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Applying to North Dorset District Council

Information on applying to North Dorset District Council for planning permission.

If you think you might need to apply for planning permission:

Step 1

Check whether there are any Planning constraints on the site and whether consent is required for your development - see Permitted Development in North Dorset.

There are also the  Planning Portal Householder Guides (opens in a new window) created by the government's Planning Portal where you can check to see whether particular types of development require planning permission. Alternatively, contact North Dorset District Council's Development Services

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.

Step 2

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).

Step 3

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

  1. A paper application: You can either download the North Dorset District Council - Planning application forms, or hard copies can be obtained by contacting the Development Services Team.
  2. An online application: North Dorset District Council supports and promotes the submission of planning applications online. Online applications are made through the government's Planning Portal - Apply for planning permission on-line (opens in a new window)   - which also provides general information and guidance on the planning process

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 - Planning Fees (opens in a new window) .

Before submitting your application, please ensure that you have read the Planning Application Requirements document (pdf, 282kb) (opens in a new window) - for the application type(s) you are applying for, checking both National and Regional requirements and the Local Flood Risk Standing Advice for North Dorset (pdf, 286kb) (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 reference there is also the Explanation of Local Requirements (pdf, 126kb) (opens in a new window) document.

Step 4

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

Step 5

Submit the completed application forms either via the Planning Portal or 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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