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Architect Bulletin - January 2018

Published: Wednesday, 31st January 2018

This month's bulletin includes information about the increase in planning application fees, online building control applications, ReQuestaPlan maps and the Payment ReDirect service.

Welcome to the first Architect’s Bulletin from the Planning Portal, our monthly briefing designed to bring you news about our latest products and services, industry developments, legislative changes and much more.

As part of our mission to transform planning and building control, we want to engage with architects to improve processes, identify issues and work together to support the sector.

As a user of our services we hope you’ll find this bulletin useful in keeping you up-to-date with critical changes and improvements, as well as helping you to get the most out of the application service and the wide range of accurate and informative content we maintain.  We would also welcome your ideas on subject matter to include. 

So, without further delay, here’s the latest from the Planning Portal.

Following changes introduced by the Government on 17 January 2018, the Planning Portal has successfully deployed application fee changes in response to the legislation that increased planning application fees by 20 per cent in England, removed some exemptions, and introduced new categories in regard to applications for Permission in Principle. 

View ‘The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017’.

What we did

We can confirm that:

  • We have updated and tested all the fee values for applications in England on the integrated and standalone fee calculators to match the new legislation.
  • We updated the fee calculators at 00:00 on the 17 January to minimise the chances of applications being submitted with incorrect fees.
  • We have amended the text in regard to the fee exemption for Article 4 directions (or previously imposed conditions) to warn users that the exemption is no longer valid for applications in England and should therefore not be used. Note that we have retained the exemption for applications in Wales.
  • All draft applications in England on our system with previously calculated fees have had these cleared as part of the work, forcing users to recalculate them with the new higher values.
  • Users amending previously submitted applications are warned that the fees have changed and that they may need to pay a higher fee on re-submission.
  • Finally, we have updated our PDF fee schedule for England:, so any existing links to it will show the updated version (note that if you are still seeing the old version, you may need to clear your browser cache).


Details of the legislation’s progress:

Do you know you can also submit building control applications online via the Planning Portal? 

We know that architects take a holistic approach to planning and building control so we hope that the introduction of our free building control application service will help you by providing a familiar and consistent approach.

We are pleased to report that 15,028 building control applications were successfully submitted via our service in 2017, which continues to grow on a daily basis. Coupled with the fact that two-thirds of local authority building control departments (LABCs) and several Approved Inspectors are already supporting the service, we are confident this service will go from strength-to-strength in 2018.

If you haven’t tried it already, why not give it a go?  Application forms only take a few minutes to complete.

If you want to see which LABCs are signed up, take a look at our map or if you’re not sure who to submit to, you can Find your LABC team or access our Approved Inspectors Directory.

March 2017 saw the launch of ReQuestaPlan, our digital mapping tool, which sits as part of a suite of map products in our Buy A Plan service. Developed by our parent company, TerraQuest, this handy tool delivers compliant, low cost maps for planning and building control applications in minutes. Starting at only £8 plus VAT, we are proud to say this is the lowest price on the market.

We knew that applicants needed a tool that was reliable, compliant, simple to use and supported different payment options, including professional accounts – and that’s what we delivered. We’re looking forward to launching new features this year as well as a new look website which caters specifically for professionals.

To find out more about ReQuestaPlan email Lawrence Ngorand or call 07545 937 798.

We are delighted to report that we now have 60 local authorities signed up to our Payment ReDirect service. The service allows clients to securely and easily pay for planning applications submitted by their agents and offers the following benefits:

  • Secure and simple: Your client receives an instant payment notification to pay online, with a daily reminder to ensure prompt payment.  You get notified when they’ve paid.
  • Speeds up validation: Removes cheque payments from the process, streamlining and improving registration and validation times, saving you, your clients and LPAs time and money.
  • Reduces financial risk: The client pays directly so no cashflow or VAT issues for you.
  • Keeps the Planning Portal core service free: By allowing your customers to use our redirect service if they choose, you’ll be helping us to keep our core services free for our 500k monthly users.

Find out which local authorities are signed up to the service here. You can find out how the service works with our comprehensive user guide.

Contact Ian Foster at the Planning Portal for more information.

We are always looking for ways to improve our products, services and website content and better serve our community. If you have any comments or suggestions, or would like to know more about our products and services, please contact us at