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Local Authority Bulletin - July 2018

Published: Tuesday, 31st July 2018

The Financial Transaction Service, 1App quesiton changes, Additional housing revenue account borrowing programme and more stories...


We’d like to say thank you to all Local Planning Authority representatives who made it along to the wave of national events we held recently, at which we introduced our new financial transaction service launching in early September on our English planning application service. We found these shows to be a really positive experience – they gave us the chance to communicate vital information on our new service, as well as an opportunity to listen to your feedback and answer your questions face-to-face.

Anyone working in an English LPA should have received an information pack from us by email yesterday containing all the information you need to prepare for the launch.  If you didn’t receive it for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible at communications@planningportal.co.uk

The Welsh planning application service and our Building Control application service will not be impacted by the change. 


System updates:

1App

We expect the following changes to be implemented in early August.

  • Application question content update

The following amends are being made:

  • Authority Employee/Member - The wording of this question is being updated to account for the changes made by MHCLG. The information requirements of this question remain as is.
  • Residential/Dwelling Units - A workaround is being put in place to allow users to provide the correct details in regard to housing categories and dwelling types.

More details of this are available in our Local Authority knowledge hub group (Membership required for access, find out how to join).

  • Details of relevant ‘permission in principle’ on applications for ‘technical details consent’ - Full Planning Permission applications for technical details consent require applicants to provide details of the permission in principle that is being relied on. The wording of the ‘description of the proposal’ question is being updated to reflect this requirement.
  • Update to fee exemptions

The more general exemption in regard to Article 4 directions and planning conditions that was removed in January as part of the changes to fees is being reworded and re-introduced to specifically refer to the Regulation 6 exemption that is still in effect.

Separately, the exemption in regard to the first resubmission of an advertising application has been reworded to better convey the legislative restrictions that apply to it.

Building Control

The latest round of fixes for the Building Control system are now live. These fixes are focussed on removing issues that could potentially hinder submission of applications:

  • ‘Date the work was carried out’ now appears correctly in the PDF output for Regularisation Certificate applications.
  • Agent address details will now validate correctly with single line addresses.
  • Payment method configurations for Building Control Bodies will enforce that at least one method of payment is selected (ensuring users don’t reach a dead end).
  • Building Notices and Regularisation Certificates no longer require any supporting documents to be provided.

There have also been various content and help text updates to provide better assistance to users in selecting and completing their applications.

PDF forms

As discussed on Knowledge Hub, the PDF forms generated for online application submissions now better reflect the question order and content from the online system.

While this means that they differ slightly from the ‘blank’ PDF forms we supply (which are still based on the MHCLG templates), they now give a more accurate impression of the questions that have been completed online.

Separately, the blank PDF forms we provide have all been updated to ensure they match the templates provided by MHCLG.

The CIL additional information form has also been updated to ensure that questions 2b and 3b correctly and consistently reference residential annexes.


Bidding has now opened for local authorities looking to expand their housing revenue under the government’s additional housing revenue account borrowing programme.

The programme encourages authorities which are prepared to begin building more council homes in the periods 2019 - 2020 and 2021 – 2022 to apply for the additional funding. The government has offered to raise the borrowing cap by up to £1 billion for authorities operating in areas of high affordability pressure.

A prospectus inviting authorities to apply was released at the end of June. This prospectus explains how the programme will work and includes information on the relevant bidding limits.

The deadline for bidding is Friday 7 September 2018 at 5pm.


Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a 3D-modelling process which involves collecting and managing as much information as possible on current or proposed structures. We would like to know if you currently use this technology and what BIM means to you and your organisation.

With BIM, 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.

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 communications@planningportal.co.uk.