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How to apply for planning permission

2. How to apply for planning permission

Submitting a planning application requires more than just the application form. Depending on the site and the type of development, you may need additional plans and documents. Follow the steps below to find out what you may need and how to submit a planning application. Once submitted, we'll contact you if there are any problems so you do not need to contact us. If we require more information please follow the instructions and send this as soon as possible. We will close the application after 28 days if we have not heard from you. 

Check to see if your proposal fits in with local and national planning policy.

Local policy

Read information on our pages:

Borough design guide

The borough design guide (PDF document) provides guidance to ensure proposals are appropriate and protect nearby properties from the impact of the development. 

National Policy

Guidance is also available on the Government website and planning portal:

Use the planning constraints map to find out what constraints your site has. This will help you to find out what information must be submitted with an application. 

The most common constraints that result in additional information being required are:

There are national requirements and local requirements that are specific to us. Our local list of requirements for planning applications (PDF document) provides information on the types of documents required. Consider what the list requires carefully as without certain information we will not be able to process your application. 

Applications should always be submitted with the correct plans and these should be checked to make sure they are drawn correctly. Use the following points to help ensure your application is valid: 

  • All plans and documents should be submitted in PDF format. Do not provide signatures on plans. 
  • Ensure there are no differences between plans. For example a window shown on a floor plan but not shown on an elevation plan. You also need to make sure that all elevations are provided. 
  • Ensure that the development is accurately drawn to scale on every scaled plan. This means the same measurement should be achieved on every plan. If plans are photocopied they may not scale correctly. A scale bar should be included on every plan and ensure ‘do not scale’ is removed from all plans. You can use our guide for adobe measuring tool (PDF document) to check your plans.
  • Ensure you have permission to reproduce or use the plans.  Normally ordnance survey extracts provided with your deeds cannot be copied and are not suitable for planning purposes.
  • For a change of use application, you should submit existing and proposed floor plans (even if no internal alterations are proposed). Local List requirements state that plans must be no larger than A3 size. This helps the public to view the plans online.

Bat survey reports    

If you're development is in an area highlighted as a bat habitat on the planning constraint checker map then you'll need to do a bat survey report, also known as a preliminary roost assessment. 

This applies to all applications, including householder applications, which propose any of the following: 

  • Demolition
  • Modification to a roof including extensions and alterations which would affect a roof
  • Work to a bridge, cellar, air raid shelter or tunnel

The bat survey report must be done by a qualified ecologist and submitted with the application. It might mean the planning application is refused if you don't.

Community Infrastructure Levy Form

Every application needs to include a community infrastructure levy form (pdf document) even where you consider the development isn't liable for the levy. Complete and submit this form via the Planning Portal with your application. 

Heritage Statements

If your development affects a heritage asset you will need to submit a Heritage Statement. This should show how the development does not negatively impact any heritage asset. For more information, visit our listed buildings, heritage and conservation areas page.

Volume calculations for 'countryside' applications

For new extensions or replacement residential buildings located within countryside or green belt you need to provide volume calculations. These need to be measured externally. 

These should identify the size of the dwelling at the time it was built or at 1948 if it was built before. Volumes for any subsequent extensions should be calculated together with the volume of the proposed extensions.

Which application form

The application form you need to use depends on the type of application. Visit the Planning Portal website to find out which application form you need. Some applications can't be submitted through the portal and will need to be sent to us at development.control@wokingham.gov.uk. See the paper forms section of the Planning Portal website for more information. You will need to pay for these applications via our online payment page.

Ownership and Agricultural Holdings Certificate

These are required to be completed and signed to confirm land ownership. You need to ensure that the correct certificate is signed.  If any part of the development would encroach onto neighbouring land or be sited on the shared boundary it will be necessary to sign certificate B and serve notice on the neighbouring land owner. See the agricultural holdings certificate page on the Planning Portal website to find out more.

Description of development 

The description of the development must accurately describe what you're proposing.  It must include all of the development shown on the plans. For example if an extension is proposed which would require a new raised decking area and this is shown on the plans it must also be in the description.

If the description is found to be wrong this can result in a delay in validating your application. If it is found to be wrong during the process of the application then it may be necessary to re-consult neighbours and interested parties which may delay your application.

You can submit your application on the Planning Portal website:

The fees for planning applications will be calculated for you during the application process.

You can also work out the fees using the planning fees calculator on the Planning Portal website  or read a guide to fees on the Planning Portal website (PDF document).

Paying the fees

If you apply and pay via the Planning Portal this will help us process your application faster.

If you need to pay direct to the Council, use the online payment facility. Ensure you enter the site address or reference number as this helps us match the payment to your application. For applications to discharge or modify a S106 document, the fee can range between £1000 - £2000.

Until the fee is received by the council the application will not be made valid. 

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