London Borough of Barnet

Planning applications

Making a Planning Application

The best way to make a planning application is to use the online planning portal. It provides comprehensive advice on all aspects of the planning system and is simple and easy to use.

Completing a form online means that you only have to answer the questions that are relevant to your application. It provides step-by-step help and advice and using it will save you time and money. There are video guides that take you through each step of the application process and you can download a comprehensive guidance note.

If you use the portal you can do everything online including completing your application form and attaching the documents you need to produce. You can calculate and pay your application fee all in one go.

You can save your work on the site and come back to it if you do not have all your information to hand.

Information uploaded to the planning portal is sent to us and the decision is taken locally by Barnet planning officers.

If you would like more information before you start about whether you need planning permission, look at the Planning Portal guide.

You can visit our planning reception on the 2nd floor, Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, London, N20 0EJ to speak to a duty planner who is available between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (except bank holidays and between Christmas and the New Year).

You can also get free advice from our planning service.

For building works that are more complex (for example in a conservation area) or for bigger developments, it may save you time and money to use our pre-application service which you can find as a heading in the left hand column.

Do I have to make the application myself?

Many people choose to get help from a professional such as an architect, planning agent or builder, to make their application. If you don’t already have an agent the following web sites could help you find one.

The Royal Institute of British Architects

The Architects Registration Board

The Royal Town Planning Institute

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

Register of Chartered Surveyors

Getting Started

Before you start you should check on the planning portal to see:

  • If you need permission for the work you want to do
  • Find out what you need to supply with an application. This will include a 1:1250 site location plan, which can be bought from the Planning Portal 'buy a plan' service.
  • How much it will cost.

What happens if I start work without permission?

You may be subject to enforcement action which can result in you having to undo any changes you have made at your expense as well as being subject to any legal costs incurred. See our planning enforcement section in the left hand column for more information.

Before you use the portal you should also look at some specific local requirements outlined in this downloadable pdf in the right hand column.

If you live in a conservation area or if your application will affect a listed building there are special considerations to take into account. Look at the section on the left on conservation areas and listed buildings.

Depending on the size of your proposed development you might also have to pay a special Community Infrastructure Levy. This is explained on the planning portal.

This is a planning charge that local councils and the Mayor of London can levy on new development to help pay for local infrastructure improvements. It is charged on each additional net square metre of your development over 100 square metres at a total level of £170 per square metre. This includes the mayoral levy of £35 and the Barnet levy of £135.

What happens next?

The first thing we do is check that we have all the information we need. We may come back to you if there is anything that has been left out.

Once we have a complete application we send a registration letter, either to you or someone acting on your behalf, giving details of the reference number, the name of the planning officer dealing with it and the statutory expiry date.If we have not taken a decision by then you can lodge an appeal with the planning inspectorate.


Consultation letters are sent to neighbours and any interested parties that may be affected by the proposal. They then have 21 days to comment. People will be able to look at and comment on your application online or through the post.

In some cases we will also put notices on nearby lampposts or advertise in local newspapers.

Making the decision

A planning officer will visit the site and also review all the comments made by interested parties. They may request amendments at this stage.

When they have all the information they need and the consultation period is over they will make a recommendation.

This will be considered by a senior planner who, in most cases, has delegated authority to make a decision. More complex cases will be considered by councillors at an area planning committee or the main planning committee. You can find out more about these if you go to the Get Involved section of the council’s website – the link is on the left of this page - click on the committees section.

Objectors will be able to put their case to the committee and you or your agent will be able to respond.

Once the decision is made a notice will be sent to you or your agent setting out any conditions attached to your approval or the reasons for refusal.

What to do if your application is approved?

If you have gained planning permission you will probably also need building regulations approval. This is to make sure your building work is safe. Click on the building control section under the services column on the left.

What to do if your application is refused?

You have the right to appeal to the planning inspectorate if you disagree with our decision. This is a serious decision and you should consider carefully whether you have good grounds for appeal.

The planning inspectorate will consider your comments and write to you explaining the procedure. They may decide whether to visit the site. Most appeals will be handled by an inspector, though a very small percentage will be referred to a government minister for decision.

A right of appeal exists for any applicant against the local planning authority’s decision relating to a planning application. Appeals have to be made within six months of the date of decision, unless the planning application relates to a refusal of planning permission for an extension or alteration of a dwelling: in this case the appeal must be made within 12 weeks of the date of decision.

Details of how to appeal are sent with all planning decisions and enforcement notices. Appeal forms are available electronically from the Planning Inspectorate or by contacting:

The Planning Inspectorate
3/19 Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay

BS1 6PN.

Forms should be completed and returned to the Planning Inspectorate at the above address, also sending a copy to the Appeals Officer in the Planning Department at the London Borough of Barnet.

There is no right of appeal for third-party objectors, though any written comments already made will be sent to the inspector.