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Searching and commenting on planning applications

Once you've registered to our planning application system, you can:

  • view documentation and plans relating to planning applications; 
  • search for and comment on planning applications; and
  • view a decision on a particular planning application.
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Comments on planning applications (either for or against), must be on valid planning grounds and be in writing within 21 days of the date on the published letter, site notice or press advert.

Our planning application system allows you to search a weekly list of planning applications.

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Approving and refusing planning applications

An application can either be approved by us, normally with conditions, or refused with a justified reason. 

A significant number of applications are determined by our planning officers using what is known as a Scheme of Delegation, which forms part of our constitution.

In these cases, the officer will prepare a report for the development manager who will make a decision to approve or refuse the application, and impose any conditions deemed appropriate. The decision notice will then normally be dispatched to the applicant (or agent) on the same day or the following day. A copy of the decision notice will also be published on our website against the relevant planning application.

Although most applications are decided under delegated authority, applications for major developments, together with certain other categories, are determined by our Planning Committee which is made up of local Councillors. Some applications may also be referred to the committee by a ward councillor.

If you want copies of decision notices and other planning documents, you will need to pay a fee. For the relevant fees, please contact the Planning and Regulation Technical Support team.

Councillor call-in

Under our 'call-in' procedure, a councillor can request to come before our planning committee for a decision on a planning application.

A Councillor can only be called in on exceptional planning grounds.

When can a Councillor be called-in?

The list below regarding the call-in of planning applications is not exhaustive, but is designed to show common planning ground examples in which an application may be called in by your councillor.

  • Adequacy of parking/loading/manoeuvrability
  • Conflict with planning policies (nationally and locally)
  • Design, appearance and materials
  • Effect on listed buildings and/or the conservation area
  • Loss of sunlight and daylight
  • Loss of privacy
  • Traffic generation
  • Visual amenity (but not loss of private view)

Planning Committee

A planning application may also have to be referred to our planning committee in line with our Scheme of Delegation.

You can view the schedule of Committee meetings as well as our committee reports which are published as part of the Committee Agenda.

New committee reports are usually available five working days before the next committee. Late information is expected to be disclosed to Committee Members on the day of the committee.

If you wish to register to speak at the Planning Committee, please email

If the application is to be decided by the Planning Committee, your views will be included in the report for councillors who sit on that committee to consider.

At the committee meeting, there is also an opportunity for your views to be put forward in person. One person will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes in favour of the application and one person to speak for up to three minutes against. Requests to speak at the meeting are dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis.

General Planning enquiries - about a particular planning application

Development Management
Planning and Regulation
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House

01438 242838 or call our Customer Service Department on 01438 242242 where your details will be passed over to the Planning Department for an officer to respond accordingly