Skip to content

Feedback needed: Additional information requirements, new consent types and pre-app

by on August 5, 2011

We’re looking at three new areas and we’d like your input to help us understand the size of the problem and opportunity.

Additional Information

Firstly we’d like you to tell us what you think of the supporting documentation provided with an application.

  • What would you like to see removed or replaced?
  • Are there too many?
  • Are they unnecessary?
  • How could requirements be better served?

Please tell me what you think.

New Consent types

It has been suggested that other consent types could be co-located with 1APP or elsewhere on the Portal.

The view being that it would be easier for applicants if all the consents and licences required to support a development were in one place.

  • What do you think?
  • Which consents do you most commonly use?
  • Would it help if you could re-populate forms with data from the original application?

We already know about building control notices but what about erecting scaffolding etc?

Finally Pre-Applications

Would local planning authorities like us to develop pre-app forms?

Over to you…

  1. Downlands Design & Surveying permalink

    Firstly you can not reduce the number of documents required to support an application this is what it is. Howvever you can make the uploading of documents much simpler and quicker. The repetitive of the data required for each separate document is tedious to say the least. Even Submit a Plan has a better document upload than yours. Can we not just check a box alongside the document subject to confirm we are uploading it and then bulk upload a folder for instance.

    Consent types – can you not get the extension of time app an dthe non material minor amendment on line please. This must be your priority. Presumably you invented these apps to help the economy and rightly so they are popular, so why not online?

    I wouldn’t worry about other application types that are not planning related unless you are going to get BRegs on the system then others could follow perhaps. Are scaffold licienses not outside your area of expertise?

    I don’t know how LPAs will react to preapp forms but it would be nice to know that where we think preapp is appropriate that a standard format is available through the Planning Portal.



    • PortalDirector permalink

      Firstly thanks for yor response.
      You’ll no doubt be aware that we are part of DCLG and its our colleagues in head office that have asked us to ask you about information requirements as part of Governments committment to simplify planning and reduce bureaucracy.

      With regards to consent types again Government is asking the question how can we simplify the process. Forgetting about who does what at present and genuinely trying to put the custmer first.

      On multiple uploads i hear you loud and clear, we are desperate to resolve this issue and we’re doing all we can to raise the funds to make it happen. The same is true of NMAs and extending permissions.

      • Colin @ GRPA permalink

        Hearing you loud and clear Chris, but surely if funds are scarce to do really important, relatively easy, useful things as above, then there is probably going to be a marked reluctance to ask for unimportant, relatively difficult, not that useful things – especially in case these take preferance over the former.

        But while we are on the subject, things like Design and Access Statements are only productive, IMHO, for large scale developments and listed building consents. If an agent wants/needs to make a case for other developments then something similar will automatically be submitted voluntarily. No need for coersion and wasted effort!

        And now the bit is between my teeth, can there not also be simplified forms for proposed/existing Certificates of Lawful Development (could even be one form as per proposed and retrospective planning?) for Householder extensions/development? Shoehorning an application for a residential PD loft extension into a CLOPUD form is an experience…


    Should retrospective planning approvals be made unlawfull ?

    If not, then councils should ensure retrospective applications comply with all the criteria that would normally be submitted as part of a normal application.

    My experience (and evidence fully substantiated) allowed our neighbour to apply for retrospective approval even though they built on part of our land to include drains.

    One LPA i deal with stated “they do not get involved in Building Regualtions, Land Ownership, Drains and therefore passed the application stating that it is now a civil matter, thus costing me over £8,000 in legal costs, so far.

    Surely, prevention and common sense is far better for Councils to utilise their time and listen to the objections and maybe arrange a committeee meeting rather than one person making that decision.

  3. Richard Fletcher permalink

    On a recent planning application I was asked to provide a flood risk assessment.
    I wonder why this isn’t part of the LPA responsibility to either:
    a: Request a risk assessment from the local environment agency, in the same way they ask for comments from the traffic management officer for example.
    b. Make a decision based on their own data. They have after all access to flood mapping and records of the authorities flood management provision in the locality. Passing the buck???

  4. Alan S permalink

    I suggest that where there is an established street address maps should not be necessary. Thank You for asking.

    • I get what you are saying but some locations can be a bit obscure eg in countryside so a clear SL map is needed. Site layout plans (block plans) are essential for neighbours really but they are rarely sufficiently detailed (I include myself here!)

      • PortalDirector permalink

        thanks for your help and feedback it’s much appreciated.

  5. It is excellent that you are seeking this kind of feedback. Just a few thoughts on how things might be improved:

    1. Forms for non-material amendments and minor amendments are not on the system

    2. The file capacities are not large enough for big applications

    3. The information required for applications is too onerous and cumbersome (and I suspect not read by the case officers due to the volume of material expected).

    4. Sustainability issues such as energy, SUDS, etc should be incorporated in the building regs and taken out of the planning arena. This would ensure consistency over the country and be a marker that we take the issues seriously as developers would have to meet the building reg standards.

    5. The appeals submissions are now too constrained by the format required for uploading information.

  6. Paul Boucher permalink


    With more and more LA’s charging for pre-application advice, I would like to see LA pre-app application forms available via the planning portal. These could either be a standardised form (as with 1APP) and a fee calculator that would be customisable by the LA or a user definable form. The ablity to take payments for Pre-app via the same mechanism at for planning applications would be most welcome.


  7. Richard Fletcher permalink

    On the subject of supporting documentation it occurs to me that provided the “boxes” are all ticked the LPA rear ends are covered and who cares if good design is left bleeding to death?!!

  8. I think that Pre-Application Enquiries should be able to be submitted via the Planning Portal, if not for small schemes then certainly for large developments.

    Also, the lack of ability to upload a “non-material amendment” is most frustrating. Surely, if the original application has already been processed through the Portal then, tagging an NMA against this would be an efficient process?

    Overall though, I’ve used the Portal for a couple of years and it continues to improve.

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Hi Paul,
      there certainly appears to be a growing feeling that a pre-app form would be a useful addition to our form set. We’ll seek some feedback on the idea from LPAs and report back.
      The NMA upload is already being assessed as part of our existing 1App upgrade project.

  9. Sir Having read Mr Roger Milne Oct 6th about the NPPF and the Government’s interest in the upgrading the LPA applications , the Electronic methods to make it economic and problem free both for public and to LPA, There seems the combining problems for the two (1) Planning Permission (2) The Building Reg, I hope these also have to be attended at the LC level with improvements to CAD use by the Staff working in the above two departments. Thanks

Please give us your feedback but we won’t publish any comments that are not constructive or that criticise any individual, any named business or any local authority. Please note, all comments will be moderated before being published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: