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.

Planning Fee Increase – Statutory and Non-Statutory Fees

Please see the below advanced notice of changes to planning fees:

Statutory Planning Fees

The Government have released information regarding the changes to planning fees.  These fees an be viewed here: The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 (  They will apply to any application received on or after 6 December 2023.

The Planning Portal have also published a forthcoming fees schedule.

Our Fees and Charges document will be updated on this date.

Non-Statutory Planning  Fees

Cornwall Council’s Planning Department will be increasing its non-statutory fees by at least 6% on the 1 January 2024.  A revised schedule of fees will be available on this date and will apply on any requests received on or after 1 January 2024.

New National Landscapes

From 22 November 2023 all AONBs are to be known as National Landscapes. This reflects the importance of these protected landscapes alongside the UK’s National Parks.

The Cornwall National Landscape is the new name for the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Tamar Valley National Landscape is the new name for the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Natural England endorses this change as the Statutory Consultee with regard to matters within the designated landscape.

Both National Landscapes remain as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty insofar as all policy, legislation and guidance applies to the designated landscapes.  The statutory purpose of the designated landscape “to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the designated landscape” remains unchanged. The Cornwall AONB Management Plan 2022-2027 and Tamar Valley AONB Management Plan 2019-2024 remain valid.

Alongside this change to the name of the designated landscape, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (LURA) 2023, which received Royal Assent in October 2023, requires relevant authorities in England to actively ‘seek to further the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty’ of the National Landscape (AONB). This replaces the more passive ‘duty of regard’ to the purpose from Section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.

New Ecology Trigger Lists Launched

Based on feedback from applicants, agents and other interested parties the ecology trigger list has been updated.  Please see the below important information:

  • The new trigger lists can be used from 1 November 2023.
  • Two trigger lists (one for householder and one for minor/other developments) have been produced.
  • There is a guidance note for major applications.
  • The new trigger lists amends and adds clarity to when a survey is required.
  • The need for a survey on householder applications has been reduced.
  • The previous version of the trigger list will be accepted until 15 November 2023.
  • If you have an application currently invalid with us for a survey and one would no longer be required under the new requirements, please contact the Validation Officer with a completed new trigger list.

We have also published a new Ecological Survey Calendar.  The calendar as well as the above trigger lists can be found on the Make a Planning Application page under ‘Download forms’ and ‘Ecology Checklist and Trigger Lists’

Updated Energy Summary Tool

We have now launched Version 2 of the Energy Summary Tool.  Version 2 of the SAP Energy Summary Tool offers a number of improvements including:

  • it can be used by more developments: any number of storeys/all house types, up to 25 units (of which up to 9 may be flats)
  • it is quicker and easier to use (does not require energy expertise/architects may find it useful to test options)
  • ability to factor in a secondary heating source where proposed.

We will accept version 1 up to 30 November 2023.

For further information please visit the Planning Policy Guidance page.

Updated Validation Guide

The Validation Guide has been updated to version 1.3.  The Validation Guide can be found on the 'Make a Planning Application' web page.  A schedule of changes to the guide can be found in this table of Validation guide updates.

To ensure you are viewing the most up to date version please open the document and do a hard refresh of your browser.

Biodiversity Net Gain in Cornwall

Although a national requirement for 10% biodiversity net gain will now not apply until January 2024, the Cornwall requirement for biodiversity net gain on major developments remains in place.

Applications should continue to make provision in line with policy G2 of the Climate Emergency DPD (February 2023) and meet the current local validation requirements. This includes the submission of the latest DEFRA metric. Applications validated in advance of mandating in January 2024 will be determined in line with Policy G2 of the CEDPD.  

New Validation Requirements - Climate Emergency DPD

Planning has been asked on numerous occasions why we are requesting information with Planning Applications.

Cornwall declared a climate emergency in 2019. It recognised that all services across the Council would have a part to play. The Climate Emergency DPD was adopted on 21 February 2023 by Cornwall Council. The policies in it are now being used in planning decisions. New planning policies are a step towards improving Cornwall’s housing and infrastructure. Helping to plan for a Cornwall that our children and grandchildren can live, work and thrive in.

You can find more details in the Validation Guide and in our Planning Policy Guidance webpages.

This plan impacts how places grow and change, whilst sitting alongside Government legislation. The policies will help to protect and shape the future of Cornwall by adding detail to the Cornwall Local Plan (2016). The aim is to address the impacts of climate change with flexible policies that can keep up with changes in technology.

National Planning Guidance supports the move to a low carbon economy. It encourages energy reduction, renewable energy and reusing existing resources.  The need to address Climate Change is urgent and remains a priority for the Council.  The DPD supports the Cornwall Local Plan. It gives additional powers to help protect our environment by: 

  • reducing carbon
  • encouraging an eco-friendly approach to:
    • building
    • transport
    • land use
    • energy production

Policy G3 Canopy

This policy introduced requirements for canopy provision from 15 June 2023.  The  Canopy Policy aims to ensure that appropriate levels of canopy are well integrated into major and minor development proposals (householder and change of use are exempt). It does this through:

  • prioritising the retention of existing trees
  • use of a Canopy Calculator for major development
  • requirement of climate resilient species choice for proposed canopy.

The Canopy Calculator is a requirement for major developments only. It measures the spread of above-ground canopy. It also projects the canopy growth of tree species over a 25-year period. The required percentage by the end of 25 years is a minimum 15%, unless a lower amount can be justified. The calculator has been adapted for Cornish conditions from a working canopy calculator in High Wycombe.

You can find more details in the Validation Guide and in our Planning Policy Guidance webpages.

Policy SEC1 Sustainable Energy and Construction

This policy introduced expectations for energy performance and sustainable materials from 15 June 2023.  It affects:

  • full applications submitted from this date and
  • reserved matters where the outline consent was received after this date.

The energy efficiency and renewable standards for all new-build homes need to be demonstrated through an Energy Statement. This is made up of an Energy Report and Energy Summary Tool. These standards need to be designed in at an early stage. Each new build home must only need a low amount of energy to run and have enough renewables (usually solar pv) to meet its needs. We seek BREEAM Excellent (or an agreed alternative) for major non-residential development.

Energy Statements

This means:

  • Residential - applications for all new build homes will require the submission of an Energy Report and Energy Summary Tool.  This includes annexes, please refer to page 35, paragraph 12.3 of the below Planning Policy Guidance.
  • Non-residential – applications for new build non-residential over 1,000m2 require an Energy Report including a BREEAM certification estimate (or agreed alternative to BREEAM).

Policy SEC1 also:

  • seeks efficient use of water and materials
  • supports retrofitting to reduce carbon emissions and solar panels on existing buildings where sensitive to heritage assets and landscapes.

You can find more details in the Validation Guide and in our Planning Policy Guidance webpages.  This includes:

  • Climate Emergency policy guidance
  • Energy Summary Tools (with new introductory video)
  • Transition arrangements 
  • Renewable Energy Offsetting Framework (to be used as a last resort).

New residential solar guidance

We have published new guidance to go with the Climate Emergency DPD on Residential Solar Best Practice.  You can find this and other CEDPD guidance on our Planning Policy Guidance webpage.

Local List Requirements

For many years planning have been validating applications where Local List documents are missing, if agents or applicants submit them within 14 days.

Following a review, from 1 May 2023 Planning will no longer follow this process. This means that all relevant national and local requirements must provided for the application to be valid.

The reason for this change:

  • not receiving requested information;
  • delays in receiving requested information;

Both of which resulting in disputes and/or delays in the planning process.

  • high volumes of work;
  • to efficiently determine applications.

Planning have recently updated it Validation Guide which we hope is more user friendly and can be used as a checklist.

Development in the River Camel Special Area of Conservation

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. 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

A developer can request a Regulation 113 review within 28 days of getting the Liability Notice if they disagree with how the CIL charge has been calculated.  There are generally 2 common reasons why a calculation may be wrong:

  • 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 straight away, 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.  The permission must be explicitly phased by planning condition for it to be considered 'phased' for CIL purposes. 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 trees and minerals and waste.

A separate Appeals team of specialist officers deal with all appeal work.

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

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 Additional Development 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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