Validation of applications can be a highly complex and involved process, particularly with the regard to larger or more sensitive types of development. As a result, getting an application to be made valid can often prove to be a slow and laborious process involving a significant amount of ‘toing and froing’ between the Validation officer and the applicant or their agent. This wastes significant amounts of time for both the Council and the Applicant alike and ultimately slows down the application process which is in no one’s interest.
As a consequence, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council offers a fee paying pre-validation checking service which allows you to pre-submit plans and documents before formally submitting your application. The plans and documents will then be checked to ensure the appropriate standards of details and supporting information is provided.
What are the benefits?
By pre-submitting plans and documents the authority will have the chance to review what you are intending to submit to ensure that everything necessary for the application to be made valid is received. Feedback and guidance will be provided ensuring that the submission contains the necessary information to meet:
1. the National application requirements;
2. the Council’s local validation list requirements (see link provided in the useful documents box on the right);
3. the correct fee requirements for the proposed development.
If additional information is required or amendments/changes are needed, the Council will contact you and advise you as to what needs to be done.
By using the pre-validation service the Council will guarantee that the subsequent application is made valid immediately upon receipt, obviously subject to the inclusion of any suggested additions, changes or amendments. This save both time and money and allows the application to be processed through to determination far more quickly.
Major applications - £100
All other application - £50
There is no charge for Householder application submitted by a member of the public for their own property. If the application is submitted by an Agent then this will attract a £50 charge.
There is no charge for all applications which are exempt from planning fees for whatever reason.
How to submit
To seek a pre-validation check please submit your proposed submission to email@example.com Once the submission has been received a dedicated officer will deal with your submission.
In terms of timeframes, the Council will provide you with a pre-validation response as follows:
Major applications - within 4 working days
All other applications (including householder) – within 2 working days
The response you will receive will state either:
• The submission is acceptable and that the application will be validated upon receipt, or
• Provide you with a response identifying where the submission is deficient and detail what needs to be done to enable any subsequent application to be made valid upon receipt.
What the pre-validation service does not cover
The pre-validation service is purely an administrative function. The advice that it provides simply reviews what has been submitted and whether additional information needs to be submitted to enable the application to be made valid. It does not:
• Convey any acceptance as to the suitability or otherwise of the proposed development from a planning perspective. This is obviously the subject to a separate planning assessment through the planning application process;
• Check the quality or detail of supporting professional reports and assessment being submitted. For example, if a Flood risk assessment has been submitted in support of an application the check would not review the actual detail of the report itself or whether it is fit for purpose.
• Negate the need for additional information which may need to be submitted subsequently as a result of the planning application process. This necessity may come as a result of site visits by the planning officer or additional information being required by consultees to the application process.
What happens if you receive guidance and advice which suggests that additional information is required or changes need to be made to the proposed submission which you disagree with?
The guidance given is advising that if the application were submitted in its current form the Council would be unable to validate it. The Council would obviously be happy to discuss the reasons for suggesting the changes but, if agreement cannot be reached this does not stop you submitting the application. In the event that the pre-validation advice were not followed and the application submitted in its unamended form, it would be made formally invalid and you would be notified of this outcome. In this eventuality you would then have the ability to follow the non-valid application procedure as detailed under Article 12 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedures) (England) Order 2015.
Last updated 01 June 2020