Application up and running

Once the technical officer is satisfied that all the necessary information has been submitted, the application will be registered as valid and allocated to a planning officer.

Who deals with your application?

If you have sought pre-application advice, the planning officer that you have been dealing with during this period will most likely be the same person that deals with your planning application. This benefits you because you will have already spoken with the officer, and benefits us because we will already know a lot of information about your proposal and have considered many of the planning issues in advance.

At this stage the 8 or 13 week formal period has now begun. A Local Planning Authority has a target of determining minor planning applications within 8 weeks and major (such as large retail, commercial and employment development or new housing sites or 10 or more dwellings or sites over 1 hectare in size) within 13 weeks. Where the development is subject to Environmental Impact Assessment, the target is 16 weeks. As part of our positive and proactive approach to working with applicants, we may seek to extend time by written agreement.


Although informal consultation may have taken place during the pre-application advice stage, the statutory consultation period will now begin in accordance with the current Statement of Community Involvement or SCI, which can be downloaded from this webpage.

All comments received will form part of the planning file. They are available for public inspection and will be considered during the formal assessment of the application.

Further guidance on what constitutes material planning considerations and what cannot be taken into account when determining applications can be viewed on our commenting on planning applications webpage.

Comments must be received in writing (email or letter). If anyone wishing to put forward a formal comment has problems with written methods they can contact us to discuss other suitable recording methods.

Dealing with concerns or objections

Normally, if an application has been through the pre-application advice process, many of the key planning issue will have been identified and may have been addressed before you apply. Where such pre-application advice is not sought, there are often more issues to resolve and the application can take longer to process as the issues are identified, examined and where possible resolved.

Even when pre-application advice has been provided, it is not unheard of for unexpected issues to arise during the formal process or for people to raise a concern that they had not been previously identified. If issues do arise during the formal planning stage, the planning officer will call the applicant or agent to discuss them and may invite amendments where and when appropriate. 

Please be aware that if amended plans or details such as additional surveys or evidence are required then these may need to go out for re-consultation. Whilst discretionary, this can add an additional 21 days to the process depending on the nature of the amendment.

There will inevitably be occasions where there is no opportunity to resolve an outstanding issue through the submission of amended plans, information, evidence or details and the applicant/agent will be advised of this. The options could be to withdraw the application and resubmit it later once changes have been made and discussed further or alternatively to allow the application to be determined with the strong likelihood that the application will be refused.

The Formal Assessment and Decision Making

The starting point for the assessment of a planning application is the development plan, which for North Kesteven is the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan and any made Neighbourhood Plan for the area where the application has been submitted.

All planning applications are initially delegated to Officers and are determined in accordance with the provisions of the relevant parts of Articles 7 and 9 of the Constitution that allows for an application to be referred to the Planning Committee or one of the two Planning Sub-Committees, Lafford or Eastgate.  

A referral to committee occurs when an application:

  • is called-in by a Local Ward Councillor on material planning grounds, 
  • is referred by an Authorised Officer,
  • is made by the District Council and is subject to a material objection, and
  • is made by or on behalf of a serving Councillor or certain Officers of the Council.

If an application is to be determined by committee, we will prepare a report identifying key planning policy and other material planning considerations, the comments of statutory consultees such as the County Council as Highway Authority and representations from Parish or Town Councils and members of the public.  The report will examine and weigh all the material considerations and make a reasoned recommendation.  At the committee meeting, there will be an opportunity for public speaking and Members will debate the application before coming to a decision.

Where an application is determined under delegated powers, which is the case for approximately 95% of all applications made, the Planning Officer will prepare a report similar to that for a committee meeting.  The report and recommendation will be assessed and the application determined by a suitably qualified and experienced Planning Officer (the Development Manager or in some cases a Principal Planning Officer).

Find out what happens once a decision is made on our planning decisions webpage.