Planning News

For all the latest planning news at national level please view the following websites:

Planning Portal
UK Housing and Planning
Royal Town Planning Institute

Latest Planning News/Updates at Three Rivers District Council:


New fee introduced for 'larger home extensions'

From Monday 19th August 2019 a fee of £96 has been introduced for the prior approval application for larger home extensions under Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (as amended). For more information on the fee change please click here.

Revised NPPF & Planning Practice Guidance:

Following recent revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) applicants should be mindful when submitting planning applications of the following:

For more information on the above please see Planning News for more details.

Heritage Statements:

Paragraph 189 of the NPPF requires an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage asset that may be affected by a proposal. Any planning application within a Conservation Area or relating to a Listed Building (or affecting its setting) must be accompanied by a heritage statement with the level of detail proportionate to the assets’ importance. Any statements which do not provide sufficient information could delay the determination process or may result in the refusal of the application. Please see the Validation Checklist (page 14) for more information.

Viability Assessments:

Applicants are reminded when submitting viability assessments as part of the planning process that the PPG states that they should be proportionate, simple, transparent and publicly available to ensure that over time the data available for future assessments is enhanced. All viability assessments should be prepared on the basis that it will be made publicly available. Please see the Validation Checklist (page 8) for more information.

December 2018.


Revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF):

The National Planning Policy Framework which sets out the Government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied was updated on 24 July 2018. 

Revised NPPF

Important changes to come into effect:

1). Payments
2). General Data Protection Regulations
3). Pre-Commencement Conditions

14 May 2018


  1. Update on accepted payment methods
  2. Implications of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  3. Approach to Pre-Commencement Conditions

1) Payments

Please be aware that from 1 June 2018 Three Rivers District Council will no longer accept payment by cheque for planning application or pre-application fees. Payments can be made by the following existing methods:


As you may be aware, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in April 2016 and is enforceable from 25 May 2018. The Council, as with all other businesses, is currently reviewing its processes and procedures to ensure we are compliant with its requirements.

The regulation applies to all personal data held by organisations, and planning applications by their very nature contain a large amount of personal data. Personal data can be defined as “any information related to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address” ( The personal data that you provide to us on planning application forms is mandatory, and is stored in such a way that we are able to automatically redact and/or erase after a set period of time.

However, often planning applications are accompanied by other supporting documents that contain personal data.

In order to help us to ensure compliance with the GDPR, we would request that, with immediate effect you ensure that any planning applications submitted to us contain only the personal data requested in the planning application form, and no other personal data relating to the applicant in any other location within the application (including names and addresses on drawings or other submission documents). If you consider it a necessary or vital part of your case to provide personal data, this should be done with the subject’s consent and should be provided in a separate document to the LPA clearly marked as containing sensitive personal data.

Please note the purpose of this email is not to give any advice to recipients on how to ensure they or their businesses are compliant with the GDPR. Recipients should seek their own independent legal advice to ensure they are compliant with all requirements.

We have used your contact details from a recent planning application to send this notification. However, because you gave us your contact details only to enable us to process your planning application, in the future we will not be able to use your details for any other purpose. As a result going forward we are not able to use your details for the distribution of updates from the department. Departmental updates will be posted on our Planning Home Page.

3) Pre-Commencement Conditions

Due to the introduction of The Town and Country Planning (Pre-commencement Conditions) Regulation 2018 the LPA is required to seek confirmation from applicants that they are in agreement with the terms of pre-commencement conditions, prior to such pre commencement conditions being imposed. This is relevant for all applications where planning permission is granted on or after 1 October 2018. Agents/applicants will be given 10 working days in order to respond to a notice of proposed condition(s). Should a substantive response (ie a response stating the applicant does not agree, or a response providing comments on the condition) not be received within the 10 days then consent will be assumed. If the applicant is not in agreement then the condition cannot be imposed however this may in turn result in the refusal of permission.  Applicants/agents are therefore encouraged to use the pre-application service to discuss potential pre-commencement conditions to front load any potential issues.



February 2018

Adopted Validation Checklist:

The Validation Checklist has been updated following a recent consultation whereby views, opinions and feedback were sought.


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

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

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