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Making a planning application

Our step by step guidance will take you through the process, including fees, what you need to submit with your application and how long it will take

How to apply

Before submitting your application, discuss your proposal with your neighbours and get advice from us.

Please be aware due to ongoing technical difficulties with the new system, validation processes may be affected. In the meantime, please email any application queries to our Case Management Team planning.validation@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Before you apply

Check if you need planning permission

Follow the guidance here.

Have a chat

Discuss your proposal with those who could be affected by your project, including occupiers of adjoining property or representatives of the local community.

Take into account their views when preparing your application, including details of these consultations in an accompanying statement.

Discuss your ideas with us first

Use our pre-application advice service. Using this service leads to quicker decisions on applications with more positive outcomes as we'll identify any additional conditions you may need to take into account when preparing your application.

Apply online via the Planning Portal

Most planning applications are submitted online via the Planning Portal

Using the Planning Portal is the preferred way to submit your application to us.

Registration is easy, and once you have an account you can complete your application form, buy site location plans, upload supporting documents and pay fees online.

Benefits of applying online

These include:

  • you can work on your applications in draft before submission
  • immediate delivery and acknowledgement
  • savings on postage and printing costs
  • online help function when completing applications
  • online record of your completed applications

Planning Portal: Apply online

Alternatively, send us your application via email or post.

Forms and fees

Paper application forms

We would always recommend that you apply online.

However, if you do want a paper copy of an application form, you can download them here .


To work out how much you'll need to pay, use the Planning Portal fee calculator. This will calculate the cost based on your application type, and any reductions or exemptions you may be entitled to.

The Planning Portal explains fees in detail here and provides a downloadable guide to planning fees.

What do I need to submit with my application?

For a planning application to be valid, you must submit certain documents to meet national and local validation requirements as well as the correct fee

Local requirements

We require you to submit some additional documents with your planning application. We have different requirements for householder and non-householder developments.

To complement the guidance documents below, we've produced a checklist so you can see at a glance what documents are required for each application type.

Icon for pdf Householder [389.5KB]
Icon for pdf Non-householder [961.31KB]
Icon for pdf Local Validation Requirements: Checklist [284.52KB]

National requirements

The Planning Portal provides a list of documents and the requirements for the site plans and maps you must submit with your application.

Documents you must submit with your planning application

Depending on the size, type and location of the development, you will need to submit different documents to support your application.

Please note, that in an area of land instability, a full survey is required. This entails a phase 1 desktop study carried out by a recognised professional who must confirm that it's possible for the development to be carried out.

Tips for a valid application

Apply online via the Planning Portal

The Planning Portal has help sections for each part of the application, as well as guidance notes and checklists to help you identify if you've uploaded all the relevant information.

Another advantage of applying online is that once you start your online application, it will automatically calculate the fee based on your application type.

Complete all documents

  • complete every relevant section of your application and all required declarations
  • upload or send us all required documents. The Planning Portal has a 5MB limit on the size of documents you can upload, so for anything larger email or post them to us with your application reference

Plans and maps

The most common reason for planning applications being rejected is that the accompanying plans are invalid. The Planning Portal has accredited suppliers from whom you can buy maps and plans.

To ensure that you submit valid plans:

  • make sure you submit your location plan and outline it in red 
  • submit existing, proposed floor, and elevation drawings
  • draw plans to a recognised scale, fully dimensioned in metric
  • provide a scale bar on the drawings

Please note photocopies are not accepted

We have comprehensive guidance on how to submit valid plans.

Pay the correct fee

All applications must be accompanied by the correct fee. You can find the correct fee by using the Planning Portal's fee calculator.

If you used our pre-application advice service

Include details of the pre-application advice given in the planning statement, and where the submitted application deviates from the advice given, provide reasons for not following the advice.

Bin Storage 

Guidance on bin storage requirements and sizes can be found below

Icon for pdf Bin Storage Size Requirements [64.06KB]

What else do I need to take into account?

Using our pre-application advice service will help you identify if you need to provide any additional information to support your application

Planning permission in flood risk areas

Flood risk assessments

You may need to provide a flood risk assessment with your application if you're planning to build in an area where there is danger of flooding.

Find out if your development is in a flood risk area

Use the Environment Agency flood map for planning applications. This will tell you whether you need to conduct a flood risk assessment and provide it with your planning application.

You can also consult our comprehensive Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.

Carrying out a flood risk assessment

GOV.UK provides comprehensive guidance on how to carry out a flood risk assessment.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

An EIA considers the environmental effects of a development

The aim of an EIA is to protect the environment by ensuring that when deciding whether to grant planning permission (which is likely to have significant effects on the environment) we do so in the full knowledge of the likely significant effects, and take these into account in the decision making process.

GOV.UK provides comprehensive guidance on EIA.

Will I need an EIA?

We'll let you know after reviewing your application if an EIA is required.

Conservation and heritage

Additional constraints on developments apply if you're undertaking a project:

  • in a conservation area (including an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB))
  • to a tree under a tree preservation order (TPO) or in a conservation area
  • to a listed building

For more information, visit our conservation and heritage pages.

Are there any other consents I may require?

The Planning Portal provides a full list of other permissions you may need.

What happens after submission?

After submitting your planning application, we'll review and get back to you if we need any further information

What we'll do

We'll confirm receipt of your application and:

  • add it to the planning records weekly list
  • Icon for pdf notify neighbours [17.98KB], research and visit the site
  • notify the town or parish council, and depending on the nature of the application, organisations such as the Environment Agency or Kent Highways Authority


The public has 21 days to comment on an application (a comment is known as a 'representation'). This is to either support, or object to your planning application.

How do we make a decision?

We'll consider all of the information and may ask for amendments before making a recommendation as to whether the works should go ahead or not. When considering an application we look at:

  • responses from consultees
  • representations received regarding your application
  • our Local Plan and other local development plans
  • relevant National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) policies
  • planning history of the site
  • constraints on the site eg flood risk zone
  • the impact on the landscape or townscape ie is there a requirement for a design review

How long will it take?

We aim to deal with 85% of all householder applications, and 70% of all applications, within 8 weeks.

If the application is unusually large or complex, the time limit can be extended to 13 weeks.

Invalid applications

An application will be invalid if any required information is omitted or incorrect, or the correct is not paid.

You will be informed in writing and given 14 days to provide the necessary information or fees.

If we do not receive a response within 14 days, the application, information and fees will be returned. If you still want to apply, you must start a new application.

If your application is approved

Even if your application is approved, you may need to submit a supplementary planning application for any of the reasons listed below

Approval subject to conditions

When planning permission is granted, it is usually subject to a number of conditions.

If the permission is subject to conditions, you are required to submit for approval details of a specified aspect of the development which was not fully described in the original application.

We aim to deal with these applications within 8 weeks.

For more information on approval of conditions, visit the Planning Portal.

Outline permission

If outline permission has been granted, you will need to submit a further application for approval of anything that was not covered by the outline application (known as 'reserved matters') before starting work.

This must be done within three years of receiving outline permission.

For more information on reserved matters, visit the Planning Portal.

Non-material amendments

After getting planning permission, small changes to applications can be made by applying for a non-material amendment. You may want to do this, for example, to:

  • add an additional window to a house
  • reposition an opening
  • re-site a building by a small amount
  • increase the height of an extension

For more information on non-material amendments, visit the Planning Portal and GOV.UK.

Commencing your build

Once the application has been approved, including any conditions, you can start your development. Your decision notice will state the time limit in which you can start development, which is usually three years.

Remember that planning approval does not remove the need for building regulations approval, if this is also required for your development.

What if my application is refused?

You can either resubmit your application or appeal the decision

Resubmitting your application

We can help

You can discuss how to overcome the reasons for refusal with the planning officer that dealt with the original application.

Following a refusal, you can resubmit your application. Use our pre-application advice service to ensure that your resubmitted application addresses the reasons for the initial refusal.

How long do I have to resubmit my application?

If your application has been refused, you can submit another application with modified plans free of charge within 12 months of the decision on your first application.

The application must be from the same applicant and you can only have one free resubmission.

Planning appeals

Before you appeal

There may be scope to amend your planning application, rather than making an appeal. You can discuss the reasons for the rejection and the suggested changes with us. Contact details can be found on your notification, which states if your application has been successful or not.

Types of appeal

GOV.UK provides comprehensive guidance and advice for each type of appeal.

How to appeal

Planning appeals are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate. You can appeal online, and find out about alternative ways to appeal by clicking the button below.

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