The planning application (Pages xxx – xxx) was submitted electronically on 4 July 2014, on behalf of the Applicant, by his agent Robert Ellis, Architectural Services accompanied by supporting documents comprising a map titled: Maps @ Aworth, a 1:500 Block Plan, a Ground Floor Existing Plan 3166/E01, a Side and Rear Elevation drawing 3166/E/02 and a combined Side and Rear Elevation and Ground Floor Plan 3166/01, Pages xxx – xxx, respectively.
The statutes covering the requirements for planning applications are contained in SI (Pages xxxxx – xxxxx). Part 2 Applications, Section 6, Applications for Planning Permission, requires an application to:
6.(1)(a) be made in writing to the local planning authority on a form published by the Secretary of State (or a form to substantially the like effect)
6.(1)(b ) include the particulars specified or referred to in the form
6.(1)(c)(ii) any other plans, drawings and information necessary to describe
the development which is the subject of the application
6.(2) any plans or drawings required to be provided by paragraph (1)(c)(i)
or (ii) shall be drawn to an identified scale and, in the case of plans,
shall show the direction of North
On the first page of their completed application form (Pages xxxx – xxxx) under the heading which requires the First Name of the Applicant the entry on the form is “+ Mrs”. No first name is given.
Section 10 of the statutory form (Page xxxx – xxxx) is headed ‘Materials. If applicable state what materials are to be used externally. Include type, colour and name for each material’
Against the entry for “Roof” the Applicant, or rather the Applicant’s Agent, has entered “TILED/FLAT”. ‘FLAT’ is not a material and this description does not fulfil the requirements contained in the heading of Section 10. There are many methods of flat roof construction but if a development with a flat roof is in any way strive to fulfil the requirements of sustainable development, then full details are surely required.
The application was accompanied by a local map, a block plan, existing ground floor plan and existing side and rear elevations, all as individual drawings (Pages xxxx – xxxx). Also included was a combined drawing showing a ground floor plan, side and rear elevations titled ‘Proposed Single Storey’ beneath which against the date of ‘May 14’ is the signature of the architect and under ‘Scale’ ‘1:100 50’ indicating that the plan is drawn at a scale of 1:50 and the elevations at 1:100.
These documents were supplied online to the Council by the Applicant’s Architect as explained to us by the Town Hall Receptionist/Training officer, as part of the Council’s move to a paperless environment, and were only accessible online using web-based software on the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s website. Claimant, despite 20 years’ high-end experience of using advanced motion picture software including including Avid, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier Pro and still image editing software including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and various proprietary software systems across both Mac OS and Windows systems, found the website both confusing and the available measuring tools enormously inaccurate and of little value.
However, when measured on a full size, A1, printed version of this drawing (Page xxxx are we allowed to fold an A1 sheet in a pocket) which the Claimant received with the Party Wall Application, the width of the building on the elevation is, at the scale of 1:100, 95 millimetres which logically indicates that the width of the ground floor plan at 1:50 should be 190 millimetres (2 x 95). It is however 200 millimetres. This indicates that either one or other of the floor plan or the elevation, or perhaps both, are not to the correct scale.
SI 2184, Article 10(6)(b) (Page xxxx) states than an application is invalid if it is not a valid application within the meaning of Article 29(3) (Page xxxx) which states at sub-section (a) an application which complies with the requirements of article 5 or article 6, as the case may be.
As stated above the application is not correctly completed as required by the Secretary of State and there are discrepancies with the scales on at least one plan and further, two plans do not have the direction of North indicated. Validation of the application was therefore unlawful.
Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) publication “Guidance on Information Requirements and Validation” (Pages xxxx – xxxx), dated March 2010 only makes mention in Section 4, Paragraphs 44 – 48 (Pages xxx – xxx) of the Location Plan and Site Plan and only the latter is indicated as needing to accurately show the direction of North.
SI 2184, issued in October 2010, seems to have increased the requirement “in the case of plans” to show the direction of North. This statutory requirement is missing from the Council’s Local Validation List and Guidance, dated August 2013 (Pages xxx –xxx) which shows only the previous requirement from the DCLG document (Page xxx) of indicating North on the site/block plan (Page xxx).
The Council’s Local Validation List of National Requirements (Page xxxx) does include the additional option from the DCLG publication of including roof plans: “for any roof that would be created or altered by the proposed development, showing the shape of the roof, its location, and specifying the roofing materials to be used.” However no roof plans were included with the application documents other than the views shown on the small rear and side elevations (Page xxxx).
In a list of common reasons why applications are invalid (Page xxxx) the Council’s Local Validation List gives, as two of the most common reasons why applications are not valid when received, the following:
- “Supporting documents that omit information specified in the guidance notes accompanying the planning application form and/or set out in national guidance, the statutory development plan or supplementary development plan”
- “Submitted drawings did not show sufficient details as specified in the guidance notes, were not drawn to scale or dimensioned, were inconsistent with one another”