Advice on timescales for processing faculties.
The following advice relates to the normal business of the DAC but a fast-track system is also available for genuine emergencies. Parishes are themselves largely in control of the timescale it takes to process any particular application - see our tips on Avoiding Delays.
Submitting your application
DAC meetings are held on a monthly basis for most months of the year except August. Deadline dates for submitting applications to these meetings are available on the Meeting Dates page. These deadlines are necessary to allow detailed review of your application prior to the meeting. If you miss the deadline your application will be held back until the next available meeting.
After the DAC meeting
Once you have had your application reviewed by the Committee, you should normally hear back from the DAC Office within 12 working days of the meeting. If the DAC has queried your application, the DAC Office will advise you in writing what to do next and your response would normally be considered at the next available DAC meeting. If the DAC has made a recommendation, the DAC Office will send you the appropriate paperwork. This will include the Public Notices which you are required, by law, to display for 28 days. At the end of the 28-day notice period you need to send confirmatory papers to the Registrar.
Objections from the public
If any objections have been made to the Registrar as a result of the display of public notices then additional procedures are required to allow the objections to receive appropriate attention. The timescale varies depending on the nature of the objection.
Once the public notice period ends, you must return your signed public notice to the Diocesan Registrar, and pay the faculty fee. The Registrar will not begin the final stage of the process until the fee and public notice have been received. At this point, the DAC office cannot advise of any potential delays or likely timescale to the issuing of the faculty, any queries should be directed to Clerk of the Registrar. The final faculty will be issued subject to the workload of the Clerk and Registrar and the availability of the Chancellor. Complex proposals will be subject to close scrutiny and are likely to take longer to process.
The fastest a normal application can be processed through the faculty system is 10 weeks, including the statutory 4 weeks for the display of public notices. This timescale assumes that:
- the application is received immediately prior to the DAC meeting deadline
- the DAC has no reason to query the application
- there is no need to consult other planning or heritage organisations, or the parish have already completed such consultations
- there are no objections arising from the display of public notices
- the DAC Office has agreed to process the request as a priority after the DAC meeting
- the DAC Office and Registry are fully resourced at the time to process the application (diocesan policy is to run these offices with no “slack” to cover for leave - therefore staff absence will inevitably slow down response times)