Last edited 11 Jul 2015

Planning guarantee

The term ‘planning guarantee’ refers to the Government policy that no planning application should spend more than a year with decision-makers, including any appeal.

This means that planning applications themselves should be decided in no more than 26 weeks, allowing for a further 26 weeks to for any appeal. This should only be exceeded following a written agreement with the applicant, setting out the timescale within which a decision is expected.

This is in addition to the statutory time limits which set targets for planning authorities determine planning applications:

  • Within 13 weeks for applications for major development.
  • Within eight weeks for all other types of development (unless an application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, in which case a 16 week limit applies).

If a valid application is not determined within the statutory period (or such other period as has been agreed) the applicant has a right to appeal to the Secretary of State against non-determination.

If the applicant does not exercised this right of appeal, and the application remains undetermined after 26 weeks, then the fee will be refunded.

Where planning authorities are designated as not adequately performing their function of determining applications, major development may be submitted directly to the Secretary of State. See Special measures designation for under-performing planning authorities for more information.

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