Planning Agents' Area


Please note that we are experiencing high volumes of work which is causing delays to our response times. We are working hard to address this and thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

This area provides information to Planning Agents who regularly submit planning applications to Cornwall Council. If you think anything is missing or have any feedback please email:

Officers are available by email and can pick up calls via MS Teams via 01872 322222.  Officers will get back to you as soon as possible. Please can we ask that agents remain professional and courteous in their correspondence.  Sometimes frustration is directed at officers unnecessarily.

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 depending on if they are front screened by a Planning Case Officer. Updated 10 March 2023.

Validation Performance 28 November 2022 to 12 December 2022 

  • Number of applications received: 584
  • Number of invalid applications: 291

For information on the top 10 reasons why applications are invalid on receipt please visit the make a better application page

Climate Emergency DPD

The Climate Emergency DPD was adopted on 21 February 2023 by Cornwall Council. The policies in it are now being used in planning decisions. Policies SEC1 (Sustainable Energy and Construction) and G3 (Canopy) apply from 15th June 2023. The validation list will be updated with the new requirements shortly. Guidance on the CEDPD policies is available at: Climate Emergency DPD

Guidance on the CEDPD policies is available at: Policy Guidance Climate Emergency DPD

New Chief Planning Officer Note

We published a new Chief Planning Officer's Advice Note on Barn Conversions and Replacement dwellings in the Countryside in February 2023.  This replaces the previous guidance note on replacement dwellings in the countryside.

You can find all our Chief Planning Officer Notes on our Planning Policy Guidance webpage.

Slurry Lagoons

Phosphates into the River Camel

Natural England have advised confirmation is required that a proposed slurry lagoon won’t lead to intensification of the holding. For example, an increase in herd size. A Nutrient Management Plan would need to be submitted with the application to confirm this. 

Air Quality

If the site is within the Impact Risk Zone, a Simple Calculation of Atmospheric Impact Limits (SCAIL) assessment will be required.  If the results from the SCAIL assessment show a process contribution > 1%, Natural England will request a more detailed and in-combination ammonia assessment.  The impact risk zones can be viewed via Cornwall Council Interactive Mapping.

European Sites Mitigation SPD - Validation Update

From the 1 January 2023 applications within the  Zones of Influence of the European protected sites will be required to submit either a s111 agreement along with the appropriate mitigation fee before the application can be validated or confirm they will follow one of the proposed alternative methods of mitigation.

The s111 and payment should now be made online via Online s111 Form and Payment System.

For further information please visit the European Sites Mitigation SPD web page.

Development in the River Camel Special Area of Conservation

Please note there is a significant issue about phosphates in the River Camel.  This impacts on development in the river's catchment area.

We have updated the Cornwall Council phosphate calculator and tutorial video.  Applicants will need to rerun their phosphate budget calculations for pending applications.

We have updated our web area for phosphates.  You can now find all our nutrient neutrality information from the Nutrient Neutrality in Cornwall page.

Common Invalid Reasons

Planning receive a high number of applications which are invalid on receipt.  Following a review of these invalid reasons please see our common invalid reasons for guidance.  We hope this will:

  • Increase the number of applications submitted right first time
  • Reduce validation times
  • Provide guidance on common issues
  • Aid with quality checks prior to submission

Designing in quality from the start

Boost your chances of planning permission as well as kerb appeal by following:

This guidance is a material consideration in determining planning applications.  They support our adopted planning policies as well as the emerging Climate Emergency DPD and Local Transport Plan.

We will also prepare a new Cornwall-wide Design Code and support Neighbourhood Planning Groups in preparing their own design codes in line with the National Model Design Code.  Further links include:

Email any queries to

Policy on accepting amendments to planning applications

Please note we have updated our policy on accepting amendments.  You can view the new arrangements using this link: Revisions and amendments to planning applications

Chief Planner newsletters

You can view newsletters using this link: Chief Planner letters

Fire Statements

Planning Gateway One Fire Statement is a national validation requirement.  This is to ensure fire safety is included at the planning stage.  You can find more information on the Validation Updates page.

Planning Agents Forums

We offer events for planning agents and developers submitted applications in Cornwall.  Our next event will be on 16 March. You can find more information on events and resources on our Planning Agents Forum webpage.

We send out invitations direct to our subscribed agents. Would you like to get information and invitations on the Planning Agents Forum? If so, please contact Nic Phillips at

Saved Policies

You can now access saved policies and maps using this link: Saved Policies

Developer contributions

Community Infrastructure Levy charge on development

Cornwall Council has been a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Authority since 1 January 2019. Any new development determined after this date could be liable to pay a CIL. Visit the community infrastructure levy page now to find out how CIL may affect your development.

CIL Charge review requests

We have received 73 requests for a Regulation 113 review of the CIL charge on approved developments since 2019.  We allowed 78% of these.  There were 2 common themes:

  • the size of the development changed whilst the application was being determined.  This means that figures provided on CIL Form 1 at the start of the process are incorrect when we calculate CIL after an approval.  Please submit a revised Form 1 if plans change after original submission.
  • existing 'in-use' floorspace is not included in the calculation.  This is often not deducted because it was not correct on Form 1.  Please record existing floorspace correctly on Form 1 and discuss with your case officer if needed.

This means we have to calculate the CIL charge twice, discuss with case officers and agents/developers which all takes extra time. Please remember to use the CIL Form 1 to provide accurate and up to date measurements so we can calculate CIL correctly.

Phased development and Community Infrastructure Levy

The Council sends out a CIL Liability Notice when planning permission is granted.  When the development starts, the CIL becomes payable.  

You may not need to pay the whole amount of CIL due if development is phased. Please:

  • consider if a development could be phased
  • discuss this with your planning case officer early in the planning process.

Where a planning permission is phased, CIL is applied to each phase of the development.  Each phase is treated as if it were a separate chargeable development. The benefit of this is that different parts of the development can start without CIL becoming due on other parts of the development.  View our Phased development and CIL webpage for information on the benefits of phasing including:

  • self-build developments of more than one dwelling
  • developments containing multiple uses
  • developments where only part of the work is CIL liable.

If you want to know more about CIL and phasing please email the Infrastructure Team at

Please have a look at our Developer Contributions webpage for more information.

Area Team Planning 

Planning case officers work in an area team structure of 8 area teams. Find out more about the area planning teams.

Enforcement officers work in areas in a similar way to that of the area teams.  This team also deal with:

  • Appeals
  • Trees
  • Minerals and Waste

Registration and validation are carried out in our Cornwall-wide Development Support team.


Applications are frontscreened before registration and validation. Frontscreening is a quick check of an application. It helps to identify if the proposed development is likely to be acceptable. For example:

  • whether it accords in principle with the policies of:
    • the Cornwall Local Plan
    • Neighbourhood Development Plan
  • whether there would be any other obvious material planning reasons why planning permission is unlikely to be given

If the proposed development is likely to be acceptable, it will proceed to validation in the normal way.

If the proposed development is unlikely to be acceptable, we will contact you. You will be given the option of having the application returned with the fee.

If you wish, the application can still proceed to validation in the normal way. In this case it is possible that the application will be recommended for refusal. Please note:

  • Frontscreening is not a full validation check. This will be completed by the Development Support team in the normal way.
  • Frontscreening will not provide: 
  • If submitted via the Planning Portal, the relevant Financial Transaction Service Fee will not be refunded.

Other advice and guidance

You can find other guidance pages under the Planning advice and guidance area. In addition to those signposted, there are:

The Planning Technical Guidance page contains guidance on:

Planning News for Local Councils and Agents

Planning News for Local Councils and Agents is published quarterly.  This is our newsletter specifically aimed at planning agents.  You can find the latest edition using this link: Planning News

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