The planning application process includes filling in a standard form (either hard copy or online via the planning portal) together with any supporting documents, such as site location and site area plans.
This package of documents is submitted to the local planning authority for their consideration. The applicant has to pay an application fee and submit a number of legal documents (re serving notice) to ensure that anyone whose land is affected has been properly informed.
The local council will ensure that the application is complete in terms of their local requirements and then validate it. It is then recorded on the Planning Register, and as a public document members of the public will have a right to the planning application.
It is at this moment that the clock starts running on the determination process. The register is located in the planning department at your local council, or more conveniently online via your local council website.
A ‘gold mine’ of planning information and guidance: The Government ‘Planning Portal’
Planning file search