Submitting a planning application is just the start of a process. After spending a lot of time refining our design, we submitted on the 1st June 2017. Applications are supposed to be processed within a 2 month period, but that period only starts once the application has been validated. The validation is simply a check that all required documents and information is present to permit the application to be considered. It's not always obvious what information will be requested and our architect needed to produce a few revised documents before they were ready to proceed. There is a 3 week deadline for validation to be achieved and due to time constraints and some confusion about what was needed, our application was finally validated on 22nd June 2017.
Normally applications result in neighbours being notified, but as we have a rural plot and no direct neighbours, notification was made via the local newspaper (once we had paid the additional small advertising fee).
While we didn't expect any comments, you never know and so after the public consultation period opened we checked daily. The ability to check via the council planning portal was very useful even if it wasn't always updated as often as we would have liked.
Ultimately all we could do was wait...