Have Your Say Today - Frequently Asked Questions - Mayor Of London - PlanApps


Frequently Asked Questions

PlanApps is the planning application portal for all planning applications that have been referred to the Mayor. Find out more on our 'About' web page. 

You can use PlanApps to view and comment on applications that the Mayor is considering. You can:

  1. Find decisions the Mayor has made on planning applications since 2012. You can search for applications using our search, filters or find applications using our map function. You will be able to view the decision letters and reports for each case in the 'Related Documents' section. 
  2. See what the proposals look like, or find out key information about what is proposed, like the number of homes or how many storeys high it will be. 
  3. Use our timeline feature to know where the application is in the process, or look at the 'Decision Status' to know at a glance how it's progressed. 
  4. Sign up for alerts to planning applications, to receive timely email notifications at each key stage of the planning process, or sign up for alerts to find out about new applications in your area. You can sign up for alerts in your Ward, Borough or even the whole of London. You can also use our draw shape function to create a bespoke area you want to be notified of. 
  5. Have your say and comment on live applications. 

For the purposes of go live, we are just publishing applications from the last 12 months. However, over the course of time, this will increase to applications submitted from 2012.

An application is referable to the Mayor if it meets the criteria set out in the Mayor of London Order (2008). The criteria can include:

·      Development proposing 150 residential units or more

·      Buildings over 30 metres in height (outside the City of London)

·      Buildings of over 1,000 square metres on Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land

If a planning application is submitted to the local planning authority (LPA) which meets one of the reasons for referral to the Mayor, the LPA is required to refer it to the Mayor for his initial consultation response. The Mayor’s initial consultation stage is known as “Stage 1”. The Mayor has six weeks to issue his Stage 1 consultation response.

The LPA will then consider the application, and will make a resolution about whether to grant or refuse permission.

Once the LPA has made a resolution to grant or refuse permission, it is required to refer the application to the Mayor for his final decision. This is known as “Stage 2”. At this stage, the Mayor can decide to allow the LPA to determine the application, or he can decide to direct refusal of the application, or he can decide to “take over” the application for his own determination. The Mayor has 14 days to make his decision at Stage 2.

If the Mayor decides to ‘take over’ an application for his own determination, this is known as a “Stage 3” application.

The Mayor then becomes the local planning authority and is the decision maker for the application.

Before making a decision on a Stage 3 application, the Mayor will hold a Public Hearing, usually at City Hall. In some cases, the scheme may also be changed by the applicant after the Mayor takes over the application. If this is the case, a consultation would be held before the hearing and decision takes place.

More information on Stage 3’s can be found online here.

Where can I find a list of stage 3 applications?

To find applications that made it to Stage 3 on PlanApps, you can search on the home page by using the filters.

Go to the PlanApps home page then follow the below step by step guide.

1)    Click on the ‘More filters’ button

2)    Go to the ‘Stage’ section. Click on the box below it.

3)    Select “Stage 3” from the drop-down list

4)    Click on apply filters and Stage 3 applications will appear.

You can also toggle to the map view after filtering to see stage 3 applications based on their locations.

You can also find out a full list of Stage 3 applications, with more information for each case here.

When a planning application is referred to the Mayor, he can decide that it does not raise any strategic issues that he wishes to comment on. This most commonly occurs when the application proposes minor changes to an approved planning application (often known as an application for “minor material amendments” or “Section 73” applications). In this case, a letter will be issued to the Council confirming that the case raises “No Strategic Issues” (NSI). The local council is then able to proceed with their decision-making without having to refer the case back to the Mayor.

A Stopping Up Order is where access to a highway or road is removed as part of any planning application made to a local council. This is usually temporary to enable a development to be built.  The Stopping Up Order will be subject to a consultation with affected residents run by the relevant local council. If someone makes an objection, and does not withdraw their objection after 28 days, the local council is required to refer the case to the Mayor. The original planning application for the development did not need to be referred as  a Stage 1 or Stage 1  application in order for a Stopping Up Order to be considered by the Mayor.

The Mayor will then assess the objection, to see if the objections raised were considered in the local council’s planning process before the development received planning permission.

Should the Mayor conclude that the points raised in the objections were considered in the planning process, or were not material planning considerations, a decision will be issued to the local council that a Public Inquiry does not need to be held and the developer will be allowed to commence with the Stopping Up Order. However, should the Mayor conclude that the objections were not considered, a decision will be issued to the local council instructing them to hold a Public Inquiry on the matter. In which case, the local council must hold an Inquiry.

You may not be able to find an application on PlanApps for these reasons:

1)    The application is not referable to the Mayor

Not all planning applications come to the Mayor, and only applications that have been referred to the Mayor will be displayed on PlanApps. See our other FAQs for an explanation on what makes an application referable to the Mayor.

2)    The application has not been referred to the Mayor yet

The local council is responsible for referring applications to the Mayor. The local council will refer the application as soon as possible but in some instances this would not be on the same day they have validated the application.

3)    The application was not recent.  If it is an old application please do email the team.

If you wish to comment on a Stage 1 or 2 planning application which has been referred to the Mayor and has not yet been decided by the Council, please send your comments to the relevant Council’s planning department in the first instance. If you do not send your comments to the Council, they will not be taken into account by Council officers and committee members when the Council makes a decision.

To comment on an application, you will need to find the application you are looking for. Once you are on the application page, you can comment by either clicking on the “leave a comment” box or by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Your comment will be reviewed by the case officer for the application, assessing what material planning considerations this raises. When the case officer presents the Stage 2 report to the Mayor, the report will include a section on the representations (or comments) received directly to the Mayor, for his consideration in the decision-making at Stage 2.

All comments made to the local council are required to be sent to the Mayor when they refer the application to Stage 2 for the Mayor's consideration.

A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account when deciding a planning application.  This can be anything that is relevant to land use planning.  The courts are regularly asked to explore what this might be in practice. As such, it is not possible to present a definitive list, however material considerations can include:

  • Overlooking/loss of privacy

  • Loss of light or overshadowing

  • Parking

  • Highway safety

  • Traffic

  • Noise

  • Effect on listed building and conservation area

  • Layout and density of building

  • Design, appearance and materials

  • Government policy

  • Disabled persons' access

  • Proposals in the Development Plan

  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)

  • Nature conservation

Private rights such as issues relating to loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not normally capable of being material considerations.

The majority of applications that the Mayor sees are Stage 1 and Stage 2 applications, meaning the local council is the decision maker on the application. You should therefore ensure that you have sent any comments you have to the local council in the first instance so they can be considered. We encourage you to do this as any comments sent directly to the Mayor will not be sent to the local council for their consideration. However, you still can send in comments to the Mayor who will consider those as part of the Mayor’s decision at any stage. 

If the application is at Stage 3, the Mayor is the decision maker, so all comments should be sent directly to the Mayor through the PlanApps portal. 

No, non-referable planning applications are the sole responsibility of the local planning authority and the Mayor cannot intervene or comment on these applications.

If you are not happy with the process/decision for these applications, you can get in touch with your local council to make a complaint or your local councillors.

The London Plan 2021 is the Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London. It sets out the vision and framework for how London will develop over the next 20-25 years and the Mayor’s vision for Good Growth.

The Plan is part of the statutory development plan for London, meaning that the policies in the Plan should inform decisions on planning applications across the capital. Borough’s Local Plans must be in ‘general conformity’ with the London Plan, ensuring that the planning system for London operates in a joined-up way and reflects the overall strategy for how London can develop sustainably, which the London Plan sets out.

London Plan 2021.

The London Plan 2021 is the Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London. It sets out the vision and framework for how London will develop over the next 20-25 years and the Mayor’s vision for Good Growth.

You are able to submit comments right up until the final officers report has been completed for the Mayor’s meeting.

The time taken from the council planning committee decision to when it is referred back to the Mayor at Stage 2 differs from case to case (and can be a matter of weeks to months). This is because they need to provide certain information to the Mayor, including:

  • A copy of all comments the local council received

  • A copy of the officer report that was considered at the planning committee and a statement of the decision they intend to make

  • Where they wish to grant permission, a copy of all of the conditions and contributions they intend to agree with application. For example, financial commitments known as a S106 legal agreement

At the hearing, the Mayor granted permission subject to the conclusion of a s106 legal agreement. Only once this has been agreed can the final decision notice be issued. 

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