Development management answers: How should application sites be identified?

Q I am dealing with a pre-application enquiry in which the applicant is the council I work for....

Q I am dealing with a pre-application enquiry in which the applicant is the council I work for. It is trying to determine the extent of the red-lined site boundary and where to draw the line. Is there any advice you can give me on this or point me to in the National Planning Policy Framework or the Development Management Procedure Order? AT

Q As part of its validation requirements, our local authority insists on submission of a site location plan for all planning applications. Where does this requirement come from? Is there any reference to it in planning legislation? JM

A Article 7 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 sets out the requirements for a planning application. These include a plan which identifies the land to which the application relates, and any other plans, drawings and information necessary to describe the development. The first requirement would certainly necessitate a location plan drawn to a recognisable scale with a north point. On receiving an application, the local planning authority must record the application on its public register. How could that be done without a location plan? Bob Britnell

 A In common sense terms, the planning authority, consultees and third parties need to be able to identify the land and some of these parties may not be familiar with the specific location. I have had occasions when validation officers have rejected location plans because they do not comply with their authority’s requirement that such plans include two named or numbered roads. However, on each occasion, the officers have backed down once I pointed out that the sites were very rural and to show even numbered roads would mean the scale would be unacceptable. Paul Barkley

B There is advice on location plans in connection with making planning applications in paragraph 024 ID: 14-024-20140306 of Planning Practice Guidance and also in the “Maps, plans and planning applications: what to submit” section of the Planning Portal. Normally the application site that should be edged red is the planning unit, but this is not always the case - for example, it may be different for greenfield development. The red-lined site boundary should clearly include all land on which development is to take place, but sometimes it is appropriate to include further land such as areas where visibility splays might be required. Other land under the applicant’s control should be edged blue. If you are making a planning application where the fee is based on site area, my tip would be to draw the site boundary as tightly as possible to just cover the land where development is proposed to take place and include any other related land, such as the rest of the planning unit, within the blue-lined boundary. John Harrison

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