We are committed to handling communications electronically wherever possible.

We communicate directly with prospective applicants and others at pre-application stage, and we expect to agree mutually convenient means of exchanging information and advice throughout the process.

How electronic consultation works

Electronic consultation currently happens when a local planning authority consults or notifies us of statutory applications by publishing documents on the local planning authority website and sending us a hyperlink by email. Alternatively we may accept e-consultations via approved third-party websites.

If you are a local planning authority and you wish to e-consult with us directly, please contact the Business Manager in your local office with any queries and/or to agree arrangements for starting electronic consultation.

If you are a local planning authority and you wish to e-consult with us via the Consultee Cloud, please contact the National Business Development Manager.

As a statutory consultee we need sufficient information to give an informed reply (Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010).

The guidance below gives a flavour of how we can handle electronic consultations effectively.

Pre-application advice

If you are a prospective applicant or local planning authority please:

  • Send drawings, plans and other complex supporting information in paper form unless agreed otherwise by us
  • Provide a clear index with any CD-Rom

When requesting advice electronically please

  • Ensure lists of plans and documents make clear the identity of each one by specific naming and indexing
  • Provide documents that are scanned at 200 dpi (dots per square inch)
  • Ensure the site plan is at an appropriate scale and covers enough of the surrounding area in order for us to locate the site accurately
  • In exceptional cases where electronic consultations require email attachments, ensure the attachments are no more than 5 megabytes total size

Statutory consultation

E-Planning Standards for E-Consultation

Published 16 March 2015

Advises how online planning application documents should be published by local planning authorities (LPAs), commented on by Consultees and handled by third party websites.

Learn more

Broadly speaking, if you are the relevant local planning authority you should:

  • Include in each email notification a subject line containing the application reference and site name
  • Indicate the reason for consultation and provide in the email the application title and a direct hyperlink to the application and supporting documentation on the website, or a hyperlink to the LPA search engine into which we can paste the application reference
  • Ensure supporting documentation has been submitted and is published with the application in accordance with our information requirements, as set out in our Charter.

Please note

  • If you are a local planning authority and cannot meet our standards for electronic consultation, we may ask for a copy of all the relevant papers you have received from the applicant, to help us to provide an informed response.
  • The 21-day deadline will not start until we have received all the information we need to provide an informed response (Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010).
  • Where a Consultation Notification is received outside our business office hours (9am - 5pm weekdays), it shall be taken to have been received on the next working day; and for this purpose 'working day' means a day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday or other public holiday. (Town and Country (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010).

We will:

  • Provide a single email address for each of our Local Offices
  • Uphold the standards included in our Charter
  • Work with our stakeholders to ensure the effectiveness of electronic consultation

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