Understanding The Planning Application Status - Granite Building Warranties

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Understanding The Planning Application Status

Planning applications are typically categorised based on their status in the decision-making process.

The Planning Stage Status

Received Granted Decided
Applications submitted to the local planning authority have not been fully processed or determined Applications approved by the local planning authority, allowing the proposed development to proceed (usually subject to conditions). This category encompasses all applications that have reached a final decision, whether approved or refused. It includes both granted and denied applications.

The “decided” category is significant because it represents the completion of the decision-making process for a planning application. Once an application is decided, it means that:

  • The local planning authority has thoroughly reviewed the application
  • Any necessary consultations have been carried out
  • The proposal has been assessed against relevant planning policies and regulations
  • A final determination has been made, either granting or refusing permission

Statuary Time Limits For Planning Applications

It’s important to note that the statutory time limits for deciding applications vary depending on the type of development:

  • 13 weeks for major development applications
  • 8 weeks for most other types of development (including householder applications)
  • 16 weeks for applications subject to Environmental Impact Assessment

The government has also implemented a “planning guarantee” policy, which states that no application should spend more than a year with decision-makers, including any appeal.


This means that in practice,

  1. Major planning applications should be decided within 26 weeks.
  2. Non-major applications should be decided within 16 weeks.

These timeframes are designed to ensure efficient processing of planning applications and to provide certainty for applicants. Suppose a local planning authority consistently fails to decide applications on time. In that case, they may face consequences, including the possibility of being designated as underperforming, which could result in applicants being able to submit certain types of applications directly to the Secretary of State.


Planning Applications Key Data Insights (2013-2023)

To provide further context, here’s a summary of key data points from recent years that illustrate trends in the planning application process:

  • Number of Applications and Decisions:

    • The peak year for applications received was 2016-17 with 486,681 applications. In 2022-23, this number decreased to 395,854.
    • The peak year for applications decided was also 2016-17 with 439,940 decisions. In 2022-23, this number was 377,027.
  • Approval Rates:

    • The percentage of decisions granted has been consistently high, mostly around 88%, slightly dropping to 87% in 2022-23.
  • Timeliness of Decisions:

    • The percentage of decisions on major applications within 13 weeks decreased from 57% in 2013-14 to 19% in 2022-23.
    • The percentage of decisions on minor applications within 8 weeks decreased from 70% in 2013-14 to 36% in 2022-23.
    • Overall, decisions within the statutory time period of 8/13 weeks dropped from 78% in 2013-14 to 46% in 2022-23.
  • Performance Agreements:

    • The number of decisions on applications accompanied by a performance agreement increased significantly, peaking at 172,108 in 2021-22.
    • The percentage of decisions on applications with a performance agreement decided in time remained high, around 90-91%.
  • Decisions within Agreed Time:

    • Major applications decided within 13 weeks or agreed time consistently improved, peaking at 89%.
    • Minor applications decided within 8 weeks or agreed time stayed high, between 83-89%.
    • Overall decisions within 8/13 weeks or agreed time remained high, between 84-90%.


  • Consider Performance Agreements: To increase the likelihood of timely decisions, applicants should consider accompanying their applications with a performance agreement.
  • Prepare for Potential Delays: Given the declining trend in statutory time period decisions, applicants should be prepared for potential delays, especially for major applications.

More Resources Planning Applications

  1. Why they can go to a public consultation
  2. Planning Application Process
  3. Planning Agents



For more information, please contact Ed or Kelly on 01284 365345 or email ed@granitebw.co.uk / kelly@granitebw.co.uk.

  • Data  (Stats)
  • Gov.UK
  • Data Set = England, January to March 2024

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