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More about LDCs, CLPDS et al

by on June 17, 2009

I’ve noticed statements on at least 2 LPA’S websites making it clear they will no longer respond with informal written advice on PD unless it is in the form of a CLPD.

How common is this approach becoming and what are the drivers, is it the money, complexity of PD or something else entirely?

I’d love to know as it will help us shape our priorities.


  1. Its the complexity of a PD enquiry. These consume significant officer resources and must leave an audit trail to be accessed when the inevitable enforcement complaint arrives on an unathorised development.
    And if resources are consumed then they have been taken fronm somewhere else, ergo there is a cost.
    And the best way of filling that income gap that has grown since the credit crunch is a Certificate application. Thats got the potential to generate significant income and offset the reource implications. We are a Metropolitan Borough and have been getting arounf 800-900 written PD enquireis a year. Verbal advice is dangerous and no longer given.
    We know that if you charge £75 a time you easily offset the 20% income drop thats common across LPA’s at the moment on applications. And what do points make? Prizes (Planners. It just takes a political and managemant decsion to put it in place, and that’s likely acros the national scene very soon.
    And the customer gets a paid for better resourced service that issues the Certificate or rejection smoothly, quickly and with a document that is actually worth the paper its written on.

  2. I suggest this demonstrates, quite clearly, that the changes to GDPDO in October last year have done more to confuse than simplify the PD situation for domestic properties.

    With agents and applicants requesting clarification/interpretation, evinced by some LPAs only responding formally via CLPD, simply proves that LPAs are becoming inundated with requests for calrification – a prediction I made some time ago when the proposed October changes were first muted.

    Barry Bridgwood (agent in North Norfolk)

  3. At Charnwood Borough Council we no longer give advice on PD for Householder developments. When the changes to the GPDO came in we identified that we could change the process and put the ownous onto the applicant or their agent to self assess their proposal in respect of the legislation. We developed forms for this which is really a simplified expert system.
    Most authorities have forms they require to be completed and only respond on the information they have been supplied with. Before the introduction of our self assessment forms we received approximately 500 enquiries per year, each one needed to be checked, assessed and responded to. We have spent time developing our self assessment forms, other authorities have copied us and we have improved the forms based on feed back. With these forms we are making significant savings and the applicants/agents have been positive, they get an immediate answer and can adjust a scheme to ensure it is PD.
    We have only seen a slight increase in the submission of CLUED applications and no significant changes to enforcment cases. The forms are also being used by planners and enforcement officers in checking schemes.
    It is interesting to note that of the 500 enquiries we used to receive the majority were from agents who knew the legislation but wanted written confirmation to pass to their paying clients. The legal standing of the advice given previously was questionable, although we did include a disclaimer and invited the submission of a CLUED.
    The self assessment forms are now clear in that they are a guide and we do provide advice on our web site on how to interpret the meaning of the legislation but the only we to get an official response is through the submission of a CLUED.
    See our forms and advice at
    If anyone has any suggestions to improve our forms or the advice we give please contact me

  4. Don Welburn permalink

    I have downloaded the Charnwood District Council’s ‘Do I need Planning Permission’ checklist and find it most useful when assessing a project.

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