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Major development advice

Please note:

If you are submitting a planning application for the erection of a house(s), flat(s) or the conversion of a building to a house(s) or flat(s) within those parts of the district south of the M4, you are advised to read the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area information

What is a major development?

The Council is using the definition of 10+ dwellings and 1000m2 of floor space (commercial / business proposals). 

Submitting a major development planning application

The application should consist of the required plans (6 copies); signed, dated and fully completed application forms (part 1 and 2); and the required fee. 

If the proposal is subject to an Environmental Impact Asessment additional copies should be provided for the necessary consultations with various agencies. You will need to contact the Case Officer to establish how many are required. 

If a site is heavily constrained it can be useful to contact the Case Officer first to ask if further copies are needed to carry out the full consultation.

What should be included with your application

The Council will expect all major applications to be accompanied by:

  • A full tree survey to British Standard (currently BS 5387)

  • A Design Statement

  • A Site Survey / Analysis

  • A Planning Statement explaining how the proposal accords with the Council's Local Development Framework and saved policies in the Local Plan and any other material considerations 

  • An accessibility assessment

  • A copy of the documents required in the  Local List Requirements for Validation of Planning Applications 

If the site is located within the Green Belt or the Countryside detailed volume calculations of any existing and proposed buildings need to be submitted with the application. Failure to provide this documentation may result in the application being deemed invalid, which will delay its registration. 

The Council does not accept handed drawings and requires all elevations to be shown on scaled plans.  The block plan should accurately show the relationship of the proposal to immediately surrounding buildings.

Coloured plans in the form of supporting material is welcomed for Committee presentation purposes.

Section 106: Services, amenities and infrastructure

Where pre-application advice confirms that a legal agreement will be required the following information should be supplied with your planning application:

  • your proposed heads of terms or a draft legal agreement;

  • copies of title deeds;

  • an undertaking to pay the Council's legal costs in connection with the preparation of a Section 106 agreement;

  • the contact address and name of the solicitor representing you or your client.

The Council has developed a series of standard agreements and the Case Officer will supply these to you.

When an application is to be approved there will be a focus on completing the whole process within the required 13 week timescale.  It will be expected that the legal agreement will be completed at the latest 2 days prior to the application expiry date. 

If pre-application discussion has included information on the s106 contributions arising from the proposal it would be helpful to the Case Officer to have an indication of whether the required contributions are acceptable to the applicant. 

The Council will proceed with drafting a s106 agreement on the understanding that the applicant pays any costs arising should the application eventually be refused.  Given the target to determine major applications within 13 weeks, early contact and preparation of agreements is beneficial. 

The Council expects s106 agreements to be completed promptly following the Committee resolution, with all contributions index linked and payments normally made prior to first occupation.

Timescales

Where a s106 planning obligation is required the decision date of the planning application is the date upon which the obligation is signed and the permission is then issued, not the date upon which the Committee authorisation is given.

In view of the current Government performance requirements a robust approach needs to be taken to ensure the timely determination of such applications. The target timescales will therefore be set as follows:

Where the application is to be approved there will be a focus on completing the whole process within the required 13-week timescale. Where this is the case it will be expected that the planning obligation will be completed at the latest 2 days prior to the application expiry date.

In the event that an application is more than 13 weeks old at the date of the Committee resolution a period of 2 months will be allowed for the completion of the necessary agreement.

In the absence of the necessary agreement being completed within that 2 month period the application is likely to be refused on the basis of lack of infrastructure contributions and / or affordable housing.

Where the application is to be refused on the basis of its planning merits, it will be targeted to a Committee meeting within the 13-week period. 

In this section:

Contact us:

Development Management:

0118 974 6282

development.control
@wokingham.gov.uk