Step 1: apply for planning advice
If you have already received planning advice, you can view any relevant policies you were advised about, or go straight to Step 4. Apply for written planning advice to discuss the scheme and potentially resolve any issues before submitting your application. If you do not wish to take advantage of this additional service please follow Step 2 onwards.
Go to the planning advice service to request planning advice.
Step 2: check local constraints and site history
Carry out planning searches to help you prepare for your planning application.
- Guide 4 - How to carry out a full history search
- Guide 7 - How to search for planning constraints and applications on the map search
Step 3: check local policies
It is advisable that you consider the policies relevant to your proposed development before you submit a planning application.
To find out what policies are relevant to your area, use the policies maps.
Step 4: submit the application with associated plans or documents
Submit your application online via the Planning Portal website where you can pay online. You can also submit telecommunications, agricultural/forestry development, demolition and hedgerow removal prior notifications on the Planning Portal website.
Make sure you check your validation requirements first, found on the planning application forms webpage.
The planning portal have introduced a new fee collection service their Applicant / Agent guide (PDF). For enquiries please contact them directly. The application will not be released to Local Planning Authorities until the relevant fee quoted at submission has been paid to the planning portal. For applications already received by Bedford Borough Council that require additional funds or a payment, you can pay us directly via the methods quoted below.
You can also submit applications Electronically via iapply
For change of use and householder prior notification forms
Print a planning application form here
To make a Minerals and Waste application
Download the full Community Infrastructure Levy guidance
Step 5: make the correct payment
To access Bedford Borough Council's full list of planning fees, see the planning application fee list (PDF).
Pay online when you submit the application via the planning portal.
For phone, face-to-face or mailing a cheque, please quote one of the following
- portal number
- application number
- application site address
Telephone 01234 718068
Visit the Customer Services Centre, Horne Lane Bedford MK40 1RA during opening hours.
Cheque make payable to 'Bedford Borough Council' and send to:Planning
Bedford MK42 9AP
Step 6: what happens next
Standard planning applications can take between 6 - 8 weeks to determine, although this is not always the case.
Not all applications will be heard at the Planning Committee meeting. Some applications will be dealt with by the allocated case officer with the agreement of the relevant planning team leaders and managers. This is called the Planning Scheme of Delegation (PDF).
The Planning Committee is held every month in the evenings at 6:30pm, usually on a Monday (except on Bank Holidays), at Borough Hall, unless advised otherwise. View the upcoming planning committee agenda, or review past agendas and minutes.
A significant number of applications will involve some form of negotiation and amendment of the scheme prior to the decision being made. View the approved procedure for negotiating amendments (PDF).