Frequently asked questions about planning

Before contacting us, please check our frequently asked questions below as it may be we have already answered your query.

Can you provide informal planning advice prior to application?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide informal advice on projects or proposals prior to applying for planning permission. However, you can view pre-application information by visiting our find out if you need planning permission page for homeowners or our pre-application advice for developments for commercial proposals. Alternatively you can use our chargeable pre-application services.  

Pre-application services

We recommend that you ask us for pre-application advice to make sure that you have selected the correct application, and for information on the different types of application and consents. There is a charge for this service. Choose the advice relevant for you from the following:

Can you provide advice about historic buildings and places prior to application?

If you need advice about listed buildings, conservation areas and other heritage matters, including information about what might need to be submitted, we recommend submitting a request for pre-application advice on historic buildings and places. Completing a pre-application is the best way to make sure that you have selected the correct application for the work you are planning, and will also make sure you receive information about the consents and supporting information that may be needed.

There is a charge for this service. 

What is the difference between listed buildings and locally listed buildings?

Listed buildings are designated by the government for their special national architectural and historic interest. These buildings become 'listed' at either grade I, II, or II* where grade I have the highest heritage significance. Listed buildings have a high level of protection in law and alterations to them often require listed building consent.

Locally Listed buildings are by comparison of local heritage interest (to Barnsley) and do not have legal protection in the same way that nationally listed buildings do. As a result, alterations to locally listed buildings do not require listed building consent. However, wherever planning permission is required that involves a locally listed building, the fact the building (or site) is locally listed will be an important (material) consideration.

How do I submit planning applications?

Full information about the planning process, including fees, application forms and what happens after you submit can be found on our apply for planning permission page.

All planning and building control applications must have dimensions clearly marked on plans/sections and elevations.

If you are submitting a householder planning application, it would also help us if you included recent photographs of the building subject to the application and its immediate surroundings.

Payments for planning applications can be made online by choosing the relevant option under the planning and buildings section of our pay for it page.

When will you validate my planning applications?

We'll register your application when we receive it and then write to you when we've checked that we have all the information we need, and tell you the name of the person who'll be dealing with your application. It will also say whether your application will be delegated or referred to the Planning Regulatory Board.

Due to the volume of submissions we are currently receiving, there may be a delay in validating your application. You will receive an acknowledgement once your application has been validated. 

Can I get a status update for my planning application?

If you need an update on the status of your planning application, please contact the case officer dealing with your application. Their details should be on the letter we sent you and they can also be found by looking on our Planning Explorer

If your application is not showing on Planning Explorer, or you have not received a letter from us, please be patient as your application may still be being booked onto our system.

How do I get a planning conditions check report?

We sometimes grant planning permission subject to the development meeting certain conditions and checks will need to be made to make sure the development, or parts of it, are acceptable in planning terms.

This is a chargeable service that must be applied for separately. Please see Apply for a planning conditions check report for further details and to apply.

How do I get a Section 106 compliance report?

We can provide reports on the current status of Section 106 agreements.

This is a chargeable service that must be applied for separately. Please see our Section 106 agreements page for further details and to apply.

How do I contact building control?

Our building control team continue to offer site inspections and are able to answer any building control enquiries. You can contact them online or call (01226) 772678.

If you are requesting an inspection where it will be necessary to inspect works internally, please be advised that specific COVID-19 risk mitigation measures are required to be in place. Therefore, in these circumstances, a surveyor will be in contact with you to advise of the required measures.

How do I report building work or a development that I think is unauthorised?

If you're concerned about building work or a development that you think may be unauthorised you can report breach of planning permission online.

If you would like to contact us about your report, please email planningenforcement@barnsley.gov.uk with the address of the property the report relates to in the "Subject" line of your email.

How do I comment on planning applications?

We can only accept your comments (representations) in writing. You can do this in the following ways:

  • through Planning Explorer
  • email us
  • write to: Planning Development Management, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG (please quote the planning application reference number)

Make sure you've looked at the application form and plans before making any comments.  Please ensure to use the Planning Application information for your comments to us only and not for any other purpose.

You must provide your name and address with your comments for us to consider them. You should also be aware that we make all comments we receive publicly available, so anyone (including the person who applied for the planning permission) can ask to see or copy the comments.

Please note that ‘in confidence’ and anonymous comments will not be considered, and any comments submitted this way will not be counted as a formal representation.

Your comments will be passed on to the case officer dealing with the application and will be considered as part of the decision making process. 

It is not possible for us to acknowledge or respond to individual representations directly, therefore please consider any automatic response as your acknowledgement of receipt.

What is the statutory development plan for Barnsley?

The Statutory Development Plan for Barnsley is made up of the following documents:

What is Barnsley's Local Plan and where can I get more information?

What is Barnsley's Local Plan?

The Local Plan forms a key part of the statutory development plan for Barnsley and sets out how the council will manage physical development of the borough on behalf of residents and businesses. Read more about Barnsley's Local Plan.

When will the Local Plan be Reviewed?

It is our intention to review the Local Plan to assess whether it needs updating five years from the date of adoption (it was adopted in January 2019), reflecting Government policy, unless Government legislation on development plans changes.

How can I keep up to date on progress of the Local Plan?

You can register on our consultation system and select that you are interested in planning.

Our privacy statement will tell you what we will do with your personal information that is held when you register. If you have registered and said you are interested in planning, you'll receive notifications about when and how you can get involved.

What is the Joint Waste Plan?

The Joint Waste Plan was prepared with neighbouring local authorities Rotherham and Doncaster. The Joint Waste Plan contains policies that should be applied to waste related development and a general policy that should be applied to all developments to ensure waste implications are adequately considered.

We are working with Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield to gather up to date evidence regarding waste needs for the four South Yorkshire Authorities. The four authorities will potentially work together on a review document if it is agreed to do so.

What are Neighbourhood Plans and where can I find more information?

Neighbourhood plans allow local communities to lead on development and development plans in their areas. You can read more about Neighbourhood Plans here. 

What are supplementary planning documents and where can I find them?

Following the adoption of the Local Plan we've produced new and updated supplementary planning documents which contain advice for people applying for planning permission. We use these to help us make decisions on planning applications alongside the Local Plan.

What is a Masterplan Framework and how can I find out more about them?

The Local Plan includes some site allocations which require the production of a masterplan framework. The individual site policies explain why a masterplan framework is needed.

Seven Masterplan Frameworks have been adopted by the Council.  These are:

  • Barnsley West
  • Hoyland North
  • Hoyland West
  • Hoyland South
  • Goldthorpe
  • Royston
  • Carlton

Read more about Masterplan Frameworks.

What is the Brownfield Land Register and where can I find it?

We have a duty to prepare and maintain a brownfield land register. The register provides an up-to-date, publicly available standard set of information on brownfield land that is suitable for housing.

What is the Statement of Community Involvement and where can I find it?

The statement of community involvement (SCI) sets out how we will engage people in the preparation of planning policy documents and in planning application decisions. This version updates the SCI prepared in 2015 and makes clear what may be different about our consultation methods during the COVID-19 pandemic and any similar situation that may arise in future.

What is the local Custom and Self Build Register and where can I find it?

We maintain a register of people who are interested in self-build or custom build projects in Barnsley. The register helps us to understand the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in Barnsley.

You can apply to join the local self-build register, tell us about land which you wish to make available for custom and self-build or make a general enquiry about custom and self-build on our website.

You can read more about why councils maintain a register in the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act as amended in 2016.

What do I need to do if I want to cut, fell, or lop a tree in a conservation area?

Trees in a conservation area can be protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). However, even trees in these areas which are not the subject of a TPO are still protected by Section 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

An owner must give the Local Planning Authority six weeks written prior notice of any works to trees in conservation areas to give them an opportunity to determine whether or not a Tree Preservation Order should be served. Exemptions include trees under 75mm in diameter or those for which the Forestry Commission has granted a felling licence.

Notify the Local Planning Authority over works to TPO trees or trees in a conservation area.

Who do I contact if I want to prune/work on a tree and am not sure if I need permission?

If you want to prune or work on a tree and you're not sure whether permission is required, please email Development Management on DevelopmentControl@barnsley.gov.uk

You can also check if the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) using our online TPO map.

Who do I contact if I am worried that someone is chopping down, or putting a tree or a hedge at risk?

If you're concerned about work being carried out on a particular tree or hedge, you can report it to our Planning Enforcement Team.

If you would like to contact us about your report, please email planningenforcement@barnsley.gov.uk with the address of the property the report relates to in the "Subject" line of your email.

Who do I contact about land ownership and boundaries?

If you have any queries regarding land ownership or boundaries, please refer your queries to the relevant area below:

How do I find out if Barnsley Council manage a particular green space or nature reserve?

To find out whether a particular green space or nature reserve is maintained and managed by Barnsley Council please email Parks Services on ParksServices@barnsley.gov.uk

Who do I contact if I want to use or improve a Barnsley managed green space?

If you wish to use a green space managed and maintained by Barnsley Council, please contact Parks Services on ParksServices@barnsley.gov.uk for more information.

Who do I contact if I suspect a wildlife crime?

If you suspect that a wildlife crime is either happening or has happened, you should report the crime to the police. 

  • If the potential wildlife crime is happening now call 999 and tell the operator that you "suspect a wildlife crime may be happening..."
  • If the potential wildlife crime has already happened call 101 and tell the operator that you "suspect a wildlife crime has happened..."

How do I apply for a dropped kerb?

Visit our dropped kerbs page to find more information including licences, costs and whether you will need planning permission.

Who do I contact about roads?

If you have any highways queries, please direct these to the relevant section below:

Who do I contact if I see some fly-tipping?

Dumping rubbish or unwanted items in the street or on open land – fly-tipping – is illegal.

You can report fly-tipping to us online, check if some fly-tipping has already been reported to us, or view the status of existing reports on our website.

Please don't move or remove anything contained in it; it could be harmful to you and tampering with any evidence linking a person or address to the rubbish could harm our investigations.

Who do I contact about bins, rubbish and recycling?

More information about bins, rubbish and recycling.