In determining applications, the Council considers each case on its merits. If a proposal meets the Council's policies and standards, and accords with Government guidance, planning permission will usually be granted.

How long does it take?

The Council aims to decide 80% of applications within 8 weeks.

Many straightforward proposals take 4 -6 weeks.

Once an application is submitted, the application is assigned to a case officer and consultation is undertaken.

The Council is required to allow 21 days for comments to be made before a decision is considered.

Consultees such as government agencies and utility companies have up to 28 days to make their comments.

Site visits and case reports

All sites are visited by the case officer in order to assess the merits of the proposals.

If any modifications are required, the case officer will negotiate such changes with the applicant or their agent.

The case officer will then prepare a brief report on the case and will summarise any representations received in making a recommendation.

If neighbour objections are received, the case officer will carefully assess the issues in making a recommendation.

Monitor the progress of an application

Who decides whether to approve or refuse an application?

Planning officers

The majority of applications are delegated to planning officers.

These include matters such as:

  • Advertisement applications
  • Household applications
  • Listed building applications
  • Applications for works to protected trees

The Development Control Manager will make the decision to approve or refuse the application and impose any conditions thought to be necessary. The decision notice will then normally be dispatched on the same day or the following day.

Planning Committee

Some applications are determined by the Planning Committee which meets every four weeks.

Committee meetings are open to the public.

Applicants and members of the public have the opportunity to speak on applications being considered.

Applications that go to the Planning Committee include:

  • All applications involving major and strategic planning matters (such as housing development and large retail schemes)
  • Minerals and waste applications
  • Applications that do not accord with the policies of the Oldham Unitary Development Plan

All applications are reported with a recommendation made by the planning officer. The members can however decide to make a different decision or defer the matter for more information or for a site visit.

Decisions made by the Planning or Area Committees are normally issued the day after the meeting.

  • Planning Committee agendas and minutes

In some cases, the decision is subject to the signing of a Section 106 Planning Obligation, which is a legal agreement used to either enhance the quality of a development or to enable proposals to go ahead which might otherwise be refused. In this case the decision is only issued after the Obligation has been signed.


Where the Council refuses planning permission or grants approval subject to conditions, the applicant may appeal against the decision.

The period is currently six months from the date of the decision for most planning and listed building applications.

There is no third party right of appeal against a decision.

Appeals are made to the Planning Inspectorate.