An environmental permit is designed to protect the environment and people. This page tells you more about what happens when you submit an application and what you should expect as we consider your application.
When we receive your application in our Permitting and Support Centre (P&SC) in Sheffield we check that it has the basic essentials we need in it. This includes checking you've used the right form, sent enough copies and included your application fee.
We'll contact the 'application contact' on the application form, by email and/or letter to confirm we have your application.
We may contact you if the initial check identifies some missing information. We'll tell you who your contact in P&SC is so you can get back to them with the relevant information.
Your application is recorded on an electronic document management system so we can move your application around the country very quickly and easily. Providing your application in electronic format makes this process easier.
Some simpler applications are dealt with quickly in the P&SC. Work is allocated using a work queue. Allocation typically happens about a week after we finish the completeness checks. It may be quicker and, in some cases when the volume of applications is high, may be slightly longer.
If your application is passed to a permitting officer to do more detailed work they'll contact you to introduce themselves, give you their contact details and talk about timescales.
They'll also get in touch with any local officers you've been in contact with about the application.
We'll determine your application as soon as is practically possible. Our aim is to complete this in less than 13 weeks, shorter if the quality and content of your application is high or the determination is not very complex.
If your application for a permit is more complex because of other legislation or planning constraints, or we have particular concerns about the proposal then we may need to agree a different timescale with you.
Assessing the application
The permitting officer must complete checks to make sure you've sent us all the information we need to determine the application. If the application is complete they'll confirm it‘s 'duly made'. If not they'll let you know what else they need.
Once the application is duly made the officer will start the determination which is where we decide whether or not we can grant a permit.
You can find more information about how we decide whether or not to grant a permit for waste and industrial sites here:
When the permitting officer has had a detailed look at your application they may ask you for further information by way of a formal notice. They'll stay in contact with you until the application is determined.
Who else will we involve?
We consult on bespoke applications and more complex variations within 30 working days of the duly made date. We put the application on our website and people have 20 working days to comment. If it's a site of high public interest we may also advertise in a newspaper.
We may engage in more detailed discussions with members of the public around sites of high public interest to explain your proposals and seek their views.
If anyone makes comments we consider these as we assess your application.
We may also consult with other bodies or organisations that have responsibilities that may be affected by the proposals contained in your application. We can make use of their expertise and make sure we have taken into account all the environmental risks. This consultation is done under our Public participation statement.
Our decision on whether or not to grant your application
For more complex applications we'll show you the draft permit or notice before we complete them so you can see what conditions we'll include in our decision.
For sites of high public interest we may talk to the public about our draft decision before we make a final decision.
Once the decision is made we'll send you the final version for your records and explain your rights of appeal against our decision.
If we refuse your application, we'll discuss this with you and send you a notice showing the reasons for our decision.
What do bespoke permit conditions look like?
We use one permit template for all bespoke permit applications. It has generic conditions that apply to all applications and 34 annexes that provide extra conditions depending on the activity.
The generic permit template shows you what to expect. It doesn't include any of the schedules that would be part of the permit, like emission limits, monitoring and reporting requirements and other site specific information. It shows typical conditions but may not contain the latest conditions we're using. If you want to know more about what to expect in your bespoke permit please talk to your permit officer.
The template uses colour coding for our staff. Black text is fixed text. Red text is optional but the wording is fixed. Some red text conditions contain optional text that has to be amended as appropriate. Blue text is example text and we replace this with site-specific conditions.
Who can you contact?
If you have any questions about your application once we have received it then get in touch with the person named in your acknowledgement letter or the permitting officer. P&SC can be contacted by telephone on 0370 8506506 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about what happens after permitting or any specific local issues then get in touch with your local area officer or their team leader.
If you have difficulty contacting the permitting officer or you have concerns about the progress of your determination, your contact in P&SC or your pre-application contact will find someone that can help with your query.