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1APP update and request for feedback

by on September 27, 2011

You may be forgiven for thinking that it’s all gone quiet on the 1APP front but we are still doing our best to move development forward despite these constrained times.

We have a huge body of feedback from our customers to enlighten future improvements in functionality and usability and we’re as keen as you to make it happen. However, you’ll no doubt appreciate though that the planning landscape is moving rapidly and as a result it is difficult for us to find a fixed point on which to pin our development plan.

We hope to fully overhaul 1APP rather than simply tinker with it, but in order to avoid unnecessary expense we would like to encompass any possible changes as a result of the NPPF and other impending legislation. This is inevitably delaying things a little but will I hope lead to a better, more comprehensive and useful service.

Whilst we’re at this, I would like to ask you to tell me which ancillary permissions and licences associated with development you most regularly apply for (or receive if you are an LPA) and which if any you would like to see made accessible via the Portal.

Your responses will feed into our thinking on the next iteration of the service.

  1. Ian Martin-Harvey permalink

    Include application for Non-Material Change

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Hello Ian,
      We will build it into the online form set but are you aware you can download the form now

      • Tony Boswell permalink

        Chris, What the portal currently provide is merely a notice to interested parties. What applicant’s need is a simple form to submit to the LPA. That needs to include the site, the original planning permission number, and the applicant’s or agent’s contact details. Notes on the form should also make clear that an elevational and site plan as originally permitted and a similar drawings as now proposed to be a non-material amendments will be required. (The LPA cannot quickly judge what is or is not materaial without that illustration of before and after the amendment concerned).

  2. Finlay Scott permalink

    This is feedback rather than a comment.

    I used the Portal to submit prior notification of a proposed building (agricultural or forestry development) under the permitted development provisions. I have had no presvious experience but found the system easy to use.

    However, two points occurred to me.

    First, the declaration I was asked to gonfirm was in the form ‘I/we hereby apply for planning permission/consent …’. I wonder if this is correct, given that I was providing prior notification of permitted development, I was not applying for planning permission or consent.

    Second, although I had correctly completed the application, it was determined by the LPA (Sefton)to be invalid because I had not confirmed that the proposal was not part of a separate parcel of land but was part of the farm complex. As it happens, I think that the LPA was wrong and that the required information was contained in the narrative within the application. However, you may wish to consider whether the electronic application should be expanded to incude this confirmation as a standard question.


    • PortalDirector permalink

      Thanks for your feedback Finlay it’s much appreciated.
      I’ll get back to your points on Monday,

  3. Richard Gatley permalink

    Are you aware of the incorrect and missleading information given Planning Policy Guidance 24: Planning and Noise.

    dB(A): decibels measured on a sound level meter incorporating a frequency weighting (A
    weighting) which differentiates between sounds of different frequency (pitch) in a similar way to
    the human ear. Measurements in dB(A) broadly agree with people’s assessment of loudness.
    A change of 3 dB(A) is the minimum perceptible under normal conditions, and a change of 10
    dB(A) corresponds roughly to halving or doubling the loudness of a sound.

    3dB(A) is actually a doubling of sound pressure.

    • PortalDirector permalink

      thanks for getting in touch.
      I’ll pass this back to our policy colleagues in London for a response and respond here when I have it.

  4. Jacky Clark permalink

    I work for an LPA and have received a complaint from one of our agents that the fee calculator would not correctly assess the fee for a change of use when they applied via the portal and the portal would not allow the agent to manually adjust the fee.
    Is this something that could be addressed?

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Hi Jacky,
      could you put the agent in touch with us so that we can better understand the issue.

      • Jacky Clark permalink

        I’ll forward your details to him, thanks

  5. Paul permalink

    Hi Chris

    I use the PP to submit domestic planning applications.

    A few comments:

    1. When I want to copy \ duplicate a previous application to save time where I have a similar scheme I an unable to edit the whole copied application on a line be line basis.

    2. When you upload documents \ drawings etc you are unable to delete then wholesale i.e. just by ticking a series of box and confirming a delete prompt. The current delete process is slow.
    3.The way uploaded documents are shown makes it difficult to read as you only get a partial description on the viewing page. Can you show the uploaded documents with a full description and a thumbnail of the document \ drawings beside.

    4. Under the ‘description’ section could you have a tick box selection of the top 10 material [brick, glass, block, render, metal etc with an ‘or other’]. This would again speed up the form completion process.

    5. When uploading files \ documents the name of the item to upload must omit various symbols e.g. – \ etc. This restricts the naming of the file especially where you have drawing numbers with revisions noted and stops the upload.

    The PP is a great facility – keep up the good work!


    • PortalDirector permalink

      Thanks for the feedback Paul, we’re listening.

  6. It would be useful to have a notes section at the bottom of the application for any important notes to be inputted, ie regarding fees or previous discussions.

  7. timw1 permalink

    I use the Portal mainly for small domestic extensions, usually outside the scope of permitted development. To save paper for Clients and Contractors I often incorporate Block, Site and Location Plans within larger sheets showing floor plans, elevations, etc.
    Because of the mandatory requirements this is not recognised by the system, even when the Block Plan, for example, is mentioned in the description of the download.
    Is there some way of overcoming this and preventing the necessity of downloading the same drawing twice as this also slows the whole process?
    Otherwise, I would not use any other method of submission – excellent!!

    • WBa permalink

      I would second this request. If a drawing type (i.e. ‘block plan’) has already been submitted with, say the location plan then in the past we have ticked the ‘sent by post’ box just to validate the application on the PP. However recently this has caused the LA admin teams some confusion and led to delays in registering applications.

      Is there a way to include ‘already submitted/included with drawing ref.xxxxx’ as an option.

      Materials ‘drop down menu’ would be a great idea – including ‘as existing’ which is probably a common material choice. The way of editing/inputting each element of the proposals is somewhat ‘clunky’ since each element has to be saved seperately, rather than fill all the fields in and save once.

      Otherwise great system that (usually) saves us time and expense.

  8. Tamsin Cook permalink

    The following as 1App forms would be useful:-

    Hazardous Substances Consent
    Application to modify or discharge a planning obligation
    High Hedges complaints

  9. •I agree, drop down menus would be a great improvement

    •I also agree that it should not be necessary to have to submit a separate site location plan if it’s included on a drawings sheet

    • A small point but on the Type of planning permission page the No & Yes buttons are too far from Next. Also the default selection should surely be Yes as most agents know which type of app they want.

  10. Our conservation officer has asked if an Impact and Justification section can be included on the Listed Building Consent form as this is often missed by applicants/agents if they don’t download our help notes (which include a relevant form for this) with the application form.

  11. WBa permalink

    A great benefit for agents like me would be to have a weblink or similar to all registered applications returned to the planning portal. That way I could track all my applications throughout the process from the PP without having to negotiate the maze of varying planning registers provided by each different LPA.

  12. Paul Robinson permalink

    As an Agent, I too would like to see included online an application for non material change. The actual form for download is a “locked” form, so I am unable to fill it in on the computer. I have to print it off and write it out by hand.

    When I called the technical team about this, I was told it was for security reasons! Why should a blank form be locked for security reasons? It would of course be best to have the form available online to speed things up.

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Hi Paul,
      this form was accidentally omitted from the original 1App set and only recently added as a PDF form.
      We have included a fully e-enabled version in our plans for the next incarnation of 1App which (fingers crossed) we hope to secure funding for soon.

  13. Jo Ma He permalink

    It would be really useful to add a ‘comments box’ at the end of each 1App section.
    It is a bit cumbersome to have to upload additional documents, when a space for a ‘one-liner’ would be sufficient.

    Would it also be possible to add a section for Bacs payments under the fee section ? Some of our Clients pay the fee directly to the Council and a box where one can input the Bacs reference number would be very handy.

    Kind Regards


    • PortalDirector permalink

      we’ll include your BACs suggestion in our thinking on the next iteration of 1App.

  14. Andrew Rogers AADip ACArch DipTP MRTPI DipEnv&Dev permalink

    I am still collecting comments from members of the Association of Consultant Architects. Is there a deadline – when are you likely to update the system??

    • PortalDirector permalink

      we are still in the process of sourcing funding and making the case for upgrade.
      We believe that 1App needs a root and branch upgrade and are confident well suceed but this needs to fight its corner for constrained funding.

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