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Validating Your Planning Application ('Local List')

Documents Required by Application Type

A guide to Submitting Planning Applications (National and Local Requirements)

These pages set out what information you need to provide to enable South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council, the Local Planning Authority (LPA), to provide an efficient service.

This list and its associated documents form the basis on which planning applications are deemed valid by the LPA.

It is intended to benefit all customers by:

  • Increasing the awareness of the type of information required to ensure an application is accepted first time
  • Promoting the use of pre-application discussions and advice
  • Speeding up the registration process
  • Ensuring consistency in the approach taken by both Councils
  • Increasing the use of electronic delivery
  • Minimising the submission of additional information
  • Avoid delays during the planning process
  • Enabling the Councils to provide applicants with certainty as to the information required

Please be aware some Neighbourhood Plans may have their own requirements. You are advised to check these before submitting your application. You can find out more at our dedicated Neighbourhood Planning website.

Useful guidance is available from Gov.UK.

The information required can be split into two categories:

1. Mandatory National Requirements (required by The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2018 (DMPO) or other statutory legislation. For example:

  • The Town and Country Planning and Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2018,
  • The Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019 and
  • The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, and
  • on the national standard application forms

2. Local Requirements (set by the LPA) which are set out on these pages.

What is Validation?

Validation is the process of checking that all relevant documentation has been provided. If you submit an application without the necessary documentation, with clear inaccuracies, or without the appropriate fee, the application is not valid and will not be progressed until this is resolved. The relevant guidance notes, available with the application forms, should also be read.

Extra information requested after validation

The list of requirements is not exhaustive. The Council can still request further, or more detailed, information after validation to resolve any particular issues that arise as a result of consultation responses or Officer site visits. Any additional information not required by the Validation Checklist, but which is needed to make a decision, will be requested during the course of the application. This should be provided as soon as possible.

What happens if information is missing?

If information required by the national or local list is not provided, a notification will be sent to the agent (or applicant if no agent) giving 21 days to submit the relevant information required. If this information is not provided within 21 days a further notification will be sent giving an extra 7 days after which the application will be closed and any hard copy documents returned.

From 1 April 2022 a service charge for returned applications will be introduced. Due to a high number of invalid applications being handled by the authority which are returned prior to validation, we will reserve the right to deduct 10% of the planning fee to cover administrative costs.

How should I submit the information?

We encourage submission electronically via the Planning Portal to help us look at your application more quickly. Where the application is submitted electronically no paper copies are required at submission. However you may be contacted for additional paper copies at a later stage for larger applications. We do accept application submissions via email (with documents attached as PDFs) or CD/DVD but we are unable to accept submissions in any other electronic format e.g. USB devices.

We can accept drawings via file transfer sites, providing each document is clearly labelled with the plan type and content. You should also include a document/plan schedule.

If providing additional documents/plans we ask that use the link you will have received in your invalidation letter, and not a file transfer site. This allows us to quickly attach documents to the correct application.

When submitting via the Planning Portal it will speed up the processing of the application to upload all drawings with their full, clear and detailed title and drawing number.

We cannot accept individual documents greater than 20mb.

When submitting a hard copy application, one copy is required (however again you may be contacted for additional copies at a later stage for larger applications). We upload all documents electronically and will dispose of the hard copy; we are not able to return anything post decision.

If you need to submit information considered 'personal data' or 'sensitive personal data' under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), it should be submitted in a separate document, so it can be marked as confidential. Do not cross-reference this information in other documents. The definition of 'personal data' and 'sensitive personal data' can be found on page 8 of Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) GDPR. It includes, for example, personal circumstances or health information.

Applicants/agents are encouraged to pay by credit or debit card online but we can accept payment by telephone, BACS transfer, or by visiting either of our offices to pay electronically (when open). For more information about making a payment, please see Paying for a Planning Application.

We do not accept cheques or cash.

What if I disagree with your decision?

If you disagree with our reasons for invalidating a planning application and negotiation with us has failed, you may send a notice to us. This should set out your reasons for considering that the information requested by us, in refusing to validate the planning application, does not meet the statutory tests. The statutory tests are as follows:

  • reasonable having regard, in particular, to the nature and scale of the proposed development; and
  • about a matter which it is reasonable to think will be a material consideration in the determination of the application.

(see Section 62 (4A) of the Town and Country Planning Act and Article 11(3)(c) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order) 2015.

You should send a notice under article 12 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

On receipt of the Notice the LPA will respond with either a Validation Notice stating the information is no longer required or a Non-Validation Notice stating the information is still required to process the application.

The time scales for this process depend on the type of application as follows:

  • 16 weeks - applications subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • 13 weeks - applications for major development
  • 8 weeks - applications for all other development types

Further information can be found in Planning Practice Guidance paragraphs 049-055.

You must have submitted all the other information needed to validate the application together with the fee. Should we issue a Non Validation Notice, you may then appeal this under Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Pre Application Advice

We offer a paid pre-application service. You can find more information here.

What is a Major Application?

The following types of application are classed as 'major'

  • Residential applications for 10 or more houses or for Outline Consent on a site of 0.5 hectares or more or
  • Commercial development site of 1 hectare or more or involving floor space of 1000m2 or more

Outline/Reserved Matters Applications

Where full information has been submitted at outline stage, this information will not be required to be resubmitted at reserved matters stage. Please ensure that any reserved matters applications include all of the information necessary to address each reserved matter.

Please note: Outline applications with all matters reserved are generally not considered acceptable in AONBs or Conservation Areas.

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