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Local validation checklist

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Before a planning application can be accepted by a local planning authority, it must contain sufficient information to enable it to be properly assessed. The Government have introduced national planning application forms, which must be completed and have also made it necessary to submit certain other plans and documents with planning applications. These are known as national requirements and are set out in the online Planning Practice Guidance published by the Government. The Government has devolved the power to request additional information to local authorities where this is required. These are known as local requirements and must be reasonable, having regard to the nature and scale of the proposed development, and be about matters that will be a material consideration in the determination of the application.

We have combined the national and local requirements into one validation checklist for each type of planning application, which are set out below. The Government has made it compulsory for local authorities to publish these checklists online and to review them at intervals of no more than two years, to make sure their local requirements are up to date and proportionate.

The current local checklist was updated following a public consultation period in November 2013, taking account of changes in government legislation that affected the national requirements, particularly the changes to the circumstances in which Design and Access Statements could be required and the abolition of conservation area consent. It also updated references to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) introduced to replace references to earlier planning policy guidance.

In January 2016, consideration was given as to whether we should revise the existing local checklist. However, we have decided that the existing local list is satisfactory and is still fit for purpose and that no changes to the list of information requirements are necessary. Accordingly, the relevant local checklists for the different types of planning application that continue to be in force are republished below.

For the sake of clarity, the main changes that were introduced in the 2013 review and are still in effect are:

  • Making it mandatory to include a scale bar on detailed plans. This has been included because the main medium for public viewing of plans is now online and it is important that accurate measurements of plans can be made
  • Making it mandatory to include a scale layout plan at either 1:500 or 1:200 on outline applications to show the approximate location of buildings, routes and open spaces. This has been included as the previous national requirement for this information has been removed, but our experience is that local residents and consultees consider this information to be essential to help judge the acceptability of a proposal;
  • Clarifying that noise assessments will be required when a residential development is proposed adjacent to or in close proximity of a noise generating industrial use. This is required in order to make sure that the amenity of the residents of the proposed dwellings will not be unacceptably disturbed by existing noise sources.
  • Clarifying the level of information required with listed building applications.

Whilst we can insist on an applicant supplying any element of the local list, the applicant can set out in writing, reasons why they do not consider it necessary to do so in the individual circumstances of their proposal. We will consider all such requests. The aim in each case is to make sure that sufficient information is submitted to enable all parties (including third parties wishing to comment on an application) to properly assess the impacts of a planning application.

On larger or more controversial applications, it will normally be better to seek pre-application advice from us to agree the information that should accompany an application. Although there is a charge for this service, it should save money and time overall by making sure that unnecessary reports are not submitted.

The local checklist may be updated from time to time to reflect changes in government legislation. However, no additional requirements to the local checklist will be added without prior public consultation. Those using the links in the checklists to the ‘Communities and government validation guidance’ should be aware that whilst this document sets out good practice, it is no longer formal government policy, having been replaced by the web-based online Planning Practice Guidance introduced in 2014.

February 2017

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Last updated: 22 February 2016


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