Information on what is required to support your application including details of the validation criteria, design and access statements, planning fees and local requirements for validation.

Validation criteria

Central government produced guidance on what is required in the submission of a planning application. This is contained in the publication 'Guidance on information requirements and validation' which can be downloaded below. Although this guidance has been withdrawn, it provides a good basis on what should be submitted with an application as set out below the document.

Guidance on Information Requirements and Validation - March 2010 (PDF Document, 335.16 Kb)

This essentially sets out the following national requirements for applications as follows:

  • completion of the standard application form (where applicants need to answer all questions). This also includes ownership certificates, agricultural land declarations and any notice required to be served on any landowner,
  • a location plan,
  • a site plan,
  • the correct fee and
  • a design and access statement (when required – see below).

Four copies of each document need to be submitted if in paper format (one original and three copies).

In addition to this national criterion, there are also local requirements for validation which are covered below.

The location plan

The location plan must include copies of a location plan based on an up-to-date map and be at an identified standard metric scale (typically 1:1250 or 1:2500 but wherever possible the plan should be scaled to fit onto A4 or A3 size paper). Plans should identify sufficient 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. 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 areas around buildings. A blue line should be drawn around any other land owned by the applicant, close to or adjoining the application site.

These plans can be purchased through the Planning Portal which can then be used when submitting an application electronically.

Site plan

A site plan should also be submitted. The site plan should be drawn at an identified standard metric scale and must 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 together with the direction of north.

In addition to the above, the following must also be shown, unless these would not influence or be affected by the proposed development:

  • all the buildings, roads and footpaths on land adjoining the site including access arrangements,
  • all public rights of way crossing or adjoining the site,
  • the position of all trees on the site, and those on adjacent land,
  • the extent and type of any hard surfacing and
  • boundary treatment including walls or fencing where this is proposed.

The correct fee

Most applications require the payment of a fee to the local planning authority which is designed to cover the cost of processing the application. Planning Fees are currently set nationally – although a recent consultation had indicated that this may change in the future so that each local planning authority can set their own fee structure.

On the 17th January 2018, Planning application fees were revised. The revised fees are outlined below. Alternatively, the Planning Portal has a fee calculator which can assist in fee calculations. However, the determination of the correct fee rests with the local planning authority and we would be happy to advise you of the correct fee.

A Guide to the Fees for Planning Applications in England - From 31 January 2018

If you are submitting a householder application, there is currently a flat rate fee of £206.00 per application, unless your proposal only requires planning permission because of a restriction imposed on a previous application relating to your property (the removal of permitted development rights).

Design and access statements

The requirement for design and access statements were introduced in August 2006. However, since their introduction, there have been various changes to the legislation. The requirement to submit a Design and Access Statement is detailed in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2010 at Article 8. This article was last amended on the 13th of January 2014.

A Design and Access Statement is a mandatory requirement for the validation of a planning (or associated) application when the application falls within one of the following:-

  • It is a Major Development (as defined in at Article 2 of the Town and Country Planning [Development Management Procedure] Order 2010);
  • The site is located within a Conservation Area and it involves the creation of a new dwellinghouse;
  • The site is located within a Conservation Area and it involves new floorspace which is 100 square metres or more (either within a single building or cumulatively if more than one building);
  • It is an application for Listed Building Consent

There is no mandatory requirement for a Design and Access Statement if the application relates to a variation of condition application (section 73), a renewal application or if it relates solely to a change of use of land or buildings.

In brief, a design and access statement needs to explain:

  • how design principles and concepts that have been applied to the proposed development - for example relating to the amount, layout, scale, landscaping and appearance of the development, and how the design of the development takes into account its context.
  • how issues regarding access to the development have been considered – for example, the policy adopted relating to access and how relevant development plan policies have been taken into account, whether any consultation has been undertaken, how any issues which might affect access have been addressed, how prospective users will be able to gain access to the development from the existing transport network, reasons for choosing the main points of access to the site and the layout of internal routes, and how features which ensure access will be maintained.
  • how, for applications for listed building consent, the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the scale, layout and appearance of the works, and how these and the adopted policy relating to access take account of the special architectural or historic importance of the building, any important physical features of the building, and the building’s setting.

To assist in ensuring that the content of the statement is acceptable we have produced a checklist for design and access statements to help applicants and agents ensure that they cover each of the criteria in sufficient detail. It is recommended that the headings and subheadings are used to help structure the statement.

Checklist - Design and Access Statements (PDF Document, 52.29 Kb)

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), have also produced useful guidance on the content of design and access statements and how to write them.

CABE website page on design and access statements

Further information on when a design and access statement is required together with details of what a statement should contain is detailed in the 'Guidance on information requirements and validation' document at section 6 – page 26 onwards (although it should be noted that the information on when a design and access statement is required has been superseded by the Town and Country Planning [Development Management Procedure] Order)

Guidance on Information Requirements and Validation - March 2010 (PDF Document, 335.16 Kb)

Outline planning applications

When an outline planning application is submitted there will always be a requirement to detail the use, amount and access point(s) of the development. There is also a basic level of information required for the use, a layout, scale and access aspects of the proposal even if they are to be reserved for future consideration.

Last updated: Thursday, 23 February 2023 4:35 pm