Planning Development

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Do I need planning permission for.....?

Answer: For advice on whether planning permission is required for any project, please refer to the Planning Portal in the related link.

Please note: Building Regulation consent may be required (even when it is not necessary to apply for planning permission) and you are advised to investigate further before commencing any work. - Related Link

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Question: How quickly are planning applications determined?

Answer: The Government guidelines are that 65% of minor applications should have a decision within 8 weeks. For major applications, 60% should be decided within 13 weeks.

Please note: The timeframe does not begin until the application has been fully validated by the Planning Registration Team.

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Question: How do I apply for planning permission?

Answer: If you have confirmed that planning permission is definitely required, you will need to complete the online application form located on the Planning Portal, please see related link.

Alternatively, if you are unable to complete the application through the Planning Portal, you can download an application form from the related link. - Related Link

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Question: How do I inspect plans for an advertised planning application?

Answer: Planning applications can be viewed online via the related link. They can also be viewed online in local libraries and at County Hall. - Related Link

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Question: How long does it take for a decision to be made for a certificate of lawfulness?

Answer: For a proposed development 4 to 6 weeks.

For an existing development 8 weeks.

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Question: I have an expired planning application, how can I reactivate it?

Answer: An expired planning application cannot be reactivated and you will therefore need to re-apply for planning permission.

Please refer to the FAQ 'How do I apply for planning permission?' for further guidance or view the related link. - Related Link

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Question: How can I found out if an application has been submitted on a certain site?

Answer: A list of all current planning applications is available on the Planning Department's website, see related link. Applications are also advertised on a weekly basis in the Isle of Wight County Press. - Related Link

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Question: If I make comments on a current planning application what will happen to them?

Answer: You should note that all comments made on current applications will be scanned and published online. All letters of representation are scanned and appear on the council's website. In addition, they will be placed on the working file which is available for public inspection.

Please note: Comments on a planning application cannot be kept confidential. - Related Link

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Question: The applicant has put in a new application, do I need to resubmit my comments?

Answer: Yes, this is a new application that will be judged on its own merit, therefore you must either re-submit your comments or write a new one within the consultation period. - Related Link

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Question: What issues will be taken into account in the consideration of a planning application?

Answer: Matters relevant to the consideration of a planning application are referred to as material considerations. A guide to what is or is not a material consideration is available to view at the related link. - Related Link

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Question: How do I get independent advice on Planning matters?

Answer: Information is available from many sources.

For general Planning advice you could visit the following websites:

Planning Portal at www.planningportal.gov.uk
Planning Aid at www.planningaid.rtpi.org.uk or 0870 240 7552

For planning guidance linked to proposed work on the Island, you may wish to consult an architectural firm or Planning Consultant. The council cannot recommend individuals or companies and advises that you check the local directory.

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Question: I objected to an application and my comments would appear to have been ignored. Why has this happened?

Answer: Planning applications are determined in accordance with Government policy and policies contained within the Island Plan Core Strategy. Your comments will certainly have been taken into account but may have not been sufficient to justify withholding planning permission. - Related Link

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Question: I believe I do not need planning permission for work I wish to undertake. Can I obtain confirmation in writing?

Answer: Yes, you will need to apply for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness' for a proposed use or development. This involves the submission of forms, plans and a fee. Should the work be judged to be permitted development, you will be issued with a formal certificate which can be used should you decide to sell the property. The Planning Department aim to deal with all applications of this nature within 8 weeks of submission.

Please note: You are advised to check whether Building Regulation approval is required for your proposals. - Related Link

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Question: I want to undertake works to a watercourse (streams, ditches, drains, culverts, dikes, ponds, sluices, sewers (other than public sewers) and passages through which water flows).

Answer: You need to apply for Ordinary Watercourse Consent and further guidance can be found in the related link. - Related Link

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Question: Can I find out if there is a mobile phone mast near where I live?

Answer: To locate mobile phone masts in your area, please refer to the related link. - Related Link

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Question: How long do I have to submit comments on a planning application?

Answer: All planning applications are publicised by a variety of methods giving a period of 21 days for the submission of comments to the Planning Department. This is known as the consultation period.

Comments received after this period has expired will be accepted and taken into account, providing the application has not already been determined.

Therefore, failure to submit representations within the consultation period may prejudice the chance of your comments being taken into account. - Related Link

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Question: Do you have the plans of my property?

Answer: We only have plans which have been submitted as part of a planning application. After the application has been approved, the copyright of associated plans is owned by the architect or agent unless they are over 20 years old. Therefore we cannot provide copies of plans without first receiving a letter of consent from the architect or agent.

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Question: How do I find out who owns a piece of land?

Answer: If you wish to find out who owns a piece of land or property you will need to contact Land Registry who will be able to provide ownership information provided the land has been registered.

Please see the related link which will take you to the Land Registry website for further guidance or telephone 0300 006 0411. - Related Link

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Question: Why didn't I receive a neighbour notification letter for an application near me?

Answer: The Planning Department is not required to issue neighbour notification letters provided that the application has been appropriately advertised through site notices, the local press (Isle of Wight County Press) and the council's website. - Related Link

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Question: How is a planning application determined?

Answer: Firstly, the planning application will be checked to make sure that it comprises the relevant plans and supporting information. If the application does comprise all the relevant information, then the Planning Authority will publicise the application so that members of the public and specialist consultees can comment on the proposals. The Planning Officer will also visit the application site in order to assess the likely impacts of the proposed development upon nearby properties and the surrounding area.

Once all comments are received, the Planning Officer will assess the suitability of the proposed development. This assessment is based on the details provided and whether the proposals accord with the relevant policies contained within the development plan. This is important, because the Planning Authority is required to decide planning applications in line with the development plan unless there are very good reasons for not doing so.

In assessing a planning application, the Planning Officer will take account of any statutory designations (conservation areas, protected species and habitats) that may affect the site and also comments provided by members of the public and statutory consultees. A decision will then be made as to whether to grant planning permission or to refuse the planning application.

Many decisions involve discussion before being made and may be delayed by the need to negotiate e.g. improve design of building or the need to obtain advice from the necessary consultants.

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Question: If I submit comment on a planning application, will I be notified of the outcome?

Answer: Not directly but the results of planning applications are published online and can be viewed via the related link. - Related Link

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Question: Which planning applications are sent to Planning Committee?

Answer: The Planning Committee currently meet on a six weekly basis to hear planning applications which require their consideration before a decision can be made.

These applications may be contentious or be large developments (a view will be taken at the outset as to whether the case will go before Planning Committee for large developments).

The Planning Committee is made up of 14 elected Members who hear the views of the public and the reports of Planning Officers. Members debate the application and then decide upon it.

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Question: Do I need to submit an application to demolish a property?

Answer: You may require planning permission to demolish your property but this is dependent on a number of factors.

In the first instance you should refer to the Planning Portal, please see related link.

However, if you are unsure and require further guidance, please contact the Planning Department by email at development@iow.gov.uk or via the Contact tab at the top of the page. - Related Link

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Question: How do I resolve a boundary dispute?

Answer: The Planning Department cannot assist with boundary disputes. However, to find out if your boundary is wrongly located or who is responsible for the upkeep of a fence, wall or hedge, it is advisable to consult your deeds which are usually held by your mortgage lender or solicitor. You may also need to engage the services of a Chartered Land Surveyor. To find out who owns a piece of land, contact Land Registry who offers support and guidance on their website, please see related link, or telephone them on 0300 006 0411.

Two website addresses which can give further advise relating to boundary problems are:

www.boundary-problems.co.uk
www.gardenlaw.co.uk
- Related Link

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Question: How much does it cost to apply for planning permission?

Answer: Fees for planning applications are dependant upon the type of development proposed. The Planning Portal website provides a useful tool for calculating the correct planning application fee, which is known as the fee calculator. Please click on the link below to use the tool.

However, if you are ever unsure about what fee you should pay, further guidance is available from the Planning Department who can be contacted by email at development@iow.gov.uk or via the Contact tab at the top of the page. - Related Link

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Question: How can I obtain pre-application advice from a planning officer?

Answer: There is a charge for pre-application advice. Please view the related link for more information. - Related Link

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Question: How do I find out how my planning application is progressing?

Answer: You will be able to identify whether your planning application has been released to the general public for consultation by checking the related link.

If you are waiting for your application to be published, or the consultation period has closed and you would like an update, please contact the Planning Department by email at development@iow.gov.uk in the first instance or via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

Please refer to the FAQ 'How is my planning application determined?' for guidance on timescales. - Related Link

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Question: How do I make any amendments/changes to an approved scheme?

Answer: If you need or want to vary the approved scheme you must speak to the council first. You are advised to contact the Planning Officer who dealt with your original application with 2 copies of the plan showing the proposed changes and a covering letter so that they can assess the impact. Please contact the Planning Department by email at development@iow.gov.uk or via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

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Question: Why is the site notice in the wrong place or missing?

Answer: As per the Town and Country Planning Act, the Planning Department does not need to put the site notice up on or adjacent to the site, it only has to be in the vicinity of where the proposed development is taking place. If a site notice is missing, and it is still within the consultation period, please notify the Planning Department by email development@iow.gov.uk or via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

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Question: How do I find out who owns the boundary around my property?

Answer: The Planning Department cannot assist with boundary enquiries. However, information regarding boundaries is normally held with your deeds. Should the deeds not give the information you require regarding the position of the boundary you should contact Land Registry who may be able to help. If this does not resolve the problem, you will need to engage the services of a Chartered Land Surveyor.

The Land Registry offer support and guidance on their website, see related link or telephone them on 0300 006 0411.

- Related Link

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Question: If my planning application has been recommended for conditional approval, what does that mean?

Answer: Officers have recommended that the application should be approved, subject to conditions. Members of the Planning Committee will determine whether they agree with the recommendation and consent can be granted or the application should be refused, contrary to officer's recommendation.

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Question: How can I make my comments on a current planning application?

Answer: The preferred method for receiving comments on applications is via the Planning Department's website, please see related link.

Comments can also be made via email at planning.comments@iow.gov.uk or by letter to Seaclose Offices, Fairlee Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QS.

If you wish to send a photograph with your comment(s), you will need to submit this via email or letter. - Related Link

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Question: How can I undertake a personal search on planning information?

Answer: To enable us to best use officer time and provide a consistent service to the customer, planning files for personal searches will only be made available on an appointment basis. Appointments can be requested, citing the property address, by email at development@iow.gov.uk or by telephone via the council’s call centre on 01983 823552.

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Question: What is the purpose of self-build and custom housebuilding registers?

Answer: Self-build and custom housebuilding registers provide valuable information on demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the local area and should form a key part of the council’s evidence base of demand for this type of housing.

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Question: What information must the council include on its register?

Answer: The information that the council must include on its register differs for entries for individuals and associations of individuals. For individual entries on the register, the council must record the name and address of the individual on the register. For entries on the register for associations of individuals, the council must record the following information on the register:

• the name and address of the association;
• the name and address (if different from that of the association) of the lead contact; and
• the number of serviced plots of land in the relevant authority’s area the members of the association are seeking to acquire.

In all cases the date on which an entry was made, and any dates on which it has been amended, must be recorded on the register.

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Question: Can the council request applicants to provide additional information to that required by the legislation?

Answer: As part of the registration process the council can request applicants to provide additional information to that required by the legislation. This can support a greater understanding of the nature of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area. Where the council chooses to request additional information from applicants, those who meet the eligibility criteria but do not provide the additional information requested must still be entered on the register.

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Question: Who is eligible to be entered on the register?

Answer: Applicants must meet all of the eligibility criteria for entry on the register. Each individual applicant and every member of an association of individuals that applies for entry on the register must be:

• aged 18 or older;
• a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and
• seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence.

When applying to be entered on a register, individuals who wish to register as an association must appoint a member or officer to act as the lead contact for the purposes of correspondence between the association and the council. In determining whether an applicant is eligible for entry on the register, the council is entitled, but not required, to rely on information provided by the applicant as part of the application process.

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Question: Can the council restrict entry on the register to local people?

Answer: No, the council cannot currently adopt additional eligibility criteria.

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Question: Is the council required to make data on their registers publically available?

Answer: The council is not required to publish its register but is required to publicise it. However, it is encouraged to publish, in their Authority Monitoring Report, headline data on the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding revealed by the register and other sources. This can support development opportunities for self-build and custom housebuilding by increasing awareness among landowners, builders and developers of the level and nature of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the local area.

The council should consider what additional optional information (for example, general location within the authority’s area, plot size preferences and type of housing intended to be built) could be requested of applicants and made available to increase opportunities for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area, having regard to data protection obligations.

The types of information relevant authorities are encouraged to publish include:

• the number of individuals and associations on their register;
• the number of serviced plots of land sought; and
• the preferences people on their register have indicated, such as general location within the authority’s area, plot sizes and type of housing intended to be built, where this information has been requested by the authority and provided by an applicant.

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Question: What does having ‘a duty as regards registers’ mean?

Answer: The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on certain public bodies (such as the council) to have regard to each self-build and custom housebuilding register that relates to their area when carrying out their planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.

Government guidance suggests ways in which the duty may be demonstrated in carrying out each function:

(i) Planning

The planning functions of an authority may include both plan making and decision-taking functions. The registers that relate to their area may be a material consideration in decision-taking. Authorities with plan-making functions should use their evidence on demand for this form of housing from the registers that relate to their area in developing their Local Plan and associated documents.

(ii) Housing

Local housing authorities who are under the duty to have regard to registers that relate to their areas should consider the evidence of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding from the registers when carrying out their housing functions. This includes when preparing their local housing strategies and in developing plans for new housing on land owned by the local housing authority.

(iii) Land disposal

Authorities who are under the duty to have regard to registers that relate to their areas should consider the evidence of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area from the register when developing plans to dispose of land within their ownership.

(iv) Regeneration

When developing plans to regenerate their area, local authorities who are under the duty to have regard to registers that relate to their areas should consider the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding.


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Question: Is it possible to obtain a copy of historic plans?

Answer: Yes, but only with a letter from the architect or agent that drew the plans originally as once a decision has been made the plans are covered by copyright, unless they are more than 20 years old.

Copies of plans would be subject to the following charges:

A4 plans - £0.60 per plan
A3 plans - £1.20 per plan
A2 plans - £12 per plan
A1 plans - £12 per plan
A0 plans - £18 per plan

To request a copy of the plans, please contact the Planning Department by email at development@iow.gov.uk or via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

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Question: Can I have copies of current planning applications?

Answer: Yes, plans are viewable online, please see related link. If you don't have access to the Internet, please visit Seaclose Offices, Fairlee Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QS or your local library. - Related Link

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Question: How much does a copy of a planning permission (decision notice) cost?

Answer: A copy costs £12, payable at the time of request.

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Question: Do the works I have undertaken constitute lawful commencement of my planning permission?

Answer: Following a grant of permission, unlike Building Control there is no requirement for the Local Planning Authority to confirm that the permission has been commenced or completed.

Should you wish to obtain confirmation that a permission has been lawfully commenced or completed in accordance with the approved plans (including any conditional requirements on the decision notice or associated legal agreement), the appropriate way to obtain this is through a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). This is a form of application, however, it would provide a clear, lawful position for example in respect of commencement of the permission which may be of use for providing certainty to future purchasers and you can apply via the Planning Portal at the related link. Within an LDC the onus rests with the applicant to provide sufficient information or evidence to satisfy the legal requirement and as such, applicants/developers are advised to maintain sufficient records to enable this to take place (such as confirmation of condition discharge, confirmation of works commencing, invoices from contractors etc).

The Local Planning Authority may provide an informal verbal opinion, however, it will not provide formal written confirmation of commencement of development by any other means other than an LDC. - Related Link

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Question: Do I have to finish works within the time limit specified on my prior approval?

Answer: For prior approval applications, the requirements for commencement and completion timescales are set out in the General Permitted Development Order which can be viewed at the related link. It is possible to search for a specific phrase by pressing Ctrl and F together and inputting "prior approval". Should formal confirmation of commencement of completion be required, a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) will need to be submitted which can be done via the Planning Portal website. - Related Link

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