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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 31/03/2008
1APP – INTRODUCTION OF NATIONAL PLANNING APPLICATION FORMS AND REVISED VALIDATION PROCESS



Summary & Purpose
This report explains the introduction of a new set of national planning application forms and a revised validation process coming into force on 6th April 2008. As part of the new validation process for planning applications, a local authority can adopt a local set of requirements following consultation with interested parties. The purpose of this report is to inform members about the proposed local requirements, the outcome of the consultation and to recommend adoption of these requirements.

APPENDIX F
Waverley Borough Council
ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
31st March 2008
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Title:
1APP – INTRODUCTION OF NATIONAL PLANNING APPLICATION FORMS AND REVISED VALIDATION PROCESS
[Portfolio Holder for Planning: Cllr B A Ellis]
[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

This report explains the introduction of a new set of national planning application forms and a revised validation process coming into force on 6th April 2008. As part of the new validation process for planning applications, a local authority can adopt a local set of requirements following consultation with interested parties. The purpose of this report is to inform members about the proposed local requirements, the outcome of the consultation and to recommend adoption of these requirements.
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Environmental implications:

The new validation requirements will greatly assist in obtaining appropriate environmental information on the impact of planning application proposals, including biodiversity, flood risk, transport assessments etc.

Social / community implications:

The new application forms and validation requirements will improve the detail and consistency of information accompanying a planning application and therefore better inform the community.

E-Government implications:

The introduction of 1APP is aimed at encouraging the electronic submission of planning applications as well as consultation via the website and email.

Resource and legal implications:

The increase of electronically submitted applications will result in an increase in printing costs to the planning service as the case officer and some consultees still require paper copies of the application. The 1APP forms in hard copy are much lengthier than Waverley’s original forms and this will also increase copying costs.
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1. Background

1.1 Each planning authority traditionally has had their own set of planning application forms and may ask for different levels of information in support of an application. However there has always been a minimum amount of information that is statutorily required to make the application ‘valid’.

1.2 As part of the drive to provide a quicker, more predictable and efficient planning service the Government is introducing a new standard electronic planning application form called 1APP. Alongside this and to support the use of the standard application form, the Government is also introducing new information requirements for the validation of planning applications.

2. 1APP

2.1 From the 6th April 2008 a national standard planning application form (1APP) will replace all existing types of planning application forms (except minerals) within England and 1APP will become the only legal way of submitting a planning application. No other forms will be accepted after 6th May.

2.2 This move has been made by Government to simplify the submission of planning applications. No longer will an applicant have to submit two forms when putting in a planning application and a listed building consent. In future they can be submitted together on a combined form. In addition the government is encouraging the electronic submission of applications via the Planning Portal.

2.3 The advantage of receiving applications electronically is that it dispenses with the need to scan the application; it can be copied directly into the document image system and thence onto the website for consultation purposes.

2.4 The downside of the system is that the applicant can pass on the cost of printing the application papers to the local authority. A hard copy is still required by the case officer, some statutory consultees and for use at the locality offices. For complex applications this can be quite an overhead.

2.5 The 1APP forms are now in their final format and no changes can be made.

3. Validation Procedure

3.1 In addition to the introduction of the mandatory standard application form, the Government is also intending to introduce further information requirements for the validation of planning applications. The purpose of the new validation arrangements, is to:
3.2 A national list of core requirements will need to be met for each application to be valid. This list includes the completed application form; correct fee; ownership certificates; design and access statement; location plan; other plans and drawings etc.

3.3 In addition, a local authority can insist on a number of local requirements chosen from a prescribed list drawn up by Government. In order for this local list to be enforceable the authority must consult on their requirements to ensure that they are clear and transparent to potential applicants before the lists are adopted and published.

3.4 Once a local planning authority has formally adopted a local list it can be used to validate applications under the amended Town and Country (General Development Procedure) Order 1995. Authorities should review their lists every three years and if they are proposing to make amendments (other than minor amendments) should re-consult and adopt new lists.

3.5 The Government expects local planning authorities to seek information that is necessary for a decision to be made and should not require a level of detail to be provided that is unreasonable or disproportionate to the scale of the application.

4. Waverley’s Local Requirements

4.1 A local list of requirements has been drawn up and consultation has been carried out during February and March with planning agents, developers, local amenity groups, parish and town councils and members. The list of proposed local requirements is set out at Annexe 1 (not attached to the agenda due to its size, but available on request or on the Members Zone). Also attached, at Annexe 2, are the consultation responses and the proposed action to be taken.

4.2 It may be necessary to report orally at the meeting any comments received after agenda dispatch, as the consultation period had not concluded at the time of writing.

4.3 Responses have been received from some of the main statutory consultees. Their comments have been supportive and in some cases they have suggested additional explanatory documents to help the applicant submit the application correctly.

4.4 Some comments were received about the forms themselves. The Government has already consulted on these forms and no further representations can be made at this time.



5. Conclusion

5.1 The introduction of 1APP and new validation procedures are to be welcomed as they clarify the planning authority’s expectations regarding the information needed to submit a valid application. It also makes the process more transparent and consistent for agents and applicants.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee makes any observations to the Executive about adopting the local list of requirements for the validation of planning applications set out at Annexe 1 to this report together with the amendments set out at Annexe 2.
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Background Papers (CEx)

The Validation of Planning Applications - Guidance for local planning authorities published by the Department for Communities and Local Government December 2007.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Louise Norie Telephone: 01483 523464
E-mail: lnorie@waverley.gov.uk

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