Planning - Planning services

Local Plan documents submitted for examination

Two key documents making up the new local plan, the Site allocations plan and the Development management policies plan were submitted to the government on 17 April 2013 for examination by an independent inspector.

A planning inspector, Chris Anstey BA (Hons) DIPTP DIPLA MRTPI, has been appointed to hear outstanding objections to the plans and assess if they are sound, positively prepared and legally compliant and can therefore be adopted by the council. For further details of the public examination, please follow this link.

Local plan newsletter

To keep you up to date with the development of the new local plan, read our latest newsletter (198 Kb pdf)

The main areas of the planning service are:

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and make comments on planning applications

Planning policy

The planning policy team produces plans and policies which are used to decide planning applications. These plans and policies help to ensure that new development is well designed and is in the right place to support sustainable growth in Norwich.  

Development plan

The development plan for Norwich, which is used to assess planning applications in the city, consists of national, regional/sub-regional and local planning policies. Find out more about the development plan for Norwich, or find links to the specific areas below:

Current Local Plan for Norwich
Emerging Local Plan for Norwich
Joint core strategy

Recent documents and reports 

Change of use exemption case
Local development scheme for Norwich
Statement of community involvement
Annual monitoring reports
Retail and shops monitor
Affordable housing interim statement

Related pages:

Planning obligations:

Environmental impact assessment
Flood risk
Paving over front gardens
Planning policy and projects team

See planning in the A-Z of services for more planning pages.

Development control

Development control involves assessing and making decisions on all types of planning applications and providing evidence where appeals are made against council decisions. Development control also involves enforcing planning controls to make sure development takes place exactly as it has been approved. Enforcement also investigates complaints about unlawful building works or uses and recommends the right action is taken.

The legal requirements for planning permission are complicated. We want to help you as much as possible and provide of the right advice at the right time. The government's Planning Portal provides an additional and more comprehensive advice service.

Public Access logo

By using the Planning Public Access website, you can view details online of planning applications submitted from the 28 November 2005.

The system also allows you to make comments on recently received applications. You can also track applications and register to receive an automatic email whenever there is a change in the status of the application.

The government has set performance targets for how quickly planning applications are decided. These targets mean that the city council cannot engage in lengthy negotiations after applications have been made. For this reason it is important that applicants:

  • Understand how their proposals need to follow national guidance and local planning policy, and prepare for this before making an application
  • Discuss their proposals with a planning officer at an early stage, before the application is submitted
  • Ensure that all the information you need to provide is ready and is submitted as part of the application, and that proposals comply with any advice we have already given.

The new planning system affects the way the council expects developers to prepare major planning applications. The new advice is in our Statement of community involvement. As well as discussing proposal with us at an early stage, developers should also discuss their proposals with people who might be affected. This will identify any areas of concern at an early stage and will help to resolve them before making a planning application.

Developers are now required to involve communities in major planning applications under our Statement of community involvement. More guidance on how to go about this is provided in the guidance note 'Involving the community in planning processes: guidance for developers (71 Kb pdf). Planning Aid England have also produced the following guidance 'Good practice guide to public engagement in development schemes', which can be found on Planning Aid England's website at

Planning Portal
Planning Public Access
Planning development control
Planning enforcement (Reporting breaches of planning control)

Go to the A-Z of Services for more planning pages.

Conservation and urban design

Norwich is an historic city of national and international importance. The city council is responsible for protecting this heritage.

There are 17 conservation areas in the city, over 1500 listed buildings recognised nationally for their architectural and/or historical interest, and a large list of locally significant buildings and scheduled ancient monuments.

Works to listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas are subject to tighter planning controls. In these cases proposals for change will need greater attention to detail, and could include effects on the surrounding area and their setting.

Conservation areas
Historic buildings
Listed buildings
Local list for Norwich
City walls
Buildings at risk
Historic parks

The new government policy on the urban environment has stressed the need to achieve a high standard for design of new developments, in order to create an urban renaissance. This revitalisation of urban spaces requires a strong vision of how modern development will be incorporated into the historic environment. Norwich is leading the way with a number of well-designed schemes to bring previously developed areas back into use

Planning supplementary planning guidance
ODPM-Better Places to Live By Design

Tree protection

Trees make a significant contribution to the appearance of the city and are important for wildlife.

Many of the most important trees are protected by tree preservation rders (TPOs). New TPOs are often made where important trees could be affected by development.

Any work carried out to trees under a TPO must be given permission by the city council. For work to trees within a conservation area, at least six weeks notice must be given......