Apply for planning permission

Planning performance agreements

What is a PPA?  

A PPA is a useful management tool that we use for planning applications, which can help give all parties clarity about what is required of them at all stages of the planning application process, from pre-application stage to discharge of conditions.

A PPA can be put in place at any stage, preferably at pre-application stage, and can cover multiple parts of the process.

Why sign up to a PPA?

A PPA between the applicant and the council does not guarantee planning permission however, thanks to the improved communication and ongoing dialogue between developers and the council’s specialists, it greatly enhances the chances of a positive conclusion. As such, we strongly encourage the use of a PPA.

Where a planning application is submitted without a planning performance agreement, we will handle it as a routine application within the existing workload of our team, without dedicated resource. It will be determined without the dialogue that might otherwise takes place on schemes.

A PPA guarantees dedicated resource to manage your scheme through the planning process. If resources are stretched we will look to bring in the resources a PPA requires to make sure we deliver on what is agreed as part of the process.

We would recommend that it is helpful working under a PPA from start to finish of the process, for example, from pre-application advice through to dealing with planning conditions once you obtain planning permission.

What are the benefits of using a PPA?

There are a number of significant benefits for using a PPA:

  • Certainty of timescales for each part of the process, such as when advice will be provided, which planning committee date to work towards, when a decision will be reached, when conditions will be discharged
  • A project managed application process that includes a range of professionals involved in the determination of your application
  • The assurance of having a dedicated named officer for your project, and ample opportunity to discuss any changes/improvements to applications as they arise
  • Having access to planners, specialists and consultees to enable constructive discussion that maximise the chance of a successful outcome

Does this mean I will get an approval?

We can’t guarantee the outcome of any planning application, but by signing up to a PPA you have the best possible chances of a positive conclusion. You’ll guarantee a higher level of officer involvement and this expert advice through the process will undoubtedly help.

How much does it cost?

Any major development can be the subject of a PPA. The cost will vary depending on the scale of the application, the amount of resources required and whether input from other officers/specialists are required for the project.

The cost will be based on the hourly rates of the specialists involved, including overheads, and we will agree in advance with all applicants how the process will be paid for. If we need to bring in additional expertise, this will be funded by the applicant and also agreed in advance.

It is extremely useful to get all the specialists involved at an early stage to ensure developers are as informed as possible, thus increasing the chance of a successful outcome. 

We do not make a profit from PPAs. All PPAs are made under the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Government Act 2003 (Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003 allows local planning authorities to charge for providing discretionary services and legislation is clear that, where charges are made, they must not exceed the cost of providing the service). We are transparent about how our fees cover the costs of providing the service.

How do I learn more, and enter into a PPA for my project?

Please email and a planning officer will be in touch within 10 working days to progress the matter.

Help us to improve this website

Use this form to provide feedback on this webpage. Don't use it to contact us about a service or make a complaint. We will not reply, even if you include personal details such as your name and address. If you want us to reply, you should contact us in a different way.

What is your feedback for this webpage?

Give feedback about this page