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Planning Agents' Area


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.

Biodiversity Net Gain in Cornwall

Cornwall Council already introduced the requirement for BNG for major developments.  From 12 February 2024, BNG became nationally mandated for major developments and for small sites from 2 April 2024.

Mandatory BNG is subject to national minimum requirements.  Cornwall Council  continues to apply some local validation requirements for a BNG statement.  The Validation Guide has been updated to reflect these changes. You can find more information on the Government's Biodiversity Net Gain page.

Updated Validation Guide

The Validation Guide has been updated to version 1.7.  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.

Increase in Planning Portal Service Charge

On the 1 April the Planning Portal will be increasing its service charge by £6 to £70 including VAT.

Further information can be found on the Planning Portal Website

New Waste Planning Guidance

All new domestic property or housing development needs to take into consideration

  • how individual households store their waste, and 
  • how this waste will be collected from individual properties

The Council has developed a waste guidance checklist document for planners and developers.  This is linked to Cornwall Council’s Design Guide. Applications will be reviewed to understand how proposals meet these new standards.

Call for sites 2024

The Council is currently exploring how the next Local Plan will deal with growth in Cornwall to 2050.  Any revised plan will need to identify enough land to meet future requirements. This includes:

  • new homes and employment space
  • community infrastructure and tourism
  • sites for Biodiversity Net Gain and Nutrient Neutrality mitigation and/or nature-based initiatives.

Our call for sites will be open initially between 20 February and 22 April 2024.

You can find full information and how to submit a site on our Call for sites webpage.

Accredited Agents Householder Scheme 2024

The Accredited Agents Householder Scheme will be continuing in 2024 and letters have just been sent to those agents currently on the scheme.

If you would like to join the scheme and/or would like more information, please visit the Accredited Agents Householder Scheme web page.  Benefits include:

  • Closer working relationships with the Council. 
  • Advertising on the Council's Accredited Agent webpage.
  • You may also use the Accredited Agent logo on your business stationary.

Removal of Free Go

On 06/12/2023 new statutory planning fees have been introduced at the same time the ability to submit a free so on relevant submissions has been removed.  This has raised a number of queries.  Please see the below clarification:

  • Applications submitted before 6 December 2023 and are not determined before the said date would not benefit from a free go. 
  • Applications determined or withdrawn before 6 December will still benefit from a free go subject to the normal criteria. 
  • If the application is withdrawn the applicant has 12 months from the validation date to submit a free go, if the application was withdrawn prior to the 6 December 2023.
  • If the application was refused the applicant has 12 months from the date the application was refused, if it is refused prior to 6 December 2023.
  • The update does not refer to applications approved and therefore the free go no longer applies to application which are approved regardless if it was approved prior to 6 December 2023.

New Validation Requirements - 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.

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

  • Climate Emergency policy guidance including Sustainable Energy and Construction and Canopy policy help
  • Energy Summary Tools (with introductory video)
  • Transition arrangements 
  • Renewable Energy Offsetting Framework (to be used as a last resort).

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.

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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