning application processClick here

Search for planning applications Click here 

Suggestions  for reasons to support or object to planning application are given in the link and copied below – Click.  

The council can only take land use planning issues into account when it makes a decision on an application. These will vary depending on the proposal and the site circumstances, but may include:

  • The council’s planning policies
  • Central government planning guidance
  • The size, appearance, layout and density of the proposed development
  • Daylight, sunlight and overshadowing
  • Overlooking or loss of privacy
  • Means of access, parking, servicing, traffic generation, highway safety
  • Impact on landscape and ecological habitats
  • Effect on listed buildings, conservation areas and archaeology
  • Noise and disturbance
  • Air quality and odours
  • Contamination
  • Flood risk
  • Renewable energy, sustainability of proposed development
  • Crime prevention and community safety

The following are matters which the council cannot take into account, these include:

  • Private property matters such as boundary and access disputes, rights to light, restrictive covenants, capacity of private drains, damage to property during construction
  • Effects on property value
  • Trade competition
  • Loss of view
  • Building regulations matters such as structural safety and fire prevention and matters covered by other laws such as alcohol or gaming licences
  • The applicant’s personal conduct, history or motives

Changes can be made to a planning application during its assessment. If changes are made to the application during the process, a period of 14 days is usually given to residents and consultees to provide any further comments on the changes. Minor changes which do not change or alter the development or its impacts will not normally result in additional consultation.

Report a breach Click here

Planning Aid England is a service which provides free, independent and professional advice on planning matters to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay professional fees to employ a planning consultant. If you feel that you need assistance in making your views about an application or decision known, Planning Aid England may be able to help.

The Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to provide some information on civil matters relating to planning applications. In some cases, it is advisable to contact your solicitor for legal advice if a development affects your property or raises civil issues such as access, ownership or covenants.

Planning applications can be dealt with in a variety of ways-

Delegated to an officer –

Smaller applications can go before the Local area Council – Click here

Major applications can go before the Strategic planning committee – Click here 



This page is here for general information, but we recommend  that the official NCC webpage should be consulted. – Click here


We do not enter into discussions via social media but offer a range of methods for residents to contact Gordon & Ken their County Councillors.

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