Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

What's new in Planning

Please be aware that we are working hard to keep the planning service operating effectively in the face of unprecedented challenges.  Our priority is to determine all applications where site visits have been undertaken.  We have suspended all site visits and meetings at the moment and we are considering alternative ways of working to protect our staff and our residents.  Our staff are working from home wherever possible to enable the business to continue.  Please bear with us at this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding. Covid-19 impact on planning processes

Updated Validation Guide

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The Validation Guide 2019 has been updated to version 1.3.  A number of updates have been made to provide further clarification as well as to include:

  • The introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain due to be implemented on 1 March 2020.
  • The introduction of Habitat Regulations Assessments (HRA) submission of an Appropriate Assessment (AA) and Mitigation.  Date of implementation to be confirmed.
  • Introduction of Transport Statements for developments effecting a level crossing.

Biodiversity Net Gain is a new approach to development.  It aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than before.  To quantify and measure biodiversity net gain, DEFRA have produced a Biodiversity Metric.

From 1 March 2020 all proposals for major development must submit a stand-alone document showing:

  • the headline results of the latest version of the DEFRA Metric
  • supporting calculations

This document must show a minimum Biodiversity Netgain of 10%.

Further information including links to the DEFRA Metric and guidance can be found on our Biodiversity Net Gain page.

Cornwall Council has relaunched its Accredited Agents Householder Fast-Track Scheme.  The Accredited Agents Scheme is available for householder and tree work applications only.  Accredited Agents have proven to the Council they can meet specific validation criteria at the planning registration stage.

If you are a planning agent and would like to be involved in the scheme, visit the Accredited Agents Householder Fast-Track Scheme for further information.

Alternatively if you are an applicant considering submitting an application for home improvements or tree works you may wish to use an Accredited Agent. Their applications are validated and registered swiftly which helps to streamline the planning process. Please note:  Accreditation is not based on application quality. It does not guarantee the acceptability of a proposal.  For information and a list of Accredited Agents, visit the List of Accredited Agents.

The Planning Service is unable to accept plans which are taken from the Cornwall Council Mapping web pages.  This means anything with the Cornwall Council watermark or the Cornwall Council licence number across the bottom. This infringes the copyright and does not adhere to item 15 of the Cornwall Council website terms of use.

Please also note that where an Ordnance Survey based plan is being submitted for planning purposes the copyright and licence number must be shown.

Please note from 20 January 2020, planning applications are advertised in local newspapers on a fortnightly basis. There will be no change to the types of applications we advertise.

From February 2020 planning applications are no longer advertised in the Plymouth Herald unless it is a major application which may have an impact on the Plymouth area.

Most applicants and agents are now aware that Cornwall Council's Planning Service no longer accepts plans which contain the phrase 'Do Not Scale'.  This was introduced in January of this year and is consistent with other Local Authorities.

We are aware that this has caused some difficulties for our applicants and agents.  The change has been brought in to avoid any further inconsistencies.

From 1 January 2020 the removal of 'Do Not Scale' from plans is required for validation.  Applications will not be processed until the revised plans (and any other information required for validation) has been received.

Further information regarding validation requirements can be found in the Cornwall Council Validation Guide 2019.

With effect from 1 November 2019, the planning enforcement function will be separated from the area teams to form a dedicated team of experienced enforcement officers.

Enforcement officers are now aligned to dedicated areas in a similar way to that of the area teams.  This will provide consistency and local knowledge and ensure that Members and local councils will know their local officer.

The Area Team approach to Planning in Cornwall is:

  • 8 multi-disciplinary planning teams based on a group of community network areas dealing with all types of planning applications and some compliance matters from receipt through to decision;    
  • a Cornwall-wide team of specialist functions, including appeals, enforcement, Highways Development Management and Historic Environment
  • a central function of support services.

Where there is a need to submit information considered ‘personal data’ or ‘sensitive personal data’ under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) this information should be submitted in a separate document without cross-referencing in documents that can be made public, and marked as confidential.

The definition of ‘personal data’ and ‘Sensitive Personal Data’ can be found on page 8 of Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will include for example personal circumstances and health information.