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Applying to North Dorset District Council

Information on applying to North Dorset District Council for planning permission, including advice on permitted development.

Development Services Handbook

This handbook is to be used as a guide and introduction to planning to make it as clear and straightforward as possible for you to use the services offered by North Dorset District Council's Development Service, either as an applicant or other interested party, for example a neighbour of a proposed site.

North Dorset District Council Development Services Handbook (opens in a new window)

Permitted development- do I need planning permission?

  1. Check whether there are any planning constraints on the site
  2. Check our Permitted Development pages to find out if consent is required for your development

You can also Use the Planning Portal Interactive House to find out if the development requires planning permission (opens in a new window).

Alternatively, you can contact North Dorset District Council's Development Services to find out if you need planning permission.

It is not necessary to make the application yourself. If you wish, you can appoint an agent (for instance, an architect, a solicitor, or a builder) to make it for you.

Anyone can make an application, irrespective of who owns the land or buildings concerned. However, if you are not the owner, or if you have only part-ownership, you have to inform the owner or those who share ownership, including any leaseholder whose lease still has seven or more years to run, and any agricultural tenant.

Pre-application advice

Decide what type of application you need to make. In most cases this will be a full application but there are a few circumstances when you may want to make an outline application - for example, if you want to see what the council thinks of the building work you intend to carry out before you go to the trouble of making detailed drawings (but you will still need to submit details at a later stage). You can apply for pre-application advice from our planning department.

Make a planning application

Once you are sure which type of application you need to make for planning permission, then there are two ways to apply:

  1. Make an online planning application with the Planning Portal (opens in a new window): The Planning Portal also provides general information and guidance on the planning process
  2. Download paper copies of the planning application forms 

In both instances, paper or online, we require certain statutory information in order for the application to be registered as valid. This in most cases includes a Planning Fee. Read more about the cost of planning applications (opens in a new window).

Before applying

Before applying please read:

  1. The Planning Application Requirements document before applying, checking both National and Regional requirements (pdf, 547kb) (opens in a new window). This document (which is also referred to as the validation checklist) specifies the documentation and supporting information which will be required before an application can be registered. Failure to comply with the requirements will render the application invalid and it is likely to be returned to you. For guidance there is also the Explanation of Local Requirements document (pdf, 126kb) (opens in a new window)
  2. The Local Flood Risk Standing Advice for North Dorset before applying (pdf, 286kb) (opens in a new window)

Submit a planning application

You apply to the Council's Development Control Service for planning permission. Planning applications are decided in line with the North Dorset local planning policy unless there are very good reasons not to do so. Points that will be considered include the following:

  • Number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings
  • Proposed means of access, landscaping and impact on the neighbourhood
  • Availability of infrastructure, such as roads and water supply
  • Proposed use of the development

Submit the completed application forms to the Planning Portal (opens in a new window). Paper forms can be sent directly to the Development Control Service, together with the correct fee. Please ensure that if submitting a paper application that you have submitted the correct number of copies.

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