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Architect Bulletin - May 2018

Published: Wednesday, 23rd May 2018

This month's bulletin includes information on the changes we're making around GDPR, 'Permission In Principle' forms, BIM and LABC's 'building a safer future' conference.

The Planning Portal is committed to safeguarding your data.

As part of our updates to ensure compliance with the incoming data protection regulations (GDPR), you will notice some changes to our online service from the start of next week.

Firstly, we would strongly advise you to sign in and edit your profile from Tuesday 29th May.  This will mean we can keep in touch with you about all aspects of our current and future service. By checking your user profile is correct, you’ll be sure to get the right information for you.

Secondly, there will be some additional text around the sign in and application submission processes to inform you about how we will use the data you enter into our services. This will reinforce the information stated in our updated terms and conditions (including our privacy policy).

Finally, our PDF based application forms are being updated to refer to their intended use and how any data you provide on them will be processed.

Applications for ‘Permission In Principle’ can be submitted to Local Authorities in England from the 1st June. We will be making a downloadable PDF form available on the paper forms section of the Planning Portal.

The current scope of these applications is limited to minor residential developments with less than 10 dwellings and related non-residential work.

This specifically excludes:

Major developments: In the context of residential developments these are any proposals with 10+ dwellings; 1000+ square metres floor space; or 1+ hectare site area.

Householder development: Development of (or within the curtilage of) an existing dwelling for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling.

Habitats development: Anything that has a significant effect on a ‘European site’ or ‘European offshore marine site’.

Schedule 1 development: Any development listed in Schedule 1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations.

If ‘Permission In Principle’ is granted, an additional ‘Technical Details Consent’ (submitted as a full planning application but with specific reference to the ‘Permission in Principle’ consent) is also required before development can commence.

View government guidance on Permission In Principle.

Planning Application form changes

There will be several minor content updates made to the online and PDF application forms in the next few weeks. These are to help clarify the information that is required rather than to add or remove anything from the forms.

If the development relates to a previously granted permission in principle, the question text will specify that users need to enter the details of the consent into the ‘Description of proposed works’ field.

When the development adds or removes non-residential floor space we are updating the relevant column headers to ensure users know what values our system requires in this regard.

Where asked to provide details of any relation that the applicant or agent has to a Local Authority employee or elected member we are updating the question text to better clarify what this includes and which details should be provided.

When users are required to complete the initial Community Infrastructure Levy questions we are clarifying that proposals for new dwellings include residential annexes. This should to allow Local Authorities to more accurately determine if the levy applies to such proposals.

BuildingWorks Ad

Some of you will be aware that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a 3D-modelling process which involves collecting and managing as much information as possible on current or proposed structures.

This information is made digitally available to all relevant parties, which in principle means professionals involved at every stage of a project can make better, more informed decisions.     

We would like to know if you currently use this technology and what BIM means to you and your organisation.

Please complete a short survey to help us collect information that will help us improve our service.

It will only take a few minutes to complete the survey

Complete the survey

The information you provide in this survey will be used to help us write a report, due to be published in the summer.

If you would like further information about our research or would like us to share this report with you, please email

The Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety- Final Report: Are you ready for how will it affect our industry?

The final Hackitt Report has just been published.  How will its recommendations affect the way the industry and legislation works together?

On Monday 18 June, Local Authority Building Control (LABC)’s ‘Building a Safer Future’ conference will analyse and dissect the final recommendations - breaking down what the report will mean for the way we all work. This will be essential for service managers from design, construction, facilities, housing, local government and commercial.

Confirmed speakers are:

Dr Angus Law:  Co-founded the Fire Safety Engineering degree programme at the University of Queensland.
Read more.

Adrian Dobson: RIBA the Executive Director of Professional Services at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Lorna Stimpson: LABC a member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC).
Read more. 

Martin Taylor: LABC Martin has been closely involved in the Hackitt Review.
Read more.                        

Neil Gibbins: CEO of the Institution of Fire Engineers.
Read more. 

Roy Wilshire: National Fire Chiefs Council. 
Read more.

Book now on LABC’s conference.