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Local Authority bulletin - April 2018

Published: Monday, 30th April 2018

GDPR: Forthcoming changes to our application services, Planning and building policy changes, and more...

Please note that this applies to both English and Welsh local authorities, though different actions are required for point two (below).

Over the last few of months we have sent a number of communications and reminders advising that the historic links on your local authority website need to be updated to links.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) are currently supporting redirects to both the Planning Portal website (including the 1App paper application forms) and access for your integrated 1APP connectors to retrieve applications, but this support is being withdrawn.

It is vital to your service continuity that you arrange for the links on your site to be updated as soon as possible, as we cannot guarantee that old links will work.

What you need to do:

1. Updating your 1APP connector

If it isn’t you/your team that has responsibility for IT and integration to the Planning Portal, please contact your IT team and/or ICT supplier to discuss as soon as possible.

You will need to ensure that your 1APP connector integration is now using the correct web service URL and IP addresses.

Failure to make this change ASAP may result in application download failures that will need to be manually downloaded and re-keyed into your back-office system.

To update your integration the correct connector URL is:

The Planning Portal IP address is

If you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact the Planning Portal Support team on

2. Updating your website links

To help you update the links on your website to the Planning Portal, we have created a planning links guide for local authorities.

Using these links will ensure customers will continue to be signposted to each Planning Portal service and have a positive experience using our site and yours.

Access the links guide.

If your local authority continues to provide individual links to each of the planning application forms, a note on updating them can be accessed here.

For local authorities in Wales

From 29 May 2018, the Welsh Government will be providing the application service for Wales and associated homeowner content.

We wrote to all Welsh authorities on 5 April to advise of changes to the online planning application service in Wales, including some changes to application forms themselves.

For your convenience we have created a document outlining the changes.


As you are no doubt aware the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018.

We are making changes to our service to ensure compliance with this regulation.

In regard to submission of planning and building control applications, we will be updating the content of our application services and corresponding terms and conditions and privacy policies to ensure that users provide explicit consent to send application data to local authorities.

Additionally, for our blank PDF application forms available through our paper forms chooser and the direct links we supply to local authorities, we are inserting Planning Portal branding and a privacy statement to ensure users are aware that these forms are provided by Planning Portal for the sole purpose of submitting an application to a local authority.

View a mockup of the front page of the form.

Please note that:

  • text is still to be finalised
  • each LPA's logo will be shown in the blank space under the 'Local Planning Authority details' header.

By making these changes, you can be sure that regardless of how applications are received from Planning Portal (PDF documents, paper forms or online applications), the validation process will be the same for you.  This means that your authority’s responsibilities under GDPR will begin when the application is received, as per the 'Data not obtained directly from data subject' column of the ICO's guidance.

We can confirm that these forms will replace the current versions before 25 May. Exact implementation dates are still to be confirmed, but will be communicated on our knowledge hub group and to all LAs.

We will also be providing content and guidance in regard to GDPR, which will be made available on the Planning Portal in advance of the legisaltion taking effect.

Permitted development rights for agricultural sites

In response to amendments introduced by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2018 that came into effect on 6 April 2018, we have updated our content and PDF forms and will shortly be updating our online application service.

Content in the 'Change of Use' common project section has been updated in regard to the amended Permitted Development rights for Agricultural Buildings changing to Dwellinghouses.

The Prior Approval form in this regard (Notification for Prior Approval of Proposed Change of Use of Agricultural Building to a Dwellinghouse (Use Class C3), and for Associated Operational Development) has also been updated to account for the changes and additional information requirements.

Separately, we have also updated the relevant sections of our 'Application for Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry development - Proposed Building'.

  • The content and help text updates to the 'Proposed Building' question on our online (1App) version of the form have been provided to our supplier and should take effect shortly.
  • Updates to the PDF form, available through our paper forms chooser and the direct links we supply to local authorities, are already live.

The guidance note and help text for this application type have also been updated to better reference the legislation.

Approved Document L1B and the Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide

Approved Document L1B and the Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide were both updated on 6 April 2018. The updated documents deliver guidance on compliance for building work carried out in England.

The changes apply in respect of:

  • Building notices given, full plans deposited or initial notices given on or after 6 April 2018
  • The contract for the provision of the work being agreed on or after 6 April 2018 in cases where no notification to a building control body is required.

Approved Document L1B is a building regulation for England, regarding the standard for energy performance of new and existing buildings.

The Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide is a document which supports Approved Documents L1A, L2A, L1B and L2B.

You can read some additional information on the changes below:

Circular 01/2018: Amended Approved Document L1B and Domestic Building Services Compliance guide.

We are delighted to announce that we will be launching the new planning application service for Wales on the 29 May 2018. From this date, applications for planning permission in Wales should be submitted via the dedicated service; Planning Applications Wales

Planning Portal user account details will continue to work on the new service, and applications already created in draft on the Planning Portal will be available to edit and submit.  Any applications already in draft will continue to be available on both services and no work will be lost.

Applicants will only be able to submit/view applications to local planning authorities (LPAs) in Wales on the service and should continue to submit/view applications to LPAs in England on the Planning Portal. If they try to submit an application to the incorrect region they will receive a message informing them of the issue and a link will be provided to access the correct service.

For local authorities, there will be no impact on any ICT systems that link to the service.

Find out more from Welsh Government.

We are delighted to report that we now have 71 local authorities signed up to our Payment ReDirect service. Take-up continues to increase and we successfully processed 106 payments in January, 146 in February and 165 in March. The service allows clients to securely and easily pay for planning applications submitted by their agents.

It offers the following benefits:

  • Secure and simple: Applicants receive an instant payment notification to pay online, with a daily reminder to ensure prompt payment. The agent will be notified when they’ve paid.
  • No additional costs: There are no system or back-office implementation costs, ongoing license fees, IT implications or extra admin or finance work – your local authority benefits from receipt of the whole fee!
  • Speeds up validation: Removes cheque payments from the process, streamlining and improving registration and validation times, saving you time and money.
  • Reduces financial risk: The client pays directly, so no cash flow or VAT issues for agents.

Please note - this is an additional Payment option and does not replace any existing options.

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.

For more information, contact Ian Foster at the Planning Portal.