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Free-Go Application (Resubmittal)

Former Member, modified 7 Years ago.

Free-Go Application (Resubmittal)

Hi all, 

I am having a disagreement with my local authority planning department over the 'free go' criteria.

The background...

Nov 2013 - Application submitted for housing development

Jan 2014 - Application Validated

March 31st 2014 - Application Refused

Mid May 2014 - Appeal Lodged 

16 Feb 2015 - Appeal Dismissed

15 Feb 2016 (Within 1 year) - Resubmitted Application (Free Go)

18 Feb 2016 (Now outside of 1 year) - Invalid application notice received along with request for information and confirmation of acceptance of Free Go

17 March 2016 Information sent in to satisfy request for information

17 March 2016 Another invalid application notice received now requesting different information again no request for fee

5 May 2016 Phone call from Planning department requesting urgent/immediate payment (within 5 minutes) of fee (£3465.00) or application will be cancelled and returned. 

                    I asked why a fee was payable - It was stated that "they have had a chat in the office and decided that a dismissal of our appeal from the Planning Inspectorate did not constitute a decision therefore the year started when our original refusal was received."

                    I argued this point and then was told that "legislation stated that the application must be validated within the 1 year free go timeframe" I requested a copy of or a link to where I can read this information and I had no response.

5 May 2016 Later in the day I received another Invalid application notice stating that the application was invalid due to a fee being due.

I have now requested a meeting with the LPD and have one this week.

I did not like the way they tried to get me to pay the fee over the phone immediately knowing that it is not refundable.

I have searched and searched and nowhere can I find information that clears up this grey area. If validation within the 1 year is necessary for free go there is nothing to stop the LPD refusing to validate all 'Free Go' applications until outside the 1 year and until a fee becomes payable. There is no timeframe for validation, they can take as long as they like.

I am angered by the way the LPD have dealt with my application and would like to know if I am right or wrong? Do I have grounds to appeal for non validation? 

I am not an architect, I am part of a family run and owned building company andI am fed up with the untouchable attitude of the LPA.

Any help received would be very much appreciated.



PS I would just like to add that if I am wrong on this I have no problem paying the fee and admitting I am wrong. I just want to be shown why I am wrong not just told a load of rubbish by the LPA.

Toby Hamilton, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Free-Go Application (Resubmittal)

New Member Posts: 2 Join Date: 19/10/11 Recent Posts

Hi Jon,

I think your local authority is correct in its interpretation of the legislation in that the 'free go' application needs to be made within 12 months of the date of refusal, not the date of dismissal of the appeal.

This is described in the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG):

The PPG in turn references the regulation 9 of the The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012:

This means that you would need to have submitted your 'free-go' application by the end of March 2015.

Although I don't think it is relevant in relation to your case, there is a process for situations where a local planning authority refuses to validate an application including, ultimately, appeal for 'non-determination'. You can read more about those here:



Former Member, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Free-Go Application (Resubmittal)

Toby, thanks for your reply.

The argument now is that the planning authority agree on the date being the appeal decision for the 1 year... but now say it needed to be validated before 1 year not submitted before the 1 year. I cannot find difinitive answers on this anywhere in the legislation or the  PPG.

Former Member, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Free-Go Application (Resubmittal)


Not my area of expertise  but agree with Toby the LPA was technically correct to finally decide no free go. 

Its previous acknowledgement/acceptance of YOUR claim of a free go was the error, it could correct it or make an adminstrative arrangement to give a free go as goodwill but was not required to do so . 

Seperately regarding the date of application and validation this has dates (within 3 to 5 days is 'reasonably practical' for minor apps) AND  the rules in  'time periods for decision' (s34 are related. The date of lodging required documents/fee is usually key, no doubt there is case law but its seems a diffcult argument to sustain that you were within the 12 months of an appeal decision that had no relevance and managed 1 day before that anyway leaving less time than is reasonable to validate.  You were always  relying on the formal application date back counting to be the date you lodged your application which it would but only if the application was complete or you succesfully disputed the need for lodging some document or information.

Being satisfied the fee would or had been paid is fatal so they would have tried to get the fee they thought applied before rejecting and they would have had a target date to do that within.