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Local Authority Bulletin - May 2018

Published: Wednesday, 23rd May 2018

This month's bulletin includes information on our approach to GDPR, the 'Permission In Principle' application form, advice on updating your links, info on the new Welsh Gov service and more stories...

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

Firstly, if you have an account to submit applications 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.  Note that this will not affect the ability of Local Authorities to download or receive planning applications from us. Secondly, there will be some additional text around the sign in and application submission processes to inform users about to how we will use the data they enter into our services. This will reinforce the information stated in our updated terms and conditions (including our privacy policy).

Finally, as previously discussed, our PDF based application forms are being updated to refer to their intended use and that they are provided by Planning Portal not the Local Authority directly.

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.

A draft version of the form is already available on our Knowledge Hub group.

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.

These updates will not affect how you receive application data from us or back office integration.

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 allow Local Authorities to more accurately determine if the levy applies to such proposals.



It’s vital that you update the links on your site from the historic links to the current immediately. If you don’t, you may be left with broken links, leaving users unable to access planning application services and guidance from your site.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) currently support 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 ending.

We can’t stress how important it is that you change these links immediately, in order to keep your service functional for users.

What you need to do to:

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.

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

Any Planning Portal accounts will continue to work on the new dedicated Welsh service, and applications already created in draft on the Planning Portal will still be available to edit and submit.

Any applications already in draft will continue to be available on both services, so no work will be lost.

Applicants will only be able to submit/view applications to local planning authorities (LPAs) in Wales on this new 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

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.