The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities designated Bristol City Council's planning service in relation to the speed of decision making for non-major planning applications.

See the designation notice on GOV.UK.

What this means and when designation takes effect

From 9am on Wednesday 6 March 2024, anyone making a new, non-major planning application, residential development of between one and nine dwellings or development where the floorspace is less than 1,000 square metre, will have the choice between submitting their application to the council's planning department or to the national Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

The Planning Inspectorate aim to decide all non-major applications in 8 weeks. They do not routinely enter into negotiation, instead deciding the application only as submitted. If you choose to submit your application to PINS, you do not also receive the right to appeal the decision. A PINS decision is final.

See planning applications guidance on GOV.UK.

What designation affects

The designation specifically relates to applications for “non-major development” that does not meet or exceed any of the criteria below:

  • for housing, development where 10 or more homes will be provided, or the site has an area of 0.5 hectares or more
  • the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more
  • development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

The Planning Inspectorate do not presently have a mechanism under this arrangement to charge CIL.

They advise that CIL Liable applications should be directed to Bristol City Council. Planning Inspectorate guidance on this issue can be found Procedural guidance (GOV.UK).

What designation doesn't affect

The designation does not apply to any of the following applications:

  • applications where the development has already been carried out (retrospective applications)
  • householder applications
  • applications to vary or remove conditions
  • major applications

These arrangements will remain in place while work continues to bring processing times down and clear the backlog of applications, and until the Secretary of State decides to revoke the designation.