How to submit a planning application

Anyone can make a planning application, regardless of who owns the land or buildings concerned. If you're not the owner or not wholly the owner, you need to inform the owner or co-owners.

In most cases you'll need to make a full planning application. Remember to include a design and access statement with each full planning application.

Submit your application directly to the Royal Borough of Greenwich through the Planning Portal.

Apply for planning permission (Planning Portal)

You can appoint an agent like a solicitor, builder or architect to make an application on your behalf.

Make sure you include all required documents and comply with the national information requirements list and the local information requirements list.

You can also send a completed application form and documents to the Planning Department, together with a postal order or cheque made payable to 'The Royal Borough of Greenwich' for the relevant planning fee.

Community Infrastructure Levy

Together with your planning application, you'll need to submit a floor space information form. This is for the purpose of calculating the community infrastructure levy (CIL).

Outline application

There are a few circumstances when you may want to make an outline application. For example, you may wish to find out if the principle of a small scale development, such as one house, is acceptable. You'll still need to submit details later.

Contact the Planning Department for more about outline applications.

Documents to prepare

Planning applications should include these documents:

  • a completed application form with the relevant notice served on interested persons
  • a site location plan to a scale of 1:1250 with the application site outlined in red
  • existing and proposed floor plans, elevations and section to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
  • a design and access statement if you are submitting a full planning application.

If the application relates only to a part of a larger site, outline the land relevant to the application in red and the rest of the site in blue.

You may need to provide additional information depending on:

  • the type of application you are submitting
  • the nature of the development proposed.

If you have further questions about your planning application, please contact the Planning Department.

What happens after you submit an application

  • When a planning application is received, we complete a series of checks to ensure that all of the required information has been provided.

    A valid application should comply with the national information requirements list and the local information requirements list. You should also have submitted a floor space information form for CIL purposes.

    If your planning application does not comply with the national and local information requirements list it won't be processed until the required information is provided.

  • Once a planning application has been validated, we'll register the case for an officer to determine the application.

    Planning staff should acknowledge your application within a few days and notify you of:

    • the fact that it has been received
    • the name of the planning officer who will be assessing your proposal
    • a date within which the Royal Borough of Greenwich will try to determine your application.

    In most cases, the application will be received as valid. However, if additional information is required, the application will be made invalid. In such cases, we'll return your application with a letter outlining the information we need.

  • Central government requires that applications are determined within either an eight-week or 13-week period, depending on the type of application.

    The majority of applications submitted to the Royal Borough of Greenwich are determined within the designated time periods. However, some applications may fall outside these time periods due to:

    • their scale or complexity
    • or the need for the application to be determined at a Planning Committee.
  • As part of the consideration of an application, the Royal Borough will consult with interested parties. In most instances, this will mean writing to your immediate neighbours and providing them with the opportunity to comment.

    Larger and more complex applications may require a greater level of consultation. This could include:

    • advertising the application in the local press
    • erecting notices about the application at the site.

    Anyone can inspect any information you submit as part of your application. They'll also be able to see any committee reports and background papers used to prepare these reports.

    View and comment on planning applications

  • The Chief Planning Officer decides whether or not planning permission is granted for the majority of applications.

    In some cases, applications are determined by local ward councillors, at:

    • either an area planning committee
    • or the Royal Borough's Planning Board, which decides on developments that are of strategic importance.

    The councillors or Royal Borough officers who decide your application must consider whether there are any good planning reasons for refusing permission or for granting permission subject to conditions. They cannot reject a proposal simply because many people oppose it.

    Considerations include:

    • potential traffic problems
    • the effect on local amenities
    • the impact the proposal may have on the appearance of the area.

    By contrast, moral issues, the personal circumstances of the applicant or the effect the development might have on nearby property prices are not relevant.

    However, the Royal Borough of Greenwich will exercise reasonable discretion in relaxing planning policy to allow a person with disability to extend his or her home.

Planning permission after work has been done

If you've carried out works without appropriate consent, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (Planning Portal website).

You may also apply for planning permission after, but there's no guarantee that it will be granted.