Pre Application Checklist - Guide for Developers

This is intended as a quick look at the planning application process in Three Rivers District for developers and agents.

Pre application Advice

  • Pre Application advice service - the Development Management Section has recently introduced charges for pre application advice. This page contains information about the fees and process.
  • Duty Planner – a drop in service at the Council offices (between 10am and 1pm Monday to Fridays) is available for small scale developments/householder enquiries only. No appointment is necessary but enquiries are limited to a maximum of 15 minutes. No site visits or written responses will be available from this service.

Our details:

  • Council Offices: Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1RL
  • Email: (this is a Council email address, please ensure a suitable subject heading is entered – such as ‘Planning Enquiry’)
  • Telephone: 01923 776611

The Customer Service Centre are able to answer most non-technical questions by telephone (8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday), however if you require technical advice on general planning matters you may contact the Duty Planning Officer between 10 am and 1 pm. Case Officers for specific applications are only available before 11am after 4pm.

 Planning Portal's 'Information for Professionals'   Link to Planning Portal. Opens in new window  

Other Bodies pre application advice

Pre-application advice can be sought from the Council’s internal sections such as Environmental Health, Conservation Officers, or Landscape Officers, and other bodies such as the Environment Agency and Herts County Council Highways. See the Pre Application Stage pages for further information.


Development Constraints


Please see the Planning Policy section of the website for information on Local Development Framework, Supplementary Planning Guidance, Conservation Areas.

The Core Strategy was adopted at the Full Council meeting on 17 October 2011 and now forms part of the Development Plan for the area.

  • Key Development Management design guidelines: 

In response to developers who deal with several Local Authorities, the following is intended as a very brief look at some of our key policies for householder applications:

  • 45 degree rule taken from common boundary
  • Maximum rear extension depth guideline of 3.6m.
  • In Green Belt – maximum 40 % increase from original dwelling
  • First floor to be 1.2m from flank boundary.

Supplementary Planning Documents - including the Affordable Housing SPD

Submitting an application


In accordance with national guidance published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Three Rivers District Council has created a list of local requirements for the validation of planning applications.  This has been incorporated into a validation checklist which encompasses national requirements (including the application form, the correct fee, ownership certificates and other specific details) as well as local validation requirements.  

Validation requirements are set out in the Council's adopted Local Validation Checklist available below. With regard to affordable housing (see Part B, Section 4), if viability is an issue a Viability Assessment / Financial Appraisal must be submitted. This viability information will be assessed by an independent financial advisor, the cost of which shall be borne by the applicant/developer. These costs are:

9 units or less: £1000 plus VAT
10 or more units: £2000 plus VAT
Large schemes: Fee to be negotiated on an individual basis

Please note that the relevant fee (payable to Three Rivers District Council for inward transmission) must be paid up-front at the time of validation, and must be a separate payment to the planning application fee.

Changes to National Policy regarding Affordable Housing and S106 Contributions

As a result of the changes to the NPPG the Council can no longer seek planning obligations to contribute to affordable housing or to pooled funding ‘pots’ intended to fund the provision of general infrastructure in the wider area from developments of 10 houses or less which have a combined maximum gross floor space of 1,000 square metres.

Following the Ministerial Statement Policy CP4 and Policy DM11 will no longer be applied to developments for 10 dwellings or less which have a combined maximum gross floor space of 1,000 square metres or less.

We will continue to seek contributions from applications for 10 dwellings or under where the gross floor area will exceed 1,000sqm.

  • TRDC's Validation Checklist - view Three Rivers District Council's Validation Checklist for Planning Applications.
  • Required Plans– download leaflet. The plans should show the following, as a minimum:
      • Location Plan (1:1250 or 1:2500).
      • Block Plan (1:200 or 1:500 is ideal) showing the proposed development in relation to neighbouring properties.
      • Elevations (all sides) – both existing and proposed.
      • Floor Plans (all floors) – both existing and proposed.
      • Sections may also be required in some cases.
      • Streetscene elevations may also be required in some cases.
      • We do accept dimensioned plans, although Imperial measurements are not accepted.
  • Maps, Plans and Planning Applications: What to Submit - A Best Practice Guide - from Planning Portal website.
  • Guidance on information requirements and validation - from Department for Communities and Local Government. 

Additional Documents

Design & Access Statement
Please note that there is a compulsory requirement to submit a Design and Access Statement with certain planning and listed building consent applications. For further information, and to determine whether your application requires a Design and Access Statement, please see the guidelines below: 

Sustainability and Carbon Impact Assessment
The Council's Local Development Framework will include policies requiring all new development proposals to work to achieve zero carbon emissions. For further information:

Suggested Next Steps: