Planning Agents' Area

We have developed this area to provide information from the Planning and Sustainable Development Service. It is designed for Planning Agents who regularly submit planning applications to Cornwall Council. If you think anything is missing or have any feedback please email:

The Development Management Service would like to reassure you that we are working hard to validate applications as quickly as possible.  Due to a very sharp increase in the numbers of  planning application submissions, which has resulted in an equally high demand on officers’ time, this may result in us taking longer to acknowledge applications at present (you will be able to view the average working days currently taken to validate below). 

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We would like to thank you for your patience and suggest that you do not contact case officers direct as they are carrying a heavy caseload.  Should you wish to monitor the progress of your application please refer to the Online Planning Register in the first instance, as you will be able to view your application there once it is validated.  Any queries prior to validation should be addressed through or via 0300 1234151.

Average number of working days to validate general and householder planning applications



The number of days quoted is indicative of when most applications are validated. Some applications may be processed earlier or later.

We are currently consulting on revised charges and new services for the Planning and Sustainable Development service. Please see our Consultation on Revised Charges document for full details. Any queries or comments should be emailed by 14th December 2018 to for the attention of Donna Moore or by post to Planning and Sustainable Development, Pydar House, Truro TR1 1XU

From 1 January 2019, Cornwall Council will be a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Authority, and any new development detemined after this date could be liable to pay a CIL.  CIL may also be charged on development approved by way of general consent if it commences after 1 January 2019.  Visit now to find out how CIL may affect your development.

We understand from the Planning Portal that some of you may have been sent reminders for payments which have already made to the Portal direct. This has happened since the launch of the Planning Redirect Service. (It is something which they intend to fix within the next few days).  Agents have been phoning Cornwall Council to query payments. However, they will need to contact the Planning Portal to discuss payments for any application submitted to the Planning Portal. Agents can do this by emailing (The Planning Portal a completely separate private company). 

If you decide to submit applications through the Planning Portal please ensure that you pay the Planning Portal and not Cornwall Council. Without this payment the Planning Portal will not release your planning application to the Council.  Due to financial restrictions, Cornwall Council is unable to transfer payments onto the Planning Portal and must refund the original payee which will delay your application.

Following a successful trial in the Liskeard/Looe Community Network Areas, it has been decided to implement area-based planning across Cornwall, together with changes to planning processes following a lean process review which was carried out at the same time.  A project has been set up to deliver:

  • 8 multi-disciplinary planning teams based on a group of community network areas dealing with all types of planning applications and enforcement matters from receipt through to decision;
  • a Cornwall-wide team of specialist functions, including a dedicated development management function for the Council's Investment and Housing Development Programme and a proactive enforcement service;
  • a central function of support services.

The project is aimed to be implemented by April 2019

The Planning and Sustainable Development Service offers an optional Validation Checking Service. This is subject to a fee.  We currently receive a high volume of planning applications that do not meet the local and national requirements. Our intention is to reduce this amount and help speed up the process for our customers.  Please see the Validation Checking Service page for details. This includes fees and how to access the service.

9 out of 10 agents submit applications via iApply or the Planning Portal.  If you submit applications via iApply or the Planning Portal your documents automatically drop into our back-office system. This gives you immediate assurance that the documents have been received. Submitting applications in this way speeds up our processes.

Applications submitted by alternative means such as by email or in hard copy divert resources to other processes. These enable the documents to be published on-line, which leads to a delay in those applications being validated.

We would therefore encourage you to continue to submit applications in a way that speeds up the process

It has come to our attention there are still a large number of applications being submitted with non-interpretive contaminated land reports.  These are no longer required. However, a Phase I assessment should be submitted – see clarification below.

It is appreciated that there are financial implications in undertaking a Phase I assessment. Clearly any subsequent assessments and remediation works that might be necessary may also have such implications.  However, a Phase I assessment provides preliminary information. It is only requested where potential contamination risks are highlighted for a specific site.  For proposed development with a sensitive/vulnerable end use, where the protection of human health is particularly important, it is considered to be reasonable and consistent with relevant guidance to consider this as part of the determination of a planning application.

Further information can be found in the ‘Land affected by contamination – Developers guide and information requirements for planning applications’.