Worcestershire County Council as the County Planning Authority process planning applications for minerals developments, waste management facilities and the County Council's own developments such as schools, roads and railway stations, all other development such as residential, commercial and retail developments are dealt with by the relevant District Council.
Find an application
Check the progress of planning applications or find out how to comment on them.
Comments on Planning Applications
The Planning Development Management & Enforcement service Privacy Notice sets out how the Planning Development Management & Enforcement service, collect, store and handle your personal information and what your information rights are.
Please note public comments on planning applications, known as letters of representation, are not currently uploaded onto the County Council’s planning application webpages, but redacted copies of letters of representation (with personal information such as name, telephone number and email address removed) are available on request from the Case Officer.
Planning validation document
Worcestershire County Council, as the County Planning Authority have reviewed the Validation Document (PDF), only making minor amendments to the document, which include updating references to the National Planning Policy Framework, updating hyperlinks to further information and guidance. No changes were made in relation to the types of assessments required to accompany an application.
The purpose of the Validation Document is to provide applicants and their agents with guidance on the information and documents required by the County Council to support proposals for development when submitting a planning application. This gives greater certainty on what information is required for applications of a particular type, scale or location, helping to make things simpler for those looking to apply for planning permission, but also allows the County Council to accept, validate and determine applications more efficiently, reducing delays that may otherwise occur in the processing of planning applications.
If an applicant fails to submit an application in accordance with the requirements set out in the Validation Document, the County Council will be entitled to declare the application invalid, until such a time that all the required information has been submitted.
The Validation Document is made up of a List of Assessments, which explains when a particular assessment may be required to be submitted with an application and what the assessment should include; and ten checklists for different applications types. The checklists indicate what is required to be submitted with each type of planning application. Appendices can be found at the end of the document, and provide further information on biodiversity and protected species; designated sites and priority habitats and a trigger list for when ecology surveys are required; geo-diversity requirements; surface water drainage requirements; and Health Impact Assessment Screening template.
Worcestershire County Council in its role as the County, Minerals and Waste Planning Authority, processes planning applications relating to minerals and waste management proposals and for development it intends to carry out itself (under Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992), such as schools, libraries, roads and railway stations. The County Council welcomes and encourages early discussions with applicants on the merits of a proposal before a planning application is submitted.
From 1 January 2019 Worcestershire County Council's Planning Development Management service is charging for the provision of pre-application planning advice.
The introduction of a charging regime for pre-application advice provides a clear and time-bound process for both applicants and planning officers, adding certainty to the procedure and improving the accountability of the advice.
The pre-application process helps identify the information required to accompany a planning application; where relevant consideration of how the draft proposal may be amended to make the development more acceptable in planning terms; identifies where there is a need for specialist input from a range of technical specialists; helps the applicant to understand the material planning considerations relevant to the development proposed; and how an application would be judged against the relevant planning policies and other material considerations and whether this policy context supports the principle of development.
Fees and exemptions
The fees payable and the full list of exemptions from this pre-application charging regime are set out in the Planning pre-application charging schedule and advice. Exemptions include advice as to whether planning permission is required and how to submit a planning application, discussions in relation to enforcement investigations, and Town / Parish / District Council enquiries in connection to their statutory functions.
The fees payable for pre-application advice are in addition to the fees payable for the submission of planning applications and the chargeable monitoring of mineral and landfill sites.
How to Pay the Fee
Payment can be made by cheque, made payable to Worcestershire County Council, with the application site name stated on the reverse of the cheque and sent to the following address:
Worcestershire County Council
Directorate of Economy & Infrastructure
Planning Development Management
Alternatively you can pay online by Credit or Debit Card
For proposals involving the County Council’s own development the payment should be made by cost code, sent to the Planning Development Management team
Download: Planning pre-application charging schedule and advice - view the procedure and charges
Download: Get pre-application advice form - apply for pre-application advice using this form and send to Planning Development Management team
Download: Commercially Sensitive Material Checklist - to be completed and submitted with your pre-application request if you would like to identify areas of your submission that you consider to be commercially sensitive.
Download: Pre-application guidance document has been written to assist with submitting planning applications to the County Planning Authority. This outlines common errors and best practice
Make an application
Before you apply
Have you viewed the validation document information? Here you can find guidance on the information and documents required by Worcestershire County Council to support a planning application.
You can also arrange a pre-application discussion with us before you submit any planning application.
What planning applications do Worcestershire County Council accept?
Worcestershire County Council is responsible for planning applications and lawful development certificates for:
- the County Council's own developments
- waste developments
- minerals development and extraction - applications can be submitted by post using the Minerals extraction applications form (Word document).
Submit planning applications online using the
What applications do the district councils accept?
The local borough, city or district council is responsible for most other types of applications including all householder planning applications. You can contact your borough, city or district council below:
Website: Bromsgrove District Council
Website: Malvern Hills District Council
Website: Redditch Borough Council
Website: Worcester City Council
Website: Wychavon District Council
Website: Wyre Forest District Council
Planning Application Fees
See the Planning Portal’s fee calculator to find out how much to pay or contact us using the contact details on this webpage.
The Planning Portal will automatically process all payments for planning applications made online. This means that you will be able to pay for your online application via The Planning Portal using a standardised set of payment options, including online, telephone, bank transfer and cheque.
For non-Planning Portal application submissions, you have the following options:
- Via BACS electronic transfer. Use sort code: 20-98-87 and account number: 53583147 and quote PD0001 and the planning reference number (if known) or site name. It is important that you telephone the planning team to confirm the transaction
- Cheque payable to Worcestershire County Council, with the application site name stated on the reverse of the cheque and covering letter sent to the following address: Worcestershire County Council, Directorate of Economy & Infrastructure, Planning Development Management, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP.
- By card payments online via the Payment Link.
- For proposals involving the County Council’s own development the payment should be made by cost code, sent to the Planning Development Management team
Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
What is HRA?
Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) refers to several distinct stages of assessment which must be undertaken in accordance with The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to determine if a plan or project may affect the protected features of a Natura 2000 or ‘Habitat Site’ (Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) or Ramsar sites) designated for its nature conservation interest before deciding whether to undertake, permit or authorise it.
All plans and projects, including planning applications which are not directly connected with, or necessary for, the conservation management of a habitat site, require consideration of whether the plan or project is likely to have significant effects on that site. This consideration – typically referred to as the ‘HRA screening’ – should take into account the potential effects both of the plan / project itself and in combination with other plans or projects.
Where the potential for likely significant effects cannot be excluded, the competent authority (in this instance Worcestershire County Council) must make an appropriate assessment of the implications of the plan or project for that site, in view of the site’s conservation objectives. Supporting habitat in areas beyond the boundary of a Natura 2000 or ‘Habitat Site’ site, which are connected with or ‘functionally linked’ to the life and reproduction of a population for which a site has been designated or classified should be taken into account in HRA screening and any subsequent appropriate assessment.
If a plan or project would not be likely to have a significant effect on the site alone, it should nevertheless be considered in combination with other plans and projects to establish whether there may be a significant effect arising from their combined impacts. The competent authority may agree to the plan or project only after having ruled out adverse effects on the integrity of the habitats site. Where an adverse effect on the site’s integrity cannot be ruled out, and where there are no alternative solutions, the plan or project can only proceed if there are imperative reasons of over-riding public interest and if the necessary compensatory measures can be secured.
Natural England report NECR207 defines ‘functional linkage’ as the role or function which land or watercourses located beyond the boundaries of a Natura 2000 site fulfil in terms of supporting the populations for which the site was designated or classified. Such an area of land or watercourse is, therefore, considered ‘linked’ to the site in question because it provides a potentially important role in maintaining or restoring a protected population at favourable conservation status.
In 2018 Natural England published RP02966 Identification of Wintering Waterfowl High Tide Roosts on The Severn Estuary SSSI/SPA and subsequently provided representation to Worcestershire County Council that qualifying bird species from the Severn Estuary SPA can travel across and be found within Worcestershire at times of extreme weather events and flooding. Natural England have commissioned and are currently finalising a study to identify land which may be functionally linked to the Severn Estuary qualifying bird species. Additionally, qualifying species of migratory fish of the Severn Estuary SAC/RAMSAR are known to spend part of their life cycle in the wider Severn hydrological catchment
HRA Pre-Application Advice
Applicants should be aware that because of the presence of functional linkages between Worcestershire’s watercourses and the SPA/SAC/Ramsar sites in the Severn Estuary, a HRA screening and subsequently appropriate assessment may be required for planning applications in or near watercourses. In view of this, applicants may need to provide a Shadow HRA Screening as part of their planning application. Further details can be provided on request and as part of pre-applications discussions, but applicants should allow sufficient time for this process when submitting their planning applications.
Lea Castle Farm Quarry Public Inquiry
Information and documentation of the Lea Castle Farm Quarry Public Inquiry
Public notices associated with current planning application consultations are available to view on the Council’s Public Notices Directory