Planning News

Planning News and Press Releases:

For all the latest planning news please view the following websites:

Planning Portal
UK Housing and Planning
Royal Town Planning Institute

Archived Three Rivers Planning Updates:

Planning and Pre-Application Fees to rise by 20%: January 2018

Regulations to introduce a 20% increase in planning fees were made on 20 December 2017. As a result, from 17 January 2018 the Council will be applying the new fee increases which can be viewed at the fee schedule.

The reference for the amended Regulations can be found via the following link:

Pre-Application fees will also be increased by 20% with the change coming into effect on 17 January 2018.  Information on the new pre-application fees can be found at Pre-Application Fees (Jan 2018).


Important information concerning affordable housing provision: July 2017 

Following changes to the National Planning Practice Guidance, with effect from 23 May 2016, financial contributions towards affordable housing were not being sought from developments of 10-units or fewer with a maximum combined gross floorspace of no more than 1,000sqm. However, with regard to evidence (See below) the Council will fully re-apply parts (a) and (e) of Core Strategy Policy CP4 when determining all relevant planning applications from 4 SEPTEMBER 2017, and as such, sites delivering one or more dwellings will be required to contribute to affordable housing provision. For more information on the background to this decision see

Evidence for affordable housing policy (pdf)

Where a required affordable housing contribution would not be viable, a Viability Assessment / Financial Appraisal must be submitted with any application.  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: £1500 plus VAT
10 or more units: £2000 plus VAT
Large schemes: Fee to be negotiated on an individual basis

Changes to Permitted Development: April 2017

There have been a number of changes to the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (as amended) including changes to the Householder Technical Guidance Document.
Technical Guidance (April 2017) (pdf)

The changes can be viewed via the following link:

Energy Statement Requirement:

Policy CP1 of the adopted Core Strategy requires all applications for new residential development of one unit and above and all new commercial development to be accompanied by a CPLAN Energy Statement and Sustainability Checklist to demonstrate the extent to which sustainability principles have been incorporated into the location, design, construction and future use of proposals, and the expected carbon emissions. 

The CPLAN Energy Statement and Sustainability Checklist will not be available from 21 March 2016. From this date, applicants will not be able to submit a CPLAN Energy and Sustainability Statement but should submit an Energy Statement demonstrating the extent to which relevant proposals meet the requirements of Policy DM4 of the Development Management Policies document which sets out that developments must produce at least 5% less carbon dioxide emissions than Building Regulations Part L (2013) requirements having regard to feasibility and viability. For building conversions, development proposals must still demonstrate that there would be an overall improvement in the energy performance of the building. Guidance on producing an Energy Statement is available at

Pre-Application Fees:

From 1 April 2016 certain pre-application fees will be increased. The majority of the fees are not changing, however, householder pre-application advice will be increasing from £79.20 to £90 (figures inclusive of VAT). Three additional fee categories will be added to the residential development category for schemes of 50+, 100+ and 200+ dwellings. 

Pre-Application Stage
Duty Planning Service

Please note that from 1 April 2016, Hertfordshire County Council Highways will be introducing separate charges for pre application requests. These fees would be in addition to the pre application fees above if you would like more detailed advice in relation to transport and highways matters.

Highway Pre Application Fees from 1 April 2016

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL):

CIL is a new charge which will allow the Council to raise funds from new developments for use on infrastructure to support the growth of the District. The money collected from the levy will be used to support development by funding infrastructure that the Council, local community and neighbourhoods need. It came into force on 1 April 2015.

Attached is a guidance note for applicants. This includes all the Planning Portal forms. Please note that Form 0 - Planning Application Additional Information Requirements must be submitted with all planning applications.

More information, including the Three Rivers Charging Schedule, can be found on the Planning Policy pages.

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