Planning application validation

We want to help you submit applications with all the information we need to assess them. If an application is not submitted with the required information it will not be valid and we will not be able to process it.

Status update re Validation of Applications

Unfortunately, due to a combination of factors, we are experiencing delays in the validation process. Whilst we are dealing with your applications as quickly as possible you may notice this is taking us longer than usual. We apologise for this but ask for your patience. Thank you. 

Before submitting an application you should make sure that the accompanying information is sufficient for the purposes of validation. Please read our planning validation guidance which provides advice on both national and local validation requirements. To assist us with the validation and decision-making process we would like to request that an application is accompanied by a schedule or list of submitted documents.  If you have any questions regarding validation matters please get in touch with us using our online form.  We do not charge for this service, but please note that if you are seeking advice as to whether planning permission is required or likely to be granted, then a fee is payable.

To make a planning (or related) application, the national standard forms must be used and these can be found and submitted electronically on the Planning Portal. The Planning Portal is not maintained by Planning Services and we cannot access your application prior to it being submitted via the Portal. Any techincal problems you experience whilst using the Portal site cannot be remendied by Planning Services and we advise you contact the Portal Helpdesk service before you contact us. The Portal Helpdesk details are support@planningportal.co.uk or call 0333 323 4589 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays).     

If you are submitting in paper 1 original copy must be supplied.  Please check all relevant parts of the forms are complete (including the certificate section) and that you have signed and dated.

What is required to make a valid application for planning permission?
The submission of a valid application for planning permission requires:

(a) a completed application form
(b) compliance with national information requirements
(c) the correct application fee
(d) provision of local validation requirements

What are the national information requirements?
An application for planning permission must be accompanied by:

In addition, there are specific requirements in relation to:

 

Plans and drawings
What plans and drawings must be submitted with a planning application?
Applicants will need to submit a ‘location plan’ that shows the application site in relation to the surrounding area. Additional plans and drawings will in most cases be necessary to describe the proposed development, as required by the legislation (see article 7(1)(c)(ii) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure (England) (Order) 2015). We are able to request these through our local list of validation requirements (the full document is available at the bottom of this page). Within this document you will find further details  of the information requirements via application type, as well as additional guidance in relation to both the national and local validation requirements.

Any plans or drawings must be drawn to an identified scale, and in the case of plans, must show the direction of north. Although not a requirement of legislation, the inclusion of a linear scale bar is also useful, particularly in the case of electronic submissions.

Please note, Planning Services cannot recommend a retailer or agent for production of your plans. But you can use our Public Access website to browse applications of a similar type and look at the work submitted for those.

What information should be included on a location plan?
A location plan should be based on an up-to-date map. The scale should typically be 1:1250 or 1:2500, but wherever possible the plan should be scaled to fit onto A4 or A3 size paper. A location plan should show the direction of North and identify at least two named roads and/or buildings on land adjoining the application site to ensure that the exact location of the application site is clear. The application site should be edged clearly with a red line on the location plan. It should include all land necessary to carry out the proposed development (eg land required for access to the site from a public highway, visibility splays, landscaping, car parking and open areas around buildings). A blue line should be drawn around any other land owned by the applicant, close to or adjoining the application site.

Further information on site location and block plans (aka site plans) and details of where to purchase them can be found on the Planning Portal website. Other retailers are available, search for 'plans for planning applications' in your browser.


Ownership certificate and agricultural land declaration
What is an ownership certificate?
A certificate which applicants must complete that provides certain details about the ownership of the application site and confirms that an appropriate notice has been served on any other owners (and agricultural tenants). The forms of notice are in Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure (England) (Order) 2015.

An application is not valid, and therefore cannot be determined, unless the relevant certificate has been completed. It is an offence to complete a false or misleading certificate, either knowingly or recklessly, with a maximum fine of up to £5,000.

Which ownership certificate should be signed?

  • Certificate ASole Ownership and no agricultural tenants.  This should only be completed if the applicant is the sole owner of the land to which the application relates and there are no agricultural tenants.
  • Certificate BShared Ownership (All other owners/agricultural tenants known).  This should be completed if the applicant is not the sole owner, or if there are agricultural tenants, and the applicant knows the names and addresses of all the other owners and/or agricultural tenants.
  • Certificate CShared Ownership (Some other owners/agricultural tenants known).  This should be completed if the applicant does not own all of the land to which the application relates and does not know the name and address of all of the owners and/or agricultural tenants.
  • Certificate DShared Ownership (None of the other owners/agricultural tenants known).  This should be completed if the applicant does not own all of the land to which the application relates and does not know the names and addresses of any of the owners and/or agricultural tenants.

An ‘owner’ is anyone with a freehold interest, or leasehold interest the unexpired term of which is not less than 7 years. In the case of development consisting of the winning or working of minerals, a person entitled to an interest in a mineral in the land is also an owner. An ‘agricultural tenant’ is a tenant of an agricultural holding, any part of which is comprised in the land to which the application relates.

Any hard copy certificate submitted with the standard application form must be signed by hand. For any electronically submitted certificate, a typed signature of the applicant’s name is acceptable.

Ownership certificates must also be completed for applications for listed building consent, although no agricultural declaration is required.

Can a planning application be made on someone else’s land?
The planning system entitles anyone to apply for permission to develop any plot of land, irrespective of ownership. However, an applicant is required to notify owners of the land or buildings to which the application relates, as well as any agricultural tenants, in accordance with article 13 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. When making an application, an applicant is required to sign a certificate confirming the ownership of the land to which the application relates and that the relevant notices have been served.

What is an agricultural land declaration?
All agricultural tenants on a site must be notified prior to the submission of an application for planning permission. Applicants must certify that they have notified any agricultural tenants about their application, or that there are no agricultural tenants on the site. This declaration is required whether or not the site includes an agricultural holding. It is incorporated into the ownership certificates on the standard application form.

 

Design and access statement
What is a Design and Access Statement?
A Design and Access Statement is a concise report accompanying certain applications for planning permission and applications for listed building consent. They provide a framework for applicants to explain how the proposed development is a suitable response to the site and its setting, and demonstrate that it can be adequately accessed by prospective users. Design and Access Statements can aid decision-making by enabling local planning authorities and third parties to better understand the analysis that has underpinned the design of a development proposal.

The level of detail in a Design and Access Statement should be proportionate to the complexity of the application, but should not be long.

What applications must be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement?

For the purposes of Design and Access Statements, a designated area means a World Heritage Site or a conservation area.

Applications for waste development, a material change of use, engineering or mining operations do not need to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement. Applications to amend the conditions attached to a planning permission do not need to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement. There are some differences between the requirements for applications for planning permission and applications for listed building consent.

What should be included in a Design and Access Statement accompanying an application for planning permission?
A Design and Access Statement must:

(a) explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposed development; and
(b) demonstrate the steps taken to appraise the context of the proposed development, and how the design of the development takes that context into account.

A development’s context refers to the particular characteristics of the application site and its wider setting. These will be specific to the circumstances of an individual application and a Design and Access Statement should be tailored accordingly.

Design and Access Statements must also explain the applicant’s approach to access and how relevant Local Plan policies have been taken into account. They must detail any consultation undertaken in relation to access issues, and how the outcome of this consultation has informed the proposed development. Applicants must also explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the proposed development have been addressed.

What should be included in a Design and Access Statement accompanying an application for listed building consent?
Design and Access Statements accompanying applications for listed building consent must include an explanation of the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposed works, and how they have taken account of:

(a) the special architectural or historic importance of the building;
(b) the particular physical features of the building that justify its designation as a listed building; and
(c) the building’s setting.

Unless the proposed works only affect the interior of the building, Design and Access Statements accompanying applications for listed building consent must also explain how issues relating to access to the building have been dealt with. They must explain the applicant’s approach to access, including what alternative means of access have been considered, and how relevant Local Plan policies have been taken into account. Statements must also explain how the applicant’s approach to access takes account of matters (a)-(c) above.

Design and Access Statements accompanying applications for listed building consent must provide information on any consultation undertaken, and how the outcome of this consultation has informed the proposed works. Statements must also explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the building have been addressed.

Where a planning application is submitted in parallel with an application for listed building consent, do 2 Design and Access Statements need to be provided?
Where a planning application is submitted in parallel with an application for listed building consent, a single, combined Design and Access Statement should address the requirements of both. The combined Statement should address the elements required in relation to a planning application and the additional requirements in relation to listed building consent.

 

Outline planning applications
What details need to be submitted with an outline planning application?
Information about the proposed use or uses, and the amount of development proposed for each use, is necessary to allow consideration of an application for outline planning permission. Under article 5(3) of the Development Management Procedure Order 2015, an application for outline planning permission must also indicate the area or areas where access points to the development will be situated, even if access has been reserved.

Can details of reserved matters be submitted with an outline application?
An applicant can choose to submit details of any of the reserved matters as part of an outline application. Unless the applicant has indicated that those details are submitted “for illustrative purposes only” (or has otherwise indicated that they are not formally part of the application), the local planning authority must treat them as part of the development in respect of which the application is being made; the local planning authority cannot reserve that matter by condition for subsequent approval.

Can a local planning authority request further details in relation to reserved matters?
A local planning authority can request further details in relation to reserved matters under article 5(2) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. If a local planning authority considers that an outline application ought to include details of the reserved matters it must notify the applicant no more than one month after the application is received, specifying which further details are required.

 

Applications subject to environmental impact assessment
What information is required if an application is subject to Environmental Impact Assessment?
For projects requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment, an Environmental Statement (and non-technical summary) must be provided. See guidance on Environmental Impact Assessment.

See also

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