Our planning service is divided into three areas:

Planning is a service that considers applications for a variety of development proposals. Included are house extensions, changes of use of land and buildings, major housing and employment schemes, works to listed buildings, planning appeals and enforcement.

Building regulations is a separate service that deals with details of building construction and the health and safety aspects of new buildings, extensions and alterations. It ensures that new building work is carried out in accordance with the building regulations and investigates reports of dangerous buildings.

Planning policy is another service that is used to help determine planning applications - what can be built, where, and how buildings are used. It is also used to plan for our future needs, assessing what change is likely to happen and where, and what policies are needed to achieve this.

For the adopted Chorley Local Plan 2012 - 2026 - Please go to the Planning Policy page (link on the right) for more information.

Please be aware that Chorley Council is a CIL Charging Authority, and all developments are liable for the Community Infrastructure Levy. Please see the section below for more information.
  • Advice for householders

    Planning advice
    If you want to make any alterations to your home, first check whether planning permission is needed. To learn more about the need for planning permission, further information and advice can be found on the Planning Portal website.

    A duty planning officer is available at our Union Street office:
    9:30am - 1:00pm Monday to Friday

    In addition, we have a pre-application enquiry system. The pre-application advice service is solely for proposals that require planning permission. Development that does not require planning permission because it is permitted development, will be dealt with by an application for ‘Certificate of Lawfulness for Existing Use/Development’ (CLEUD) or for 'Certificate for Proposed Use/Development’ (CLPUD). If you are unsure whether your proposal falls within ‘permitted development’, visit the government’s Planning Portal for guidance.

    Changes to household permitted development: Prior Approval for single storey rear extensions
    For a period of 6 years from 30 May 2013 to 2019, householders will be able to build larger, single storey rear extensions under permitted development.

    This new legislation relates to single storey rear extensions (between 3 metres and 6 metres for a terraced /semi-detached, and between 4 metres and 8 metres for detached houses).

    Applicants are required to submit a basic level of information with their prior approval application.

    A copy of the Council's Prior Approval Household Extension form is available to download. This should be submitted with the relevant plans/information.


  • A guide to pre-application

    Unfortunately, due to the current national situation with Coronavirus we have taken the decision to suspend the Council’s pre-application service. 
    Where the appropriate fee has already been paid, we will arrange for it to be refunded. ​

    In October 2012 we introduced a formal pre-application advice service to agents, developers and members of the public whilst still offering free general advice at our Union Street office or over the telephone.

    General advice 
    We provide a general level of advice to members of the public about the planning process without the need to pay a fee. For example, to explain what planning policies would apply to an area or proposal, how to submit a planning application, how the planning process works and what issues would normally be taken into account when a planning application is decided. Much of this advice is also available from the Planning Portal website.

    This advice will be given by our duty planning officer who is available between 9:30am and 1:00pm

    Pre-application advice charging scheme 
    We want to promote early discussions with agents and developers as part of our development management. Open and constructive discussions about schemes before they are formally submitted as a planning application can help steer proposals into a form that are more likely to be acceptable to the Local Planning Authority whilst leading to the re-working or dropping of proposals that appear to be fundamentally unacceptable.

    Entering into pre-application discussions will help save time, avoid wasted expense and avoid frustration. More complex proposals or those requiring a site visit may take longer to assess. If we cannot respond within 20 working days we will write to you and let you know when you can expect to receive a full reply. You can download a pre-application form and guidance online.

    Further benefits include: 
    Avoiding incomplete applications that cannot be registered 
    Reducing the number of unsuccessful applications
    Raising the quality of development
    Securing satisfaction with the process
    Reducing confrontation in the planning process
    Gaining community acceptance

    We expect that guidance given by our officers is taken into account in the preparation and working up of your proposals. Where it is evident that pre application advice has not been sought or taken into account in a subsequent planning application, we may not be able to negotiate on a scheme and applications are likely to be determined as submitted.  

  • Advice on choosing a planning or building agent

    There are many different types of construction professions and it is important to understand the difference between them as it will help you to be certain that you are employing the right person for the job.

    An architect oversees and manages the entire building project from initial designs to final completion. For an individual to use the title of 'architect' they must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) which is a government body that regulates architects. They maintain the Register of Architects which lists the names of every architect in the UK.

    On larger projects an architect may employ different professionals who will each contribute their particular skills to the project.

    A surveyor uses calculations to assess project costs or set out in detail a site for valuation or a proposed building project. Surveryors must be members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveryors (RICS) which maintains the Register of Chartered Surveyors.

    Building Engineers
    A building engineer handles both technical and management processes by which the building or a component is designed, constructed, renewed and maintained. Professional bodies the Association of Building Engineers (ABE) and The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) maintain registers of qualified building engineers in the UK.

    Builders and other tradesmen
    Builders and other tradesmen will help you with the delivery of the final stages of your project. The government has set up the TrustMark scheme to help provide guaranteed standards and protection for customers. If tradesmen are TrustMark registered it means they are working to a code of practice and a standard that gives customers greater confidence and protection. TrustMark maintain a register of certified tradesmen.


  • Application fees

    A copy of the regulations governing planning fees can be found on the Planning Portal website.

    The table of planning fees is available to download.

    For further guidance use the Planning Portal fee calculator or if you have any questions relating to fees, please contact us.

    I want to buy a location plan
    Location plans are available at a cost of £22 for a set of four, please contact us or use the service provided by the planning portal website.

  • Application forms
    You can apply for planning permission online or download an application form. You can also download a useful checklist to help you to complete your application.  

    If you live in a flat you must use the full planning application form. If not, use the householder application form for extensions to your home, building a garage, certain heights of fencing and some garden structures.
    You can also use this form if you want to remove a condition that restricts the use of a garage if you are doing other work at the same time, but a higher fee relating to the removal of a condition will apply.

    The householder design guidance is available to download. This will help you fill in the form and advise what you need to send with your application.

    You may also need
    You may also need building regulations approval for any building work.

    If you live in a listed building you will need listed building consent.

    If you live in a conservation area you may need to apply for conservation area consent if you are demolishing part of your property.

    If you plan to do any work which affects a wall you share with your neighbour, or is on the boundary of your shared properties, or you will dig within three to six metres of your neighbour’s property, you will need to get agreement from your neighbours under the Party Wall Act 1996. You can view the Party Wall Act online.
  • Application process

    After an application has been made
    We will check your application to make sure it is complete. That is, the forms have been filled in correctly, all necessary plans and information has been included and the correct fee paid. If your application is complete, we aim to send you an acknowledgement letter within three working days. This letter tells you the application reference number and the name and telephone number of your case officer.

    If your application is incomplete, we will send you a letter explaining what is wrong and what you need to do. We aim to send this letter within three working days.

    Please note, if you have asked an agent to make the application for you, all our correspondence and other contact will be with your agent.

    Who we consult about applications
    Planning applications are public documents that anyone has the right to look at. By law, we must let people in the local area know of your application. We will write to your next door neighbours and, possibly, other local residents. The letter will explain that a planning application has been made, that it can be seen at our offices, and it asks for comments.

    In some cases, a notice may be placed in the Chorley Guardian and/or a notice put up on or near the site. This notice will give the same information as the letter to neighbours. Lists of planning applications are also available at public libraries in the area and are available online.

    The Parish or Town Council for your area will be told of your application and asked for their comments. In many cases, others with specialist knowledge will be consulted about your application. Those consulted could include the Highway Authority, the Environment Agency and other teams within the council. 

    Processing an application
    A case officer will:
    Visit the application site to look at the effect of the proposal on neighbours and on the appearance of the area
    Consider your application in relation to the planning policies for the site and the type of development proposed
    Take all comments received from local residents, Parish/Town Councils and other organisations into account
    Let you know if changes could be made to your application to make it acceptable
    Prepare a report recommending whether the application should be approved, possibly with conditions, or refused

    Application decision 
    The decision on your application may be made in two ways:
    • By a senior qualified professional planning officer after considering a report written by your case officer. The report will take account of all comments received and consider the key planning issues involved. Approximately 90% of applications are decided in this way; or
    • By the Council's Development Control Committee. The committee is made up of elected councillors, advised by senior qualified professional planning officers. The committee will consider a report written by your case officer. The report will summarise the comments received and the key planning issues involved

    Your case officer will be able to tell you about the progress made in dealing with your application. After a decision has been made on your application, we will send you a decision notice giving full details of our decision.

    Development Control Committee
    Some planning applications are referred to the Development Control Committee to be considered. You can check the Development Control Committee page for minutes, agendas and meeting dates .

  • Comment on a planning application

    You can view a planning application online, if you are unable to do this you can visit our Union Street office where they can be viewed electronically. Our offices are open from 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

    Comments received before a decision is made will be considered. Please note that officers will not respond to questions or comments made on a planning application. Any comments you make cannot be treated as confidential or kept private. Information you provide, including personal information, will be made available to others.

    Comments we can take into account
    A decision on a planning application is made by considering a number of different matters. The most important will be what the policies of the development plan for the area say about the application site and the type of development proposed. The plans show the extent of the green belt, settlement boundaries and locations for new development. Government policy, local policies and other planning considerations will also be taken into account. These include:
    The scale, appearance and design of the proposal
    The effect of the proposal on the amenities of local residents, including loss of light, overlooking, loss of privacy, noise and disturbance
    The impact of the proposal on the character of the area and whether the use is appropriate
    The impact of the proposal on highway safety and parking The impact of the proposal on nature conservation and trees
    The effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of a conservation area The effect of the proposal on the special architectural or historic interest of a listed building.

    Comments that cannot be taken into account
    The Government makes it very clear that there are some things which are not planning considerations. These cannot be taken into account when we decide a planning application:
    Loss of property value
    Boundary disputes
    Private matters between neighbours, such as covenants, rights of access and damage to property
    Trade competition.

    When you view an application online you will be able to comment on current applications and read other people’s comments.

    You can also view the submitted plans and other documents relating to a planning application, find out the planning decisions made or find the weekly list of valid applications received by us.

    Please note when viewing documents online which are associated with a planning application, you may need to switch off your pop-up blocker if it is enabled on your computer. If you do have problems viewing plans please contact us.

  • Community Infrastructure Levy

    From week commencing 3 September 2018 the Planning Obligations Team will be offering appointments to applicants and agents to come in and discuss the implication of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on their development.

    Appointments will be available on Wednesdays 1pm - 4pm and Thursdays 9am - 12pm.

    Please call 01257 515151 to make and appointment.

    For information on the Community Infrastructure Levy go to the planning policy webpage.

  • Enforcement

    We expect all landowners and developers to keep to the planning laws. This means people should not carry out any development unless planning permission has been granted. They must also comply with any planning conditions. 

    How to report a breach of planning control
    Our enforcement officers appreciate members of the public reporting possible breaches of the planning laws. Help us by giving us as much information as possible about the breach and its location. We may need your help in gathering evidence about the breach for example, a business may be being run from a property without the appropriate planning permission. You can make an enforcement complaint online.

    Whilst the details of the alleged breach will be publicly available, your name, address and any details within your report which identifies you will be kept confidential. 

    Our enforcement officers will also inform you of the result of the investigations and what actions will be taken.

    Action we will take
    Where a breach of planning control is found, we will try and settle the matter by agreement rather than take immediate legal action. However, we will take legal action where it is considered appropriate. Legal action may take the form of an enforcement notice. Depending on the circumstances, an enforcement notice may require the unauthorised use to stop, the unauthorised building works to be removed or for the unauthorised use or building works to be changed so as to make it acceptable.

    It is an automatic criminal offence to carry out work to listed buildings, to protected trees covered by a tree preservation order, or to display adverts without consent. The courts may impose heavy fines on conviction.

    If we believe the situation is urgent then immediate action will be taken. This may include dealing with threats to protected trees or buildings, and in cases where public facilities could be seriously affected. We may also take immediate action if we believe that planning regulations were knowingly breached. In such cases we may decide not to negotiate at all.

    For more information please download our 'Local Enforcement Plan'.

  • High hedges

    Provided you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving a hedge dispute, you will be able to ask us to investigate your complaint. 

    Our role is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner but to adjudicate on whether - in the words of the act - the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property.

    In doing so, we must take account of all relevant factors and must strike a balance between the competing interests of the complainant and hedge owner, as well as the interests of the wider community.

    For further information and advice you can download the 'over the garden hedge leaflet'.

    Making a complaint about high hedges
    You can make a complaint by downloading and completing a form.

    Fees and charges
    If you wish to submit a complaint to us about a high hedge the current fee is £500.

  • How to make an appeal

    The applicant can normally make an appeal against the council to the Planning Inspectorate, a central government agency, if we:
    • Have refused permission
    • Impose conditions on a permission which the applicant believes are unreasonable
    • Fail to make a decision on the application within 8 or 13 weeks depending on the application type

    We encourage applicants to discuss their case with us first, as it may be possible to find an acceptable solution without an appeal being necessary. All local residents who were told of, or who made comments on, the original application will be told of any appeal and will be able to make further comments directly to the Planning Inspectorate.

    The Planning Inspectorate will not accept further comments on household appeals. The comments received on the original application will be sent to the planning inspectorate and considered as part of the appeal.

    The law does not provide any third party right of appeal against our decision for anyone other than the applicant.

  • Useful Information

    I would like independent planning advice
    If you would like independent free advice on any planning issue please contact Planning Aid. This is run by a group of professional planners who volunteer their time to help individuals and community groups.

    Lancashire County Council:
    deals with all applications relating to waste disposal, mineral extraction and development to be carried out by the County Council such as some schools.

    The Council charge a £10 administrative fee for providing a copy of a decision notice in respect of planning approval. 



  • View a planning application

    You can view a planning application online or visit our Union Street office where they can be viewed electronically. Our offices are open from 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Your comments can be made online and will be directly delivered to the planning officer and the planning department.

    You will also be able to comment on current applications and read other people’s comments submitted online, view the submitted plans and other documents relating to a planning application, find out the planning decisions made or find the weekly list of valid applications received by us.

    Please note: When viewing documents online which are associated with a planning application, you may need to switch off your pop-up blocker if it is enabled on your computer. If you do have problems viewing plans please contact us. 

  • FAQs

    Can the Council tell me where the boundary with my neighbour's property lies?
    No, we do not keep any records of the boundary lines between properties, you need to contact the Land Registry or by calling 0844 892 1111 (call charges apply).

    I want to buy my garage owned by the council, or the piece of council land next to my property?
    Contact Liberata on 01257 515273.

    How do I calculate the volume of my proposed extension?
    The planning portal has a useful tool to help you calculate the volume of extensions.

    What is a listed building?
    A listed building is a building or other structure of special architectural or historic interest included on a statutory list and assigned a grade (I, II* or II). Sites of exceptional historic interest are assessed as grade I, those of great historic interest as grade II* and those of special historic interest as grade II. Listing includes the interior as well as the exterior of the building, and any buildings or permanent structures (e.g. wells within its curtilage). If your property is a listed building then you will need additional planning consents to carry out works to it. You can select to apply for listed building consents when making an application on the Planning Portal. English Heritage is responsible for designating buildings for listing in England.

    What is a conservation area?
    A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. If your property is in a conservation area then you will need additional planning consents to carry out works to it. You can view conservation areas by selecting them on the MyChorley map.

    How do I find the existing use of a property?
    You will need to contact us to find the existing planning use class for a particular property.

    What is a habitable room?
    All living rooms and bedrooms are normally considered as habitable for the purposes of density calculations. Kitchens, bathrooms, WCs or circulation space are not normally regarded as habitable rooms.

    Where should I send completed forms?
    Application forms should be sent to:
    Development Control
    Civic Offices
    Union Street
    PR7 1AL
    or if in electronic form contact us. We aim to make a decision within eight or thirteen weeks (depending on the size of the application) and more information about the process and planning appeals are available. Use the online search to find out how your application is progressing.

    How will an appeal be dealt with?
    The Planning Inspectorate will appoint an inspector, independent of the council, to deal with the case. The case may be dealt with in one of three ways:
    1) In writing - Most appeals are dealt with in this way. The applicant, the council, local residents and any other parties are invited to make their case in writing to the inspector. The inspector will visit the application site and take all these comments into account in reaching a decision. If you wish to know of the decision, you must ask the inspector to send you a copy of his/her decision letter.
    2) At an informal hearing - The applicant, the council, local residents and any other parties are invited to meet with the inspector to discuss the case. The inspector will visit the application site and take account of all he or she has heard before reaching a decision. If you wish to know of the decision, you must ask the inspector to send you a copy of his/her decision letter.
    3) At a public inquiry - The applicant, the Council, local residents and any other parties are invited to present their case to an inspector. All those giving evidence at a public inquiry may be questioned by the other parties attending the inquiry and by the inspector. The inspector will visit the application site and take account of all he or she has heard before reaching a decision. If you wish to know of the decision, you must ask the inspector to send you a copy of his/her decision letter.

    How do I appeal?
    You will need to get an appeal form from the planning inspectorate by writing to:
    The Planning Inspectorate
    Room 3/18A
    Eagle Wing
    Temple Quay House
    2 The Square Temple Quay
    BS1 6PN
    By telephone – 0117 372 8000

    Can I access details of appeals lodged/decided?
    Details of appeals can be found using our online planning tool. More information about the appeal process is available on the planning inspectorate website. Complaints If you are dissatisfied with the way in which a planning application or other development control matter has been handled, you may complain to the council. 

    We will investigate any complaint made, for more information about this go to our complaints page, If you remain dissatisfied, you may complain to the local government ombudsman who will undertake an independent investigation