Validation requirements

For a planning application to be considered valid, it must contain all the information necessary for us to make a fair decision and be accompanied by the correct fee.

Following guidance is to help you to submit the necessary supporting information to register a valid planning application.

As a minimum, you must provide the following documents for your planning application to be valid:

National requirements

The standard application form requires applicants to supply information on a range of issues, tailored to the type of application. Applicants must answer all the questions.

Most planning applications require two plans to be submitted as supporting documents:

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 (DMPO) requires applicants to submit 'a plan which identifies the land to which the application relates'. This is interpreted as a location plan and a site plan.

All applications must include copies of a location plan based on an up-to-date map. This should 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). The DMPO 2010 requires applicants to provide three copies plus the original (unless submitted electronically). Plans should show the direction of North and 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.

A site plan should be submitted. The legislation requires three copies plus the original (unless submitted electronically). A site plan shows a detailed layout of the whole site and the relationship of the proposed works within the boundary of the site, nearby roads and neighbouring buildings. Most applications will need an existing and a proposed site layout plan.

The site plan should be drawn at an identified standard metric scale and should accurately show:

  • the direction of north
  • the proposed development in relation to the site boundaries and other existing buildings on the site, with written dimensions including those to the boundaries

The site plan should also accurately show the following, 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 (footpath, bridleway, restricted byway or byway open to all traffic) 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 for example parking spaces,turning areas, paths and location of refuse and recycling facilities
  • boundary treatments, including position and height of walls and fencing where this is proposed
  • identification of any buildings to be demolished

Under section 65(5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, read in conjunction with Article 12 of the DMPO, the local planning authority must not entertain an application for planning permission unless the relevant certificates concerning the ownership of the application site have been completed. All applications for planning permission must therefore 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 unexpired term of which is not less than seven years. Ownership certificates must also be completed for applications for listed building consent, and conservation area consent for demolition.

These ownership certificates are part of the standard application form and now incorporate the Agricultural Holdings declaration.

Notice(s):
A notice to all owners of the application site must be completed and served in accordance with Article 11 of the DMPO. As noted above, site owners are freeholders and leaseholders with at least seven years of the leasehold left unexpired.

A design and access statement must be submitted for all Major Developments and the erection of building(s) in a Conservation Area.

The statutory requirements for design and access statements are set out in Article 8 of the DMPO, as amended.

Planning applications incur a fee. These are described in CLG circular 04/2008, Planning-Related Fees and were updated by Statutory Instrument 2012 No, 2920. The Planning Portal also includes a fee calculator for applicants.

However, the fee calculated will be based on the information provided to the portal. Therefore the Local Planning Authority has responsibility for calculating the actual fee payable during the validation process.

Planning applications incur a fee. These are described in CLG circular 04/2008, Planning-Related Fees and were updated by Statutory Instrument 2012 No, 2920. The Planning Portal also includes a fee calculator for applicants.

However, the fee calculated will be based on the information provided to the portal. Therefore the Local Planning Authority has responsibility for calculating the actual fee payable during the validation process.

Local level requirements

In addition to the national list, Somerset West and Taunton Council has produced a list which details the specific documentation that is required to accompany the application. The local requirements consist of plans* and supporting documents and are listed:

* generic advice on the presentation of plans and drawings is also given below.

Elevation drawings show what a building will look like from the outside. Most applications will need both existing and proposed elevations.

Elevations should:

  • be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
  • be clearly annotated ‘existing’ (including identifying building(s) to be demolished) and ‘proposed’
  • show every elevation of the building that the development affects, for example front, side(s) and rear and state the direction in which each elevation faces, for example rear (south)
  • show the whole of any existing building to be altered/extended, so that the relationship of the new building/extension to the existing can be clearly seen
  • in some instances, show elevations of adjoining buildings
  • in all instances, show the property boundary and parts of adjoining properties
  • indicate the colour and type of finishing materials to be used (for example colour and type of brick, render, roof tiles, windows/doors etc). If the proposed materials will match exactly those of the existing dwelling, this may be stated on the plans

Floor plans show the layout of the building. In most cases two separate sets of floor plans will be required ie both existing and proposed.

Floor plans should:

  • be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
  • be clearly annotated ‘existing’ and ‘proposed’
  • show all floor levels (including roof levels) of the building(s) being constructed, altered or extended, in relation to the remainder of the building
  • state the use of each room and include position of windows, doors, walls and partitions
  • label each floor

Details of ground levels and cross sections of the site are required for all proposals on sloping or uneven land, on sites immediately adjoining land on a different level, or where any change in ground levels is proposed.

The information submitted should demonstrate how proposed buildings relate to existing site levels and neighbouring buildings and property.

Levels should:

  • identify existing and proposed levels on the site and where levels differ from that of land immediately adjoining the site
  • be plotted on a plan (scale 1:200 or 1:500), by using spot ground levels at prominent features
  • specify a fixed and identifiable datum level, usually 'Above Ordnance Datum' - AOD

Cross sections should:

  • identify finished floor and ridge levels of buildings
  • identify existing and proposed ground levels where significant cut and fill operations are proposed, or where slopes in excess of 1 in 20 exist (or will exist)
  • show 'slices' through the land at a scale of 1:200 or 1:500
  • show existing and proposed buildings within and adjacent to the site
  • be accompanied by a plan showing the points between which the cross sections have been taken, which should also indicate the direction of north

Roof plans show the design of the roof observed from above and should be submitted where roof alterations are proposed. Both existing and proposed roof plans are required and should:

  • be to a scale of 1:50 or 1:100
  • show the position of all valleys

A street scene drawing is an elevation drawing that shows how a building will look alongside neighbouring dwellings/buildings once it has been extended/erected.

Street scenes are usually required for works that will be visible from the road – especially new buildings or large side extensions that will be near to the boundary/neighbouring building, or where there is a notable difference in heights between the proposed works and neighbouring dwellings/buildings.

Street scenes should:

  • be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:200
  • as a minimum, accurately show the height and outline of neighbouring dwellings/ buildings and the position and size of windows/doors
  • accurately show any differences in levels
  • include written dimensions for gaps between buildings
  • state the direction in which the street scene faces (for example 'street scene viewed from……. Road').

If the proposal involves any works that would affect any trees within the application site, or adjoining the site, for example, the felling of a tree or the pruning or lopping of branches, or if the proposal involves any new planting, landscaping details and plans will be required.

Landscaping plans should be based on a site plan and show:

  • the position and spread of the existing trees
  • details of any trees to be retained, including the spread, and any tree protection measures or construction techniques to retain trees
  • the species of the trees and details of their condition
  • an indication of which trees, if any, are to be felled
  • details of the size, species and condition of trees to be felled
  • details of the size, species, numbers and locations of all new planting

The following generic advice is relevant to all plans and drawings:

  • all plans and drawings must be accurately drawn, using a conventional metric scale such as 1:100 or 1:50.If more than one scale is used on a page please clearly indicate the scale of each individual drawing
  • all annotations should be at a font size to enable it to be easily read - point 10 or more
  • drawings on A3 are generally easier to handle, particularly when viewing on line and should be used where appropriate
  • plans/drawings must not contain disclaimers such as 'Not to Scale' and 'Do Not Scale' (perspectives excepted) and drawings must be drawn true to the stated scale(s)
  • it is good practice to include relevant measured dimensions annotated on the plans/drawings
  • the clearest way to present proposals is to group 'existing' and 'proposed' drawings side by side, using the same scale for both
  • each plan/drawing should have a title box stating:
    - the address and proposal
    - the title of the drawing (eg 'existing rear elevation, proposed floor plan')
    - the date
    - scale of the drawing
    - the drawing number, with revisions clearly identified using the same plan number and a sequential letter
  • fully annotated plans and drawings are more understandable, eg if a line is shown on the plan between two properties, it can be annotated by adding 'boundary fence' or similar
  • every plan (including all copies) based upon Ordnance Survey maps should have the appropriate Ordnance Survey copyright notice
  • it is good practice to submit the site location plan on a separate sheet of paper to aid consultation
  • all the plans submitted should be identified on a plan schedule, and the schedule updated if any amended plans are submitted

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • residential development on rural exception sites
  • residential development where it is proposed to erect 5 or more dwelling houses
  • redevelopment of existing affordable housing sites
  • any other development where affordable housing is proposed

Description of document

All proposals for 5 or more dwellings require an element of affordable housing to be provided. Therefore, we will require information concerning provisions to be made for both the affordable housing and any open market housing. The Statement should include:

  • the numbers of residential units
  • the mix of units, with numbers of habitable rooms and/or bedrooms, or the floor space of habitable areas of residential units
  • plans showing the location of units and their number of habitable rooms and/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
  • details of any Registered Providers acting as partners in the development

Where to go for assistance

The Council will be producing Supplementary Planning Guidance on the provision of affordable housing.

Types of application or development which require this information.

All development:

  • where there is a reasonable likelihood that any important biodiversity or geological conservation features may be present or nearby and where they are likely to be affected by the proposal
  • in or adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • in or adjacent to National Nature Reserve (NNR)
  • in or adjacent to Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI)
  • in or adjacent to Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)
  • in or adjacent to a Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
  • in or adjacent to a Wildlife Network Site (WNS)

Description of document

Undertaken by a qualified ecological consultant at an appropriate time of year, information should be provided on existing nature conservation interest of the site and adjacent land and the possible impacts on the habitats and species present, in order 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.

Information might form part of an 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, rough grassland or alterations to watercourses may affect protected or notable species and you will need to provide information on use of the site by such species, any potential impacts on them and any mitigation proposals for such impacts.

Where to go for assistance

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • All development of 1 hectare or over in Flood Zone 1, and any development* in Flood Zones 2 and 3

    * Including ‘minor development and changes of use’ (Footnote to Para 103 NPPF)

Description of document

The FRA should address the issue of flood risk to both property and people.

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. This should include a response to the exception test as set out in the NPPF.

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.

Where to go for assistance

The National Planning Policy Framework and relevant planning practice guidance.

Flood zones maps are available from the Environment Agency, but reference should be made to the council’s latest flood risk evidence where available.

The agency has also produced guidance on FRA’s and standing advice.

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • all applications (except for minor applications or change of use only- NB excluding change of use to a caravan, camping or chalet site) within flood zones 2, 3a and 3b

Description of document

The FRA should address the issue of flood risk to both property and people.

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. This should include a response to the exception test as set out in the NPPF.

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.

This statement should include evidence to demonstrate that a sequential approach to site selection has been undertaken.

Where to go for assistance

The National Planning Policy Framework and relevant planning practice guidance.

Flood zones maps are available from the Environment Agency, but reference should be made to the council’s latest flood risk evidence where available.

The agency has also produced guidance on FRA’s and standing advice.

(including Historical, Archaeological features and Scheduled Ancient Monuments)

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • applications for planning permission affecting a nationally or locally listed building or its curtilage
  • applications for Listed Building Consent
  • planning applications affecting a conservation area or its setting
  • application for Conservation Area Consent;
  • planning application affecting nationally designated parks and gardens
  • planning application affecting an ancient monument or its setting

Description of document

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 listed buildings and structures, historic parks and gardens, historic battlefields and scheduled ancient monuments and 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.

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • all applications where contamination is known or suspected or the development site is in the vicinity of such land, and ground works are proposed

Description of document

The report should determine the existence of contaminated land, its nature and the risks it may pose to the proposed development and whether remedial measures are feasible to satisfactorily reduce the contamination to an acceptable level.

Where contamination is known or suspected or the development site is in the vicinity of such land, a report with a desk study listing current and historic uses of the site and adjoining land, together with a site reconnaissance shall be provided, to determine the likelihood of contamination.

In addition, where contamination is known or suspected or the site is in the vicinity of such land, a preliminary conceptual site model (showing all potential pathways between contaminants and receptors – known as pollutant linkages) shall be provided, together with a preliminary risk assessment of these pollutant linkages.

Where to go for assistance

Guidance is available in Land contamination: risk management by Environment Agency.

Types of application or development which require this information. All applications where strategic landscaping forms part of the proposal or is required to mitigate the impacts of development. This will include:

  • major residential or employment development
  • solar farm development

Description of document

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.

Types of application or development which require this information:

Same as for Landscape and large rural buildings.

Description of document

A Landscape and Visual Impact assessment should be carried out by a suitably qualified Landscape Professional. It should include:

Landscape effects assessment: deals with changes to landscape as a resource. Society as a whole has an interest in this and it is recognised as one of the key dimensions of environmental interest, alongside matters such as biodiversity, or cultural heritage. It is concerned with issues like protected landscapes, the contribution of landscape character to sense of place and quality of life for all, and the way that change may affect individual components of the landscape;

Visual effects assessment: is concerned with how the surroundings of individuals or groups of people may be specifically affected by change in the landscape. This means assessing changes in specific views and in the general visual amenity experienced by particular people in particular places.

Where to go for assistance

The Landscape Institute Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment .

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • all applications including/for floodlighting, or a significant amount of external lighting

Description of document

An assessment should provide 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, plus the expected level of luminance and glare. Lighting assessments will also be required to detail the level of luminance for all advertisements.

Where a proposal involves the scheme for the installation of Floodlights for an area (eg a Sports Pitch), these details shall include a Light Contour diagram based on a layout of the proposed facility in its context, and showing projected lux levels including ‘backlight’, which where there are differences in ground levels, is to be superimposed on a topographical survey of the site and its immediate environs

Where to go for assistance

Planning practice guidance suite

Types of application or development which require this information:

Applications for:

  • the change of use of a building currently or most recently providing a service or facility for the community, eg a rural shop or public house for example
  • proposed conversion of existing buildings outside defined settlement limits to ascertain whether there is any demand for community, Class B or other employment generating uses prior to sequential consideration of alternative uses listed in Core Strategy policy DM2 (7)

Description of document

The statement should include details of the Marketing strategy carried out prior to the submission of the planning application. Full details of what this should include are contained in Somerset West and Taunton Council Policy Guidance for change of use of rural service provision and conversion of existing buildings.

Where to go for assistance

Somerset West and Taunton Council Policy Guidance for change of use of rural service provision and conversion of existing buildings.

Types of application or development which require this information:

All applications:

  • for uses that involve activities that may generate significant levels of noise
  • for noise sensitive development (eg includes residential, schools and hospitals) adjacent to major road/transport infrastructure and other significant sources of noise

Description of document

Noise Assessments should be prepared by suitably qualified acousticians. They should usually outline the existing noise environment, the potential noise sources from the development, or the noise sources likely to affect the development, together with any mitigation measures.

Where to go for assistance

Further guidance is provided in WHO Guidelines for Community Noise

British Standard 4142 - Method for Rating Industrial Noise Affecting Mixed Residential and Industrial Areas

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • all applications for rural worker dwellings outside of defined settlement limits (this includes the conversion of existing buildings)

Description of document

The justification statement should take the form of an agricultural appraisal and establish the functional requirements for either a temporary works dwelling or new permanent accommodation.

In the case of new permanent accommodation, at least 3 years audited accounts should be submitted with the application. These should be in a separate document marked ‘confidential’ and will be used in assessing whether the enterprise is economically viable. The accounts will not be made public.

In the case of a newly created agricultural unit and the application is for a temporary building for a period of 3 years, the justification statement will need to include evidence that the proposed enterprise has been planned on a sound financial basis. This should include a business plan with financial projections.

Where to go for assistance

Former Taunton Deane Borough Council Criterion for Assessing Rural Working Dwellings

Types of application or development which require this information:

The Councils adopted Statement of Community Involvement identifies two tiers of development which requires pre-submission consultation with the local community.

Tier 1: Applications where there are considerable issues of scale and controversy, or the application is contrary to or out of line with the Development Plan policy (a 'departure' application). Also included are applications broadly in accordance with Development Plan but raising controversial issue or detail.

Tier 2: Applications of a scale or development area for which the Local Planning Authority requires wider community involvement: applications that fall within sites that are “sensitive” to development pressures and allocated sites that may not have generated significant objection through the local plan process.

Description of document

Applications 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.

Where to go for assistance

Statement of community Involvement

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • applications for the conversion of rural buildings
  • applications to carry out work to Heritage assets and Listed Buildings

Description of document

The survey will need to be carried out by a competent person and identify the condition of the building together with any recommendations for remediation. This information is required to demonstrate how the building fabric is capable of adaptation without demolition or significant rebuilding and to ensure that appropriate working methods are employed which safeguard the fabric. The statement shall include photographs as appropriate.

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • retail, leisure and office development not proposed in a town centre comprising 500 sq meters of floor space and not in accordance with an up-to-date development plan

Description of document

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. The assessment should include the need for development, whether it is of an appropriate scale, that there are no sites close to a centre for the development, that there are no unacceptable impacts on existing centres and if locations are accessible.

Where to go for assistance

Taunton Deane Core Strategy Policy CP3 and the NPPF

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • all major development where there are likely to be significant transport implications

Description of document

Information will include all existing and proposed commercial and residential vehicular and pedestrian movements to and from the site. Loading areas and arrangements for manoeuvring, servicing and parking of vehicles should also be clearly identified. It should describe and analyse existing transport conditions, how the development would affect those conditions and any measures proposed to overcome any problems.

For smaller schemes, a Transport Statement 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.

The TA 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.

Where to go for assistance

Transport evidence bases in plan making and decision taking (March 2015) published by the Department for Transport.

Building Sustainable Transport into New Developments

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • all development where there are likely to be significant transportation implications

Somerset County Council advise that as a basic threshold for travel plans are:

Full travel plans:

  • 800 sq.m. - A1 (non-food 1500m2)
  • 1500 sq.m. - B1
  • 2500 sq.m.- B2
  • 5000 sq.m.- B8
  • 50 dwellings - C3

Travel plan statements:

  • 500 sq.m.- A1
  • 1000 sq.m.- B1
  • 1500 sq.m.- B2
  • 2000 sq.m.- B8
  • 30 dwellings - C3

Measures-only travel statements:

  • 100 sq.m.- A1
  • 500 sq.m.- B1
  • 1000 sq.m.- B2
  • 1000 sq.m.- B8
  • 10 dwellings - C3

Description of document

A draft travel plan should outline the way in which the transport implications of the new development will be managed in order to ensure the minimum environmental, social and economic impacts.

Developers should state how new occupiers or customers of the development will use alternative means of travel, which do not involve private vehicle use.

The Travel Plan should include details of targets and arrangements for monitoring.

Where to go for assistance

Guidance is available through Somerset County Council.

Types of application or development which require this information:

  • 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.

Description of document

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 (2012) BS5837 ‘Trees in relation to construction - Recommendations’. Using the methodology set out in the British Standard should help to ensure that development is suitably integrated with trees and that potential conflicts are avoided.

A drawing showing new tree planting either as mitigation for proposed tree losses (to the requirements of the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard) or new landscaping should also be provided. Applicants are encouraged to discuss proposals with an Arboricultural Officer before submission.

Where to go for assistance

British Standard 5837: 2012 Trees in relation to construction