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National validation requirements for planning applications

The submission of a valid application for planning permission requires the following mandatory documents:

  1. A completed application form:
    The standard application form can be accessed and completed by the applicant or someone working on their behalf, through the Planning Portal. Alternatively, an application can be completed on a paper version of the form provided by the planning authority or downloaded from the Planning Portal;
  2. Compliance with the following national information requirements:

Plans and drawings. As a minimum, applicants will need to submit a ‘location plan’ that shows the application site in relation to the surrounding area. Typically the scale for this is 1:1250 or 1:2500 and this should identify sufficient roads and buildings on land adjoining the application site to ensure the exact location of the site is clear.  The application site should be edged clearly with a red line and include all land necessary to carry out the development including land required for access to the site from a public highway. 

The legislation also requires that any other plans, drawings and information necessary to describe the development which is the subject of the application are submitted.  The Local Validation List should be checked for this, however in most cases, this would comprise existing and proposed site plans, floorplans and elevation plans if new buildings/extensions are proposed.

Any plans or drawings must be drawn to an identified metric 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.

Ownership Certificate and Agricultural Land Declaration. This is a certificate which provides certain details about the ownership of the application site and confirms that an appropriate notice has been served on any other owners of the site (and any 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 certificates have been completed and notices served on any other owners. The Certificate can be found at the end of most planning application forms.

Design and Access Statement. This is required for some planning applications as follows:

  • Applications for major development (as defined by article 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure (England) Order 2015);
  • Applications for development in a designated area (a World Heritage Site or conservation area) where the proposed development consists of one or more dwellings or a building/buildings with a floor space of 100 square metres or more.
  • Applications for listed building consent.

Outline or Environmental Impact Assessment applications are subject to specific additional requirements which can be found here.

  1. The correct application fee. Fees for planning applications are set by Government and are the same for each Council. The Planning Portal has a Guide to the Fees for Planning Applications in England so you can see the cost of the application. If you submit the application by Planning Portal it will give you the options to pay at the end before the application is released to the lcoal authority. If you are submitting the application directly to the local authority you should ask them which is the best way to pay.  The application will not be valid until the correct fee is paid in full.  If you are unsure of the fee you should check with the planning department.


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