Validation updates

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

Cornwall Council's Planning Application Local Validation List

Our current Local Validation List is available at Validation Guide 2019.  

We would like your comments on the proposed Draft Validation Guide 2021.  Please visit our Validation Guide web page for more information.

Increase in fees for discretionary products and services

Please note from 1 January 2022 the fees for our discretionary products and services will be increased.

Most will be increased by 4% however some increases may be higher calculated on a cost recovery basis.

Nutrient Neutrality Principles and Phosphate Calculator

We have updated the local Validation list for new interim Guidelines - small scale thresholds and nutrient neutrality principles.  You can find more information using this link: Interim guidelines - small scale thresholds and nutrient neutrality principles

If you wish to rely on these guidelines, please provide an assessment setting out how the development accords with conditions a) to h).  Assessments should be done by a competent person with the relevant experience. 

We have further updated the Validation Guide with requirements following the launch of our phosphates calculator on 21 October.

You will also need to submit a nutrient neutrality statement with the calculator results.  This statement should include:

  • Location of the development in relation to the Camel catchment
  • Details of the proposed application
  • Details of the current land use (please show where there is a difference in land use over the last 10 years)
  • Justification of the proposed land use and number of dwellings
  • Details of the phosphate budget calculation including a table of key findings
  • Details of any mitigation if appropriate

The completion of the calculator and nutrient neutrality statement should be done by a competent person with relevant experience.

We have updated our phosphates flowchart.

Ordnance Survey (OS) and Cornwall Council Mapping

Planning are receiving an increasing number of plans taken from interactive mapping on the Cornwall Council website.

Unfortunately we unable to accept these plans as it:
  • infringes the OS copyright licence; and
  • Cornwall Council’s website terms of use.

Submitting these copyright plans for professional purposes such as submitting a planning application, published in the public domain, infringes the copyright.

All plans based on OS mapping must display an OS licence and the source if taken from another website.

You can obtain site plans from the Planning Portal using the Buy a Plan Service.

Piloting an Automated Validation Tool

The Planning Service are involved in piloting an automated validation (AI) tool which looks at applications submitted via the Planning Portal to see if the application is Valid/Invalid on receipt.  This tool is currently being trialled on Householder applications submitted via the Planning Portal.  This means that some Householder applications will get validated sooner than others.  It is hoped if the AI tool is successful then it will be rolled out to all applications submitted via the Planning Portal.  It will help improve validation timescales and pick out the ones which are valid/invalid on receipt.

You can get site plans from the Planning Portal using the Buy a Plan service.

European Sites Mitigation SPD - new validation requirement

This document seeks to mitigate likely harm to European protected sites from recreational pressure associated with new development. It was adopted in February 2021.  You will need to make a contribution for all applications for:

  • residential development
  • tourist accommodation beds
  • active elderly accommodation and
  • student accommodation

if they are located within the Zones of Influence of protected sites.  These sites are:

  • Penhale Dunes Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
  • Fal and Helford SAC
  • Plymouth Sound and Estuaries SAC and Tamar Estuaries Complex Special Protection Area

You can access a map of the areas using this link: Cornwall mapping

This is a validation requirement from 9 August 2021.  You will need to complete Appropriate Assessment forms.  You can access these using this link:

You can find out more about the process and S111 agreement templates using this link: European Sites Mitigation SPD

Changes to red lines on location plans

One of the most common errors causing an application to be incomplete is the red line.  The incomplete error is when it did not include the access to the nearest public highway on Householder applications. 

We have reviewed this.  We will no longer request red lines to public highways on Householder applications unless the proposal would create a new access to a classified road.  This does not take away the requirement on any general/major submissions.


Submitting an application via the Planning Portal

If you have submitted your planning application via the Planning Portal, please pay the Planning Portal direct. Without this payment the Planning Portal will not release your planning application to the Council.  Cornwall Council is unable to transfer payments onto the Planning Portal. The Council must refund the original payee which will delay your application.  

The Planning Portal is a separate private company.  Should you have any queries please email

Submitting an application to Cornwall Council

If you submit an application by email to Cornwall Council, please pay online.

You can pay:

  • Planning applications fees and
  • other fees

by phone by calling 0300 1234 151.  If you pay by phone, please email to advise that you have paid to help reduce delays.

Section 73 applications to lift occupancy restrictions

We cannot grant S73 applications to lift an occupancy condition if it changes the nature of development as described on the original permission.  You will need to submit a full application where:

  • the description of development includes reference to holiday accommodation and
  • a restrictive occupancy condition exists.

This means that we will not validate S73 applications:

  • that seek to lift such a condition and
  • where the use is already in the description.

We will ask you to submit a full application.

'Do not scale'

Cornwall Council do not accept plans with the wording ‘do not scale’.  Please remove from any submitted plans.  We understand that this note is for construction etc. Please note it is a national requirement that plans are to scale.  Planning must be able to scale from the plans.

You could use 'do not scale for construction purposes'.  This will make it clear plans can be scaled from for planning purposes.

Accredited agents householder scheme available Countywide

The Accredited Agents Scheme is available for householder developments across Cornwall.  Find out more about the scheme on our Accredited Agents webpage.

Contact us

You should contact:

  • the validation officer listed on correspondence if you have a question about a specific application that has been submitted,
  • our General Enquiries team on if you have a general question about the submission and validation process.

We are receiving more general planning enquiries.  This has caused some delays with validating applications.  We publish our current validation times.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service