Planning Advice and Queries


Duty Planning Officer service

The planning system can seem complex, so we offer a Duty Planning Officer service to assist you. 

The aim is to guide you to the information you are seeking and advise on general planning matters.

The Duty Planning Officer can:

  • Give GENERAL advice on Permitted Development.
  • Explain current Local Planning Policies and advise on site constraints as indicated on our Local Plan maps
  • Advise on the planning process, including the Council's 'Delegated' and 'Committee' processes.

However, the Duty Planning Officer cannot:

  • Confirm whether planning permission is required for a specific proposal (please see guidance below)
  • Give an opinion on plans or proposals for a particular property or site (please see our Pre-Application advice service)
  • Advise on the authorised or established planning use of a particular property.
  • Advise on Planning Enforcement matters, (please see the 'Report a Breach of Planning Control' link, at the bottom of this page).
  • Advise on emerging or future Local Plan Policies. Please see the information for the Local Plan Review

Contact the Duty Planning Officer

Should you still need to contact the Duty Planning Officer, the service is available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9am until 1pm on those days.

You can contact us by telephone on 01295 227 006 or by email at Please put ‘Duty Planner’ in the subject line and provide as much information as you can with regard to your query.

Before you call

Please review the guidance on our most common queries below:

Do I need Planning Permission for work I wish to undertake?

Some development, known as ‘Permitted Development’, can be undertaken without the need for you to make a formal application to the Council for planning permission.

If your query relates to whether you require planning permission, you can check the advice on a range of the most common projects on the Planning Portal.

If you are unclear after your research or you require written confirmation whether planning permission is required for your proposal, you will need to apply for a ‘Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development. You can do this online via the Planning Portal.

I am seeking an update on a Planning Application

The simplest way to find an update, is to view the application information found on our Online Planning Register. This will enable you to view the status of any application and also track its progress if you wish.

If you are unable to find the information you seek and have applied for Planning Permission or have been consulted on a Planning Application, please see your acknowledgement or consultation letter, where you will find the contact details of the Planning Officer dealing with the application.

I am seeking planning information relating to a property I wish to sell or buy

Sometimes you may need to know whether a property has a planning history, for example, when you are seeking to purchase a property, prior to submitting a full Local Land Charges Search.

A Planning History is a list of Planning Applications, Consents and Decisions that relate to a specific property or land.

You can undertake a Planning History Search yourself using our online resources.

I want to know who owns a piece of land

The Council does not keep this information. Details of land ownership can be found from the Land Registry.

How much does a Planning Application cost?

Guidance on Planning Application Fees can be found at the Planning Portal.

Dropped Kerbs

How to apply

If you wish to install a dropped kerb at your property there are two things you need to do. 

  1. Check with Cherwell District Council (the Local Planning Authority) whether Planning Permission is required for the works. 

  2. Apply to Oxfordshire Highways Authority for permission to drop the kerb and create access from the highway.  

Step 1 - Cherwell District Council 

To enquire as to whether Planning Permission is required for the work, you will need to complete a Vehicle Access Enquiry Form. The form is designed to help you give us the information we need, so that we can tell you whether the work will require Planning Permission or not. 

We will need to know two things: 

  1. Whether the road to which the access or dropped kerb is to be installed is a ‘Trunk’ or ‘Classified road’. This information is available on the Oxfordshire County Council highways register.
  2. Whether the work is associated with any other improvements, such as the laying or improving of hardstanding, or the widening of a wall or fence opening to improve access, or any other alteration or improvement to the property. 

Once you have the information noted above, please complete and submit it on a Vehicle access enquiry form.

When we receive your Form, we will aim to respond within 10 working days. 

Please note: Oxfordshire Highway Authority will require proof that you have made this enquiry to us, and of our response before they give you permission to drop the kerb.

Step 2 – Oxfordshire Highways Authority 

Permission will be required from Oxfordshire Highways Authority to improve access to the highway or do works to it, whether that involves dropping the kerb, crossing a footpath in front of your house or creating a new access from it. 

They have their own procedure you will need to follow (regardless as to whether you need Planning Permission from Cherwell District Council or not).

More details, including fees and application form can be found on the Oxfordshire Highways dropped kerbs webpage.

Further Guidance

Report a breach of planning control

High Hedges complaint

Planning Performance Agreements