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Ashford Borough Council has produced this Application Validation Checklist in accordance with Planning Practice Guidance and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Paragraph 44 states that local planning authorities should ‘publish a list of their information requirements for applications for planning permission. These requirements should be kept to the minimum needed to make decisions, and should be reviewed at least every two years. Local planning authorities should only request supporting information that is relevant, necessary and material to the application in question’.

This document provides users of Ashford Borough Council’s Development Management Service with clear details of all forms, supporting assessments and plans/drawings required at the time of submitting a planning application (made under the Town and Country Planning Acts) to make it valid. Once an application has the correct level of supporting information then it is considered to be ‘’valid’’ and it can progress towards a decision.

The checklist is set out into two main requirements – set out in 2 tables:

Table One – sets out the national list of requirements which are mandatory for all planning applications.

Table Two – sets out Ashford Borough Council’s local list The checklist aims to:

  • assist in ensuring that your application is valid when submitted;
  • ensure that all applications can be dealt with effectively and efficiently;
  • respond positively to best practice advice issued by government; and,
  • ensure that Ashford Borough Council complies with legislation in relation to planning

The checklist is designed to help ensure that your planning application is valid when we receive it from you. The checklist highlights the relevant local policies and guidance and provides links to where you can read and download these.

The content and detail of the supporting information we require should be proportionate to the scale of the development. For householder applications (any works to an existing house such as an extension, outbuilding etc) these requests are minimal (see page 8). For major schemes (e.g. any application that involves the provision of 10+ dwellings, a floorspace of over 1,000sqm, site area of more than 1 hectare etc.), it is recommended that the content of technical documents supporting your application be informed by pre-application discussions with us and by reference to our planning policies and guidance, particularly Supplementary Planning Documents.

If you are in any doubt about the requirements after reading this document, please contact us through planning.help@ashford.gov.uk before preparing and submitting your application. If the information required is not submitted with your application then the application will not be valid and it will not be assigned to a case officer or start to be progressed towards a decision.

Please remember also that planning permission, listed building and advertisement consents may not be the only permissions or consents you need from Ashford Borough Council. Other consents include building regulations, licensing and food safety. More information on these and other consents and services of the Council are available on this website.

Personal Information and Data protection

All information you provide on the application form and in any accompanying documents will normally be published on the council's website. Only the applicant's personal details, such as telephone and email contact details, and signatures, will be routinely blanked out.

If you wish to provide information in support of the application which you regard as sensitive or confidential, and which you do not wish to be published as set out above, this must be submitted as a separate document and clearly marked as such. Such information should not be embedded within larger documents where it will be more difficult to identify. You should include with any such separate document an explanation as to why you do not wish the document to be published. The council will consider the request and may need to contact you further regarding the request.

Given this, if you supply personal information belonging to a third party, please ensure you have their permission to do so. More information about the planning privacy notice and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 can be viewed here.

The Planning Application process

There are different types of applications and some types require more detailed information than others. All information needs to be accurate and some information can be complex and technical. It is required so that all people with an interest in the outcome of your application can accurately assess what the impacts of your planned development will be. We want to make the planning process as clear as possible and the Checklist below confirms what information is required for different types of applications.

You may need to appoint a planner, an architect, surveyor or specialist consultant to prepare information to support your application and in order to make it valid; for example, to undertake an ecology survey and prepare a report.

Upon receipt of your application, we will crosscheck the information submitted against national planning application requirements, together with Ashford Borough Council’s local requirements, as set out in this document. If all of the required information is included, your application will be classed as ‘’valid’’ and it will then progress towards a decision.

If when we receive your application, we consider that it is lacking information, it will be held as ‘invalid’ and it will not start to progress towards a decision until the necessary information is received.

In the event that your application is invalid (because you have submitted insufficient information or an incorrect application fee), we will write to you to tell you what you need to do to make it valid. You must then submit the required information in a timely manner to ensure that your application can progress to a decision. If, within 12 weeks, you do not provide us with the information we require, we will not be able to deal with your application and it will be treated as closed. Thereafter, in the event that you wish to progress with your plans you will need to submit your application to us again as we do not keep any documents relating to closed applications.

Can we require this level of information?

The application fee and some of the information we require when an application is submitted are national requirements set by Government and apply to all applications – these are set out in Table 1. In addition, as set out in Paragraph 44 of the NPPF, we can require applicants to provide additional information in the interests of good and efficient decision making and having regard to local circumstances, this is known as a local list and can be found in Table 2.