Planning advice for the general public

Suffolk Wildlife Trust understands that the planning process has an important part to play in safeguarding the future of our wildlife and the environments they inhabit.

Suffolk is a growing region with nearly 10,000 planning applications made in the county each year. The Trust is unable to be involved with every case. This is why we try to focus on those cases where we feel we can make a real and positive difference for Suffolk’s special habitats and species.

Development can have both negative and positive impacts on wildlife, in order to help people engage with the planning process and protect and enhance areas that are important to them we have produced the following factsheets. These describe the different parts of the planning system and how we feel people can best get involved with them.

Development Plans

These are plans the local District and Borough councils are required to produce in order to set out how their area will be developed in the future. These plans are comprised of various documents which set out different aspects of future development in the area. 

Development Plans Factsheet

Planning Applications

Planning applications are generally 'full' or 'outline'. Full planning applications include every detail needed for the Local Authority to decide if the proposal can go ahead. Outline applications contain only enough information for the Local Authority to decide if the principle and broad type of development is acceptable. If an outline application is approved, then the applicant must submit a 'reserved matters' application that addresses all the outstanding details, such as visual appearance, servicing and landscaping. This must also be approved before development can start. Applications for small works to existing dwellings, such as extensions, are often called 'householder applications'. Although such applications require the same basic information as a full planning application, they usually relate to small works within the curtilage of the property so they tend to have less of an impact on wildlife.

Planning Applications Factsheet