Planning Customer Charter


Our Development Management, Planning Enforcement and Planning Policy functions play an important role in delivering sustainable growth in our area.

All customers to the service are affected by the decisions we make.  

Our Customers:

Our customers are varied but include:

  • the general public 

  • elected councillors

  • parish, town and community councils

  • community groups

  • developers and landowners

  • agents and planning consultants

  • business communities

  • infrastructure providers

  • other local authorities and government organisations (consultees).

Our customers have differing interests:

  • some directly use our services. 

  • some would like us to take a particular action on a planning issue.

  • some seek to influence the decisions we make.

  • some seek information, support, and advice.

  • some work in partnership with us.

Our Commitments:

We make the commitment to our customers to:

  • Be honest - we will act with honesty and integrity and will treat our customers fairly, objectively and respectfully. 

  • Be accessible - we will make the planning process clear and easy to access. 

  • Be transparent - we will publish all relevant information, policies, planning applications and decisions on our website. 

  • Be responsive - we will be responsive and provide timely communication. 

  • Be effective - we will ensure quality and sustainable development which is aligned to the strategic aims of the Council.

 In return, please:

  • Be understanding of the legal and procedural constraints of our role.

  • Make accurate and well-informed representations and planning applications.

  • Let us know when something has gone wrong, or where you think we could make improvements.

  • Let us know what we are doing well.

  • Allow time for us to respond in line with our timescales.

When you contact us with a general enquiry we will respond to you within 5 working days of receipt.

Development Management:

For planning applications, we will:

  • Aim to assess the validity of applications within 5 working days. 

  • Publish details of planning applications on our online planning register, where you can also keep abreast of representations and progress on applications. Representations received will be uploaded as soon as practicable.

  • Involve consultees on relevant planning applications. 

  • Notify interested parties on relevant planning applications where required by legislation and/or our Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) by letter, site notice or press advertisement (as appropriate) 

  • Take into consideration comments received when considering the application. 

  • Make available to all our councillors, town and parish councils and other interested parties, a weekly update of all planning applications. 

  • Determine planning applications promptly and within the required timescales whenever possible. 

When you contact us regarding a planning application:

  • Where an agent or planning consultant is acting on behalf of an applicant, we will primarily communicate with that agent. 

  • We will initiate contact with the agent or applicant if, and when we consider amendments or further information could address issues arising within a reasonable timescale. 

  • We will not respond individually to comments, objections or questions; however, the planning officer will take these into account when assessing the application. If you require professional guidance, we advise you to consult a local planning consultant or the Planning Aid England for advice. 

  • We strongly advise you to make comments using our online planning register, where you will receive acknowledgment of receipt of your comments. No acknowledgment will be made if comments are sent via post or email. 

For planning enforcement, we will:

When you contact us regarding an enforcement matter:

  • We will confirm if the case is pending investigation or not; however, we will not provide any further information about the case or actions, if any, we intend to take, so that the robustness of the investigation is not compromised. If the investigation results in a retrospective planning application we will, however, inform the original complainant of this to allow them the opportunity to make a representation via our online planning register should they wish to do so.

For planning appeals, we will:

  • Notify anyone who was notified about or commented on the relevant application when an appeal is lodged. 

  • Notify the Planning Committee when an appeal is lodged against a decision they have made. 

  • Notify affected councillors and town and parish councils of appeal decisions.  

When you contact us regarding a planning appeal:

  • Comments on planning appeals cannot be made to the Council, and need to be made directly to the Planning Inspectorate. However, where possible, we will provide guidance on how to get involved in the planning appeal.

Planning Policy

For planning policy, we will:

  • Publish planning policy documents on our website including monitoring information (e.g. housing and employment supply, planning obligations (section 106), the Annual Monitoring Report) and neighbourhood plans. 

  • Provide advice on preparing neighbourhood plans.  

  • Publish the timetable for preparing the new local plan in the Local Development Scheme

  • Meet or exceed the minimum requirements for community involvement in planning policy as set out in the Statement of Community Involvement

  • Produce and publish an engagement strategy for the new local plan. 

  • Review comments received during planning policy document consultations and respond to the issues raised.  

Complaints, comments and compliments

You can complain if you think we have:

  • Done something wrong 

  • Behaved unfairly or impolitely 

  • Not carried out a service to an agreed standard 

  • Not responded to your request for a service within our stated timescale 

Complaints, comments and compliments all help us to improve the way we do things. You can tell us about a complaint; provide positive and constructive feedback or make a comment using our online form - this will immediately log your complaint or comment onto our system. You will receive confirmation and a unique reference number and password which will enable you to track the progress of your complaint or comment online.  Alternatively, you can call our complaints line on 01908 253817. 

Planning enquiries contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ