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Planning application process

How long does it take for a decision

Small scale minor applications are normally decided within 8 weeks, while larger more complex major applications are normally decided within 13 weeks, although these may take longer depending on the nature of the proposal.

Large and complex developments may benefit from a Planning Performance Agreement to facilitate bespoke project management.

Validation of applications

Once an application is submitted, it will be checked to ensure that all the required information and fee have been received. If further information is required, we aim to let you know within five working days of receipt. Once all the required information and the correct fee have been received the application will be registered as valid and the formal consultation and assessment process will begin.

Public consultation on applications

Consultations on Planning Applications are carried out to make sure that people who may be affected are aware of the application, and have an opportunity to comment.

How widely the Council consults, depends on the nature of the planning application. In summary we will carry out some or all of the following:

  • Publish all application submissions on the Council’s website
  • Contact occupiers of properties directly affected and in some cases local amenity groups and appropriate statutory bodies
  • Give 21 days (from the date of the letter) for people to submit written comments
  • Place a site notice or notices on or close to the site
  • Publish an application in the local newspaper.

For a detailed breakdown of consultations, you can download the Statement of Community Involvement, which outlines how communities can be involved with the planning process and planning decisions in Islington.

Please note that planning applications and representations received about them are made available for public inspection and also published on the internet (with due regard to the provisions of the Data Protection Act).

Assessing planning applications

All applications are assessed against the adopted policies of the development plan. The planning case officer responsible for the application will:

  • If necessary undertake a site visit to inspect the site and surroundings
  • Assess the details of the drawings and information submitted
  • Take note of any comments raised by interested parties

The case officer will then make a recommendation to either approve or refuse the application.

Revisions to planning applications prior to determination

In some circumstances the case officer may request amendments, often known as revisions, to the proposed development. Although there is no statutory requirement to accept revisions they will be accepted in limited circumstances, where time allows. There will be a set time period in which to provide amended drawings, usually within very specific timeframes. If substantial amendments are required to make the proposal acceptable then you will be offered the opportunity to withdraw the application and resubmit it in an amended form.

Making a decision

Applications are normally approved with conditions or refused. Most planning applications are decided by the Head of Service under delegated powers.

However, many applications are presented to the Planning Committee for a decision. The Committee Agendas are published in advance and the meetings are open to the public to attend. Please visit Democracy in Islington for more details.

Anyone who submits comments or objections to a development is invited to attend (virtually/by video link) the meeting. If you would like to speak at the meeting you must tell us at least 24 hours before the meeting by emailing

It is not guaranteed that you will be able to speak as this is at the Chair’s discretion.

For the time being, meetings of the Planning Committee and its Sub-Committees will be held virtually using Zoom. If you wish to participate in the meeting either as an applicant, a supporter or an objector, you should register in the usual manner. To participate in the meeting you should visit Democracy in Islington and follow the details in the relevant Agenda to join the meeting. You are also able to join the meeting via the telephone number provided on the Agenda web page available on the Democracy in Islington  website. Please remember to check the Democracy in Islington web pages and the Agenda for the Committee meeting on a regular basis as the information contained is subject to change and may be updated.

If you cannot participate in the meeting using Zoom and wish to provide further comments you should send the case officer a short statement that will be provided to the Committee, or read out at the meeting. This should be with the case officer at least 24 hours before the meeting starts.

Please also note that if a large number of people wish to speak on a single item, the Chair may limit the number of people who can speak at the meeting. In these circumstances, the Chair will provide an interlude to allow people to organise themselves. This is in line with the council’s usual practice.


If your application is refused you have the opportunity to appeal against the decision. All appeals are considered by independent planning inspectors employed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Appeals can be expensive and time-consuming. It is a good idea to consult the planning case officer who dealt with the application before you appeal, to see if there is any scope for negotiation. It may be possible to agree on a new application that will meet the Council's requirements.

You have a right to appeal if:

  • your application has been refused
  • your application has been allowed with condition(s) and you wish to challenge the requirement for condition(s)
  • your application has not been determined within the statutory timeframe
  • you have received an enforcement notice

Appeal forms and information booklets explaining how to appeal are available from the Planning Portal.

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