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Planning application definitions

A list of definitions for each type of application

Since 6 April 2008 all planning applications need to be presented on a standard application form, which will be available electronically. The Government wishes to encourage applicants to submit applications electronically wherever possible, as this provides opportunities for streamlining procedures and thereby reducing costs. However applicants will retain the option of submitting paper versions of the form. In that event, the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) requires three additional copies plus the original of the completed standard application form to be submitted. An applicant may be requested by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to submit more than three copies, but three copies is the statuary requirement for a valid application. 

The location plan

  • All applications must include copies of a location plan based on an up-to-date map. This should be at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500. The General Permitted Development Order 1995 requires three copies plus the original (unless submitted electronically). In exceptional circumstances plans of other scales may also be required. Plans should wherever possible show at least two named roads and surrounding buildings. The properties shown should be numbered or named to ensure that the exact location of the application site is clear.
  • The application site should be edged clearly with a red line. It should include all land necessary to carry out the proposed development for example, land required for access to the site from a public highway, visibility splays, landscaping, car parking and open space areas around buildings.
  • A blue line should be drawn around any other land owned by the applicant, close to or adjoining the application site.

Site and other plans

Copies of the site plan should be submitted. The legislation requires three copies plus the original (unless submitted electronically) and the site plan should be drawn at a scale of 1:500 or 1:200 and should accurately show:

  • the proposed development in relation to the site boundaries and other existing buildings on the site, with written dimensions including those to the boundaries
  • all the buildings, roads and footpaths on land adjoining the site including access arrangements
  • all public rights of way crossing or adjoining
  • the position of all trees on the site, and those on adjacent land that could influence or be affected by the development
  • the extent and type of any hard surfacing
  • boundary treatment including walls or fencing where this is proposed.

In addition, other plans should be submitted (dependent on the type of application, refer to the relevant checklist for specific requirements) and may be included.

Block plan of the site

  • These should be drawn to a scale of 1:50 or 1:100 and show clearly the proposed works in relation to what is already there.
  • All sides of the proposal must be shown and these should indicate, where possible, the proposed building materials and the style, materials and finish to windows and doors.
  • Blank elevations must also be included, if only to show that this is in fact the case.

Where a proposed elevation adjoins another building or is in close proximity, the drawings should clearly show the relationship between the buildings, and detail the positions of the openings on each property.

Existing and proposed floor plans

  • These should be drawn to a scale of 1:50 or 1:100 and should explain the proposal in detail.
  • Where existing buildings or walls are to be demolished these should be clearly shown.
  • The drawings submitted should show details of the existing building(s) as well as those for the proposed development.
  • New buildings should also be shown in context with adjacent buildings (including property numbers where applicable).

Existing and proposed site sections and finished floor and site levels

  • Such plans drawn at a scale of 1:50 or 1:100 should show a cross section(s) through the proposed building(s).
  • In all cases where a proposal involves a change in ground levels, illustrative drawings should be submitted to show both existing and finished levels to include details of foundations and eaves and how to encroachment onto adjoining land is to be avoided.
  • Full information should also be submitted to demonstrate how proposed buildings relate to existing site levels and neighbouring development.
  • Such plans should show how existing site levels and finished floor levels (with levels related to a fixed datum point off site) and also show the proposals in relation to adjoining buildings.
  • This will be required for all applications involving new buildings.

In the case of householder development, the levels may be evident from roof plans and elevations. Particularly in the case of sloping sites, it will be necessary to show how proposals relate to existing ground levels or where ground levels outside the extension would be modified. Levels should also be taken into account in the formulation of design and access statements.

Roof plans

  • A roof plan is used to show the shape of the roof and is typically drawn at a scale smaller than the scale used for the floor plans. Details such as the roofing material and their location are typically specified on the roof plan.

Ownership certificate

  • Under section 65 (5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, read in conjunction with Article 7 of the GDPO, the LPA must not entertain an application for planning permission unless the relevant certificates concerning the ownership of the application site has been completed. All applications for planning permission must include the appropriate certificate of ownership, An ownership certificate A, B, C or D must be completed stating the ownership of the property.

For this purpose an owner is anyone with a freehold interest, or leasehold interest the un-expired term of which is not less than seven years.

Agricultural holdings certificate

  • The certificate is required whether or not the site includes an agricultural holding.
  • All agricultural tenants must be notified prior to admission of the application.
  • This certificate is not required if the applicant is making an application for reserved matters, renewal of temporary planning permission, discharge or variation of conditions, tree preservation orders, or express consent to display an advertisement.

The correct fee

Design and access statement

  • For further information on DAS.

Affordable housing statement

  • Where local plan policies or supplementary planning document guidance requires the provision of affordable housing the LPA may require information concerning both the affordable housing and any market housing for example, the numbers of residential units, the mix units with numbers of habitable rooms and/or bedrooms, or floor space of habitable areas of residential units, plans showing the location of the units and their number of habitable rooms/or bedrooms, and/or the floor space of the units. If different levels or types of affordability or tenure are proposed for different units this should be clearly and fully explained.
  • The affordable housing statement should also include details of any registered social landlords acting as partners in the development.

Air quality assessment

  • Where the development is proposed inside, or adjacent to an air quality management area (AQMA), or where the development could itself result in the designation of an AQMA or where the grant of planning permission would conflict with, or render unworkable, elements of a local authority's air quality action plan, applications should be supported by such information as is necessary to allow a full consideration of the impact of the proposal on air quality of the area.
  • Where AQMAs cover regeneration areas, developers should provide an air quality assessment as part of their planning application.

Biodiversity Survey and Report

  • Where a proposed development may have possible impacts on wildlife and biodiversity, information should be provided on existing biodiversity interests and possible impacts on them to allow full consideration of those impacts.
  • Where proposals are being made for mitigation and/or compensation measures information to support those proposals will be needed.
  • Where appropriate, accompanying plans should indicate any significant wildlife habitats or features and the location of habitats of any species protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 or the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
  • Applications for developments in the countryside that will affect areas designated for their biodiversity interests are likely to need to include assessments of impacts and proposals for long-term maintenance and management.
  • This information might form part of and environmental statement, where one is necessary.
  • Certain proposals which include work such as the demolition of older buildings or roof spaces, removal of trees, scrub, hedgerows or alterations to water courses may affect protected species and will need to provide information on them.

Daylight/sunlight assessment

  • In circumstances where there is a potential adverse impact upon the current levels of sunlight/daylight enjoyed by adjoining properties or building(s), including associated gardens or amenity space then applications may also need to be accompanied by a daylight/sunlight assessment.

Economic Statement

  • Applications may also need to be accompanied by a supporting statement of any regeneration benefits from the proposed development, including details of any new jobs that might be created or supported. Te relative floor-space totals for each proposed use (where known), any community benefits and reference to any regeneration strategies that might lie behind or be supported by the proposal.

Environmental Statement

  • The Town and Country Planning (Environment Impact Assessment) Regulations, as amended, set out the circumstances in which an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required. EIA may obviate the need for other more specific assessments.
  • Where an EIA is required, Schedule 4 to the regulations sets out the information that should be included in an Environmental Statement.
  • The information in the Environmental Statement has to be taken into consideration when the local planning authority decides whether to grant planning consent.
  • It may be helpful for a developer to request a 'screening opinion (ie to determine whether EIA is required) from the local planning authority before submitting a planning application.
  • In cases where a full EIA is not required, the local planning authority may still require environmental information to be provided.

Advice can be sought from our Duty Planning Officer.

Flood Risk Assessment

  • A flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required for development proposals of one hectare or greater in flood zone one and for all proposals for new development located in flood zones two and three as designated by the Environment Agency. A FRA will also be required for any development other than minor development in a designated critical drainage area, which has been notified to the Local Planning Authority by the Environment Agency.
  • The FRA should identify and assess the risks of all forms of flooding to and from the development and demonstrate how these flood risks will be managed, taking climate change into account.
  • The FRA should identify opportunities to reduce the probability and consequences of flooding.
  • The FRA should include the design of surface water management systems including Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDs) and address the requirement for safe access to and from the development in areas at risk of flooding.
  • The FRA should be prepared by an applicant in consultation with the local planning authority with reference to their published local development documents and any Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.

Foul Sewage and Utilities Assessment

  • All new buildings need separate connections to foul and storm water sewers. If an application proposes to connect a development to the existing drainage system then details of the existing system should be shown on the application drawing(s).
  • It should be noted that in most circumstances surface water is not permitted to be connected to the public foul sewers.
  • Where the development involves the disposal of trade waste or the disposal of foul sewage effluent other than to the public sewer, then a fuller foul drainage assessment will be required including details of the method of storage, treatment and disposal.
  • A foul drainage assessment should include a full assessment of the site, its location and suitability for storing, transporting and treating sewage.
  • Where connection to the mains sewer is not practical, then the foul/non-mains drainage assessment will be required to demonstrate why the development cannot connect to the public mains sewer system and show that the alternative means of disposal are satisfactory.
  • If the proposed development results in any changes/replacement to the existing system or the creation of a new system, scale plans of the new foul drainage arrangements will also need to be provided.
  • This will include a location plan, cross sections/elevations and specification.
  • Drainage details that will achieve building regulations approval will be required.
  • If connection to any of the above requires crossing land that is not in the applicant's ownership, other than on a public highway, then notice may need to be served on the owners of that land.

An application should indicate how the development connects to existing utility infrastructure systems. Most new development requires connection to existing utility services, including electricity and gas supplies, telecommunications and water supply, and also needs connection to foul and surface water drainage and disposal. Two planning issues arise, firstly whether the existing services and infrastructure have sufficient capacity to accommodate the supply/service demands which would arise from the completed development, and secondly, whether the provision of services on site would give rise to any environmental impacts, for example, excavations in the vicinity of trees or archaeological remains.

The applicant should demonstrate:

  • that, following consultation with the service provider, the availability of utility services has been examined and that the proposals would not result in undue stress on the delivery of those services to the wider community
  • that proposals incorporate any utility company requirements for substations, telecommunications equipment or similar structures
  • that service routes have been planned to avoid as far as possible the potential for damage to trees and archaeological remains
  • where the development impinges on existing infrastructure the provisions for relocating or protecting that infrastructure have been agreed with the service provider

Heritage Statement

  • The scope and degree of detail necessary in a heritage statement will vary according to the particular circumstances of each application.
  • Applicants are advised to discuss proposals with either a planning officer or a conservation officer before any application is made.
  • The following is a guide to the sort of information that may be required for different types of application.
  • For applications for listed building consent, a written statement that includes a schedule of works to the listed building(s), an analysis of the significance of archaeology, history and character of the building/structure, the principles of and justification for the proposed works and their impact on the special character of the listed building or structure, its setting and the setting of adjacent listed buildings may be required.
  • A structural survey may be required in support of an application for listed building consent.
  • For applications for conservation area consent, a written statement that includes a structural survey, an analysis of the character and appearance of the building/structure, the principles of and justification for the proposed demolition and its impact on the special character of the area may be required.
  • For applications either related to or impacting on the setting of heritage assets, a written statement that includes plans showing historic features that may exist on or adjacent to the application site, including any of the following:
    • listed buildings
    • structures
    • historic parks
    • gardens
    • historic battlefields
    • scheduled ancient monuments
  • An analysis of the significance of archaeology, history and character of the building/structure, the principles of and justification for the proposed works and their impact on the special character of the listed building or structure, its setting and the setting of adjacent listed buildings may be required.
  • For applications within or adjacent to a conservation area, an assessment of the impact of the development on the character and appearance of the area may be required.
  • For all applications involving the disturbance of ground within an area of archaeological potential as defined in the development plan, or in other areas in the case of a major development proposal or significant infrastructure works, an applicant may need to commission an assessment of existing archaeological information and submit the results as part of the heritage statement.

Land contamination Assessment

  • Applications may also need to be accompanied by a land contamination assessment which should include an extended assessment of contamination.
  • Sufficient information should be required to determine the existence or otherwise of contamination, its nature and the risks it may pose and whether these can be satisfactorily reduced to an acceptable level.
  • Where contamination is known or suspected or the proposed use would be particularly vulnerable, the applicant should provide such information with the application as is necessary to determine whether the proposed development can proceed.

Landfill applications

  • Applicants should provide sufficient information to enable the waste planning authority to fulfil its requirements under the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002. This information may be provided as part of the environmental statement.

Landscaping details

  • Applications may be accompanied by landscaping details and include proposals for long-term maintenance and landscape management.
  • There should be reference to landscaping and detailed landscaping proposals, which follow from the design concept in the Design and Access Statement, if required. Existing trees and other vegetation should, where practicable, be retained in new developments and protected during the construction of the development.

Lighting assessment

  • Proposals involving the provision of publicly accessible developments, in the vicinity of residential property, a listed building, a conservation area, open countryside, where external lighting would be provided or made necessary by the development, should be required to be accompanied by details of external lighting and the proposed hours when the lighting would be switched on.
  • These details shall include a layout plan with beam orientation and a schedule of the equipment in the design

Noise assessment

  • Applications for developments that raise issues of disturbance by noise to the occupants of nearby existing buildings, and for developments that are considered to be noise sensitive and which are close to existing sources of noise should be supported by a noise assessment prepared by a suitably qualified acoustician.

Open space assessment

  • For development within open spaces, application proposals should be accompanied by plans showing any areas of existing or proposed open space within or adjoining the application site. Planning consent is not normally given for development of existing open spaces, which local communities need. However, in the absence of a robust and up-to-date assessment by a local authority, an applicant for planning permission may seek to demonstrate through an independent assessment that the land or buildings are surplus to local requirements. Any such evidence should accompany the planning application. 

Parking provision

  • Applications may be required to provide details of existing and proposed parking provision, these details could also be shown on a site layout plan.

Photographs and photomontages

  • These provide useful background information and can help to show how large developments can be satisfactorily integrated within the street scene. Photographs should be provided if the proposal involves the demolition of an existing building or development affecting a conservation area or a listed building.

Planning obligations - draft head(s) of terms

  • Planning obligations are private agreements negotiated between local planning authorities and persons with an interest in a piece of land, and are intended to make acceptable development which would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms.
  • Where development plan documents contain policies that give details of likely planning obligation requirements, a local planning authority may require a statement of the proposed heads of terms to be submitted with the application. 

Planning statement

  • A planning statement identifies the context and need for a proposed development and includes an assessment of how the proposed development accords with relevant national, regional and local planning policies. It may also include details of consultations with the local planning authority and wider community/statutory consultees undertaken prior to submission. Alternatively, a separate statement on community involvement may also be appropriate.

Site waste management plan

  • Proposed new development should be supported by site waste management plans of the type encouraged by the code of practice published in 2004 by the Department of Trade and Industry.
  • These do not require formal approval by planning authorities, but are intended to encourage the identification of the volume and type of material to be demolished and/or excavated, opportunities for the reuse and recovery of materials and to demonstrate how off-site disposal of waste will be minimised and managed.

Statement of community involvement

  • Applications may need to be supported by a statement setting out how the applicant has complied with the requirements for pre-application consultation set out in the local planning authority's adopted statement of community involvement and demonstrating that the views of the local community have been sought and taken into account in the formulation of development proposals.

Structural survey

  • A structural survey may be required in support of an application if the proposal involves substantial demolition, for example, barn conversion applications.

Telecommunications development - supplementary information

  • Planning applications for mast and antenna development by mobile phone network operators in England should be accompanied by a range of supplementary information including the area of search, details of any consultation undertaken, details of the proposed structure, and technical justification and information about the proposed development.
  • Planning applications should also be accompanied by a signed declaration that the equipment and installation has been designed to be in full compliance with the requirements of the radio frequency (RF) public exposure guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). 

Town centre uses - evidence to accompany applications

  • Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for Town Centres (March 2005), This document sets out the main town centre uses to which the policy applies, in paragraph 1.8. Subject to the policies set out in the document, paragraph 3.4 lists the key considerations for which applicants should present evidence. The level and type of evidence and analysis required to address the key considerations should be proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposal.

Transport assessment

  • Planning Policy Guidance 13 Transport (March 2001) advises that a Transport Assessment (TA) should be submitted as part of any planning application where the proposed development has significant transport implications. The coverage and detail of the TA should reflect the scale of the development and the extent of the transport implications of the proposal. For smaller schemes the TA should simply outline the transport aspects of the application, while for major proposals, the TA should illustrate accessibility to the site by all modes of transport, and the likely modal split of journeys to and from the site. It should also give details of proposed measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling, to reduce the need for parking associated with the proposal, and to mitigate transport impacts. 

Travel plan

  • A travel plan should be submitted alongside planning applications which are likely to have significant transport implications, as advised by Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (DETR, 2001), paragraphs 87-91.

Tree survey/arboriculture implications

  • Where there are trees within the application site, or on land adjacent to it that could influence or be affected by the development (including street trees), information will be required on which trees are to be retained and on the means of protecting these trees during construction works. This information should be prepared by a qualified arboriculturist.
  • Full guidance on the survey information, protection plan and method statement that should be provided with an application is set out in the current BS5837 Trees in relation to construction recommendations. Using the methodology set out in the BS should help to ensure that development is suitably integrated with trees and that potential conflicts are avoided.

Ventilation/extraction statement

Details of the position and design of ventilation and extraction equipment, including odour abatement techniques and acoustic noise characteristics, will be required to accompany all applications for purposes within the following use classes:

  • A3 eg restaurants and cafes, use for the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises
  • A4 eg drinking establishments, use as a public house, wine-bar or other drinking establishment
  • A5 eg hot food takeaways, use for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises
  • B1 general business
  • B2 general industrial

This information (excluding odour abatement techniques unless specifically required) will also be required for significant retail, business, industrial or leisure or other similar developments where substantial ventilation or extraction equipment is proposed to be installed.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 01 Mar 2018 at 09:18