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A suitably qualified person should produce assessments, reports, statements and appraisals.

Affordable housing statement (planning policy; NDLP–HSG2, HSG3, HSG4 HSG7, HSG8, HSG13, ECN5 and planning obligations): must be provided (for both full and outline applications) before the application is registered having regards to the written ministerial statement regarding thresholds (Please see government website  for up to date information)

This statement should include:

  • an explanation of how the development would contribute towards meeting local housing needs
  • the number and percentage of  affordable units including their size in square metres, property type (eg. single/two storey, flat, bungalow, terrace), and number of bedspaces
  • tenure
  • the plots allocated for each housing type

Further advice is available in our supplementary planning document on affordable housing.  In cases where the provision of affordable housing is considered to undermine the commercial viability of the scheme, we will need financial evidence in the form of a detailed site specific Viability Appraisal (VA) clearly demonstrating any such impact. In most cases, an independent review of the VA will be obtained. (please refer to relevant supplementary planning documents on developer contributions). This will be at the applicants cost. Please mark any VA as CONFIDENTIAL.

Agricultural worker/forestry worker/rural business dwellings (planning policy NDLP – HSG9, HSG9A, HSG10 and adopted supplementary planning document): if the application is for an agricultural worker/forestry worker/rural business dwelling, then an independent appraisal must be provided before the application is registered. This should address functional and financial criteria and follow the guidance set out in the supplementary planning document –Agricultural, forestry and other essential occupational dwellings guidance – adopted 2009. It should also include a location plan (or plans) at a scale of 1:2500, 1:5000 or 1:10000 showing the whole holding or any land referred to within the appraisal outlined in blue.

Air quality assessment (planning policy: NDLP – DVS3): will be requested before the application is registered where it is believed that the proposal may impact on air quality by reason of the dust or emissions that may be produced on or off site as a result of the development. This should indicate the change in air quality resulting from the proposed development and outline appropriate mitigation measures.

Arboricultural impact assessment (planning policy: NDLP – DVS1, DVS2, ENV8): whenever there are trees or hedges on or adjacent to a proposed development site that might be affected during, or as a result of, the proposed works then an arboricultural impact assessment must be provided before the application is registered (for an outline application a tree constraints survey and plan is sufficient). The arboricultural impact assessment should contain a tree survey, tree protection/removal plan and an arboricultural method statement. The survey should be undertaken by or under the guidance of a qualified arboriculturalist in accordance with the recommendations set out in BS5837:2012 (trees in relation to design, demolition and construction - recommendations) and should include the position of all trees of 75mm stem diameter at a height of 1.5 metres within the site and adjoining or overhanging the site boundaries, the canopy spread of such trees; all shrub masses and hedges, and any other relevant features of the site such as banks, slopes, walls and fences and water features. Details of the trees should be recorded and the trees categorised in accordance with the tree categorisation method set out in BS5837:2012. Thresholds: all applications involving new  development on sites containing tree cover as noted above, or individual specimen trees, or trees which are the subject of a tree preservation order.

Coal mining risk assessment: where the application site area falls within the area of a former coal mine, then a coal mining risk assessment must be provided before the application is registered.

Community involvement statement: where the application relates to a major development, then a statement of community involvement must be provided before the application is registered.

Contamination report (planning policy NDC – DVS4): will be required where there have been previous uses of the site/building or on land/buildings immediately adjoining a site that are likely to have resulted in contamination

Crime and disorder statement (duty to consider crime and disorder implications under Section 17, Crime and Disorder Act 1998) where the application is for:

  • all major development
  • the provision or alteration of a take-away
  • the provision or alteration of a public house or licensed premises
  • public toilets

a crime and disorder statement must be provided before the application is registered. Further advice on ‘secured by design’ principles are available from the Police Architectural Liaison Officer (telephone 01271 335351).

Critical drainage area surface water management report: a report about how surface water runoff will be dealt with and minimised. This is required if the site is in a Critical Drainage Area (CDA) and will result in an increase or change to how surface water is dealt with on the site – you can find out if you’re in a CDA on Devon County Council’s flood risk management web page.

If the proposal will not lead to increased runoff, please state this in writing (with your reasons including how runoff has been calculated and how it  will be dealt with).

 If the proposal will lead to increased runoff, surface water and rainfall runoff will need to be managed to the highest standard possible. To do this, the SuDS hierarchy should be followed, and infiltration should be used as far as is practicable.

Where infiltration is a viable means of surface water disposal on the site, infiltration testing results in accordance with Building Regulations (Part H) (2010) should be undertaken. Once these tests have been undertaken, you should use the results to demonstrate that the proposed soakaway has been sized to safely manage the one in 100 year (+40% allowance for climate change) rainfall event.

If infiltration testing results demonstrate that infiltration is not viable, you will still need to accord with the CDA standards. South West Water may be satisfied with higher discharge rates, but their primary concern is the capacity of their sewer network, rather than the CDA designation. Consequently, you would have to provide an attenuation-based surface water drainage management system, with an off-site discharge to a watercourse (with permission) or main sewer (with permission). This system should be designed to safely manage the one in 100 year (+40% allowance for climate change) rainfall event and ensure that any off-site discharge should mimic greenfield performance up to a maximum of a one in 10 year rainfall event.

Design and access statement must be provided where:

  • the application is major development; or
  • where any part of the development is in a designated  area (Conservation Area) and is for the provision of one or more dwelling houses, or the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space created by the development is 100 square metres or more

The design and access statement should take the form of a report that illustrates the process that has led to the development proposal. It should explain and justify the proposal in a structured way. The level of detail required will depend on the scale and complexity of the application. It should

  • explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development
  • demonstrate the steps taken to appraise the context of the development and how the design of the development takes that context into account
  • explain the policy adopted as to access, and how policies relating to access in relevant local development documents have been taken into account
  • state what, if any, consultation has been undertaken on issues relating to access to the development and what account has been taken of the outcome of any such consultation
  • explain how any specific issues which might affect access to the development have been addressed

Environmental impact assessment: a procedure to be followed for certain types of project to ensure that decisions are made in full knowledge of any likely significant effects on the environment. It must be provided before the application is registered if the proposal falls within Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017. These regulations provide a checklist of matters that should be included in the statement.

Flood risk assessment (planning policy: NDLP – DVS6 and DVS7): if the proposed development:

  • falls within flood zone two or flood zone three
  • involves a site area of one hectare or more (in flood zones one, two or three)
  • involves a site that has been identified as being at flood risk in surface water mapping

A flood risk assessment must be provided before the application is registered. The Environment Agency has produced standing advice on flood risk issues, they can also provide detailed advice on flood zones.

Foul Drainage Assessment: where non-mains drainage is proposed for new development and extensions that include additional bedrooms/bathrooms, a completed foul drainage assessment form (FDA1) and associated plan(s) must be provided before the application is registered. This must be completed in accordance with the guidance set out in the Environment Agency’s National Standing Advice to Local Planning Authorities involving non-mains drainage.

Heritage statement or statement of significance (planning policy: NDLP – ENV13, ENV14,ENV15, ENV16, ENV17 and ANV18): if a proposal will affect a ‘Heritage Asset’, then a Heritage Statement must be provided before the application is registered.

A heritage asset is a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape that has been identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions. They are the valued components of the historic environment and they include:

  • designated heritage assets
  • world heritage site
  • scheduled monument
  • listed building
  • protected wreck site
  • registered historic park or garden
  • registered battlefield
  • conservation Area
  • known archaeological sites
  • assets identified by the local planning authority through the local development framework process (local listing)
  • assets identified during the planning application process

Note: proposals that are most likely to have an impact on below-ground archaeology are:

  • development involving groundworks within a historic core of a settlement (excluding householder applications)
  • development of 3 or more dwellings outside the historic core
  • major applications 

A heritage statement should take the form of a report or statement that may include some or all of the following:

  • any official designation and description of the heritage asset
  • an assessment of the significance of the heritage asset and /or component parts
  • an analysis of the history and the evolution of the heritage asset (including phased plans of the building where appropriate)
  • an assessment of the interaction of the heritage asset with its setting
  • the impact of the proposal upon the heritage asset and its setting
  • detailed photographs
  • a schedule of works (including materials)
  • a method statement
  • results of desk-based assessment
  • geophysical survey and evaluative archaeological excavations

The level of detail required in a heritage statement will depend on the scale and complexity of the proposal.

For further advice on archaeological issues please contact Devon County Historic Environment Service ( telephone: 01392 382246, email: ).

For further advice on listed buildings, conservation areas and other heritage issues please contact

Landscape and visual impact assessment (planning policy: NLP – DVS1 and ENV1): where a proposal is likely to have a significant visual impact because of its scale or location, a landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) must be provided before the application is registered. This requirement will normally apply to:

  • 'major' development proposals
  • development within the countryside
  • development within or visible from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • development affecting the setting of the heritage asset
  • development affecting the public realm

This assessment should be carried out in accordance with Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment 3rd Edition - and associated advice notes – Landscape Institute and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) 2013 (or any subsequent edition). This assessment should also make reference to the North Devon and Torridge Landscape Character Assessment, North Devon Seascape Character Assessment and any relevant Conservation Area Appraisal.

Landscape Proposals (planning policy: NDLP – DVS1, DVS2 and ENV8): where an application is Major or is likely to effect the existing character or appearance of a site, detailed proposals for the treatment of private and public spaces to enhance and protect the amenities of the site must be provided before the application is registered and include:

  • a statement to explain (a) the function of the landscaping, (b) how it will be maintained and (c) its relationship to the surrounding area making reference to any published landscape/seascape character assessment/conservation area character appraisal
  • proposed finished levels or contours
  • means of enclosure
  • car parking layouts
  • other vehicle and pedestrian access and circulation areas
  • hard surfacing materials
  • minor artefacts and structures (eg. furniture, play equipment, refuse or other storage units, signs lighting etc
  • proposed and existing functional services above and below ground level (eg. drainage, power, communications cables, pipelines etc indicating lines, manholes, supports etc.)
  • retained historic landscape features and proposals for restoration, where relevant
  • soft landscape works including, planting plans, plants schedules detailing, species, plant sizes and proposed numbers/densities. Also, written specifications in respect of cultivation and operations associated with plant and grass establishment for a minimum period of five years

Letter of justification (dependent relative’s annexe): if the application relates to the creation of a dependent relative’s annexe, then a letter of justification from the relative’s doctor (or other appropriate person) must be provided before the application is registered.

Lighting scheme: where the application includes external lighting/illumination, then a lighting scheme should be provided before the application is registered. This should include the lighting scheme for the whole of the application site and include a light pollution assessment with a view to avoiding any light spillage and light pollution. We understand that adopted street lighting details might not be available at this stage.

Noise impact assessment (planning policy: NDC – DVS3): will be requested before the application is registered where it is believed that the proposed development raises issues of disturbance. An example of this is by reason of high levels of activity outside normal working hours.

Overcoming reasons for refusal statement: where an application forms a re-submission of a proposal that has already been refused, it is recommended that a statement be provided about how the proposal will overcome the reasons for refusal.

Planning obligations/section 106 agreement: where either

  • planning guidance/policy identifies a requirement
  • the application relates to a major development
  • pre-application discussions have identified a need for a planning obligation

Draft heads of terms for a section 106 agreement or a draft unilateral undertaking should be provided before the application is registered. Applicants and agents should clarify what will be required in pre-application discussions.

Further guidance is contained on the website.

Regeneration statement: where the application is for a relevant major development and relates to sites identified by us as priority sites for regeneration, then a regeneration statement must be provided before the application is registered. This should outline any regeneration benefits from the proposed development, including:

  • details of any employment that might be created or supported
  • the relative floor space totals for each proposed use (where known)
  • any community benefits
  • reference to any regeneration strategies that might lie behind or be supported by the proposal

Renewable energy statement (planning policy: NDC – ECN15): where the application relates to a major development then a renewable energy statement must be provided before the application is registered. This statement should indicate estimated energy demand for the proposed development, the proportion of energy requirements that will be met by on-site renewable energy generation and a full specification detailing number, location and scale of each technology proposed. Detailed guidance on providing technical information is available in guidance on the use of on-site renewable technologies.

For micro-renewable installations (for example, solar panels, domestic wind turbines, solar thermal panels, etc.) the application should specify the manufacturer’s rated power output (kW).

Retail impact assessment (planning policy: NDC – COM1): where the application proposes retail, leisure or office uses outside a designated town centre or allocated sites, then a retail impact assessment must be provided before the application is registered. In other cases, an assessment may be requested before the application is registered. This should cover such issues as:

  • the need for the proposed development
  • its scale and appropriateness
  • choice of site including a sequential assessment of alternative sites
  • impact on existing centres and locations for up to 10 years

Road safety audit (stage one): where the application includes significant alterations to the highway or involves the construction of highway features (eg. traffic calming, refuges, signals, roundabouts, pedestrian crossings etc.), a stage one road safety audit is required.

Sewerage statement: this would normally relate to major infrastructure works and should include a description of the type, quantities, and means of disposal of effluent.

Solar panel/photovoltaic ray – where the application relates to the installation of solar/photovoltaic panels either on a roof or ground mounted, then manufacturer’s details/specification for the panels and for the mounting system must be provided before the application is registered.

South West Design Review Panel (SWDRP) - is a means of adding value to a scheme, ideally at the pre-application stage, and the design requirements of policy ST05: Sustainable construction and buildings in the emerging Joint North Devon and Torridge Local Plan for all major development proposals to achieve the highest bfl 12 standard (or successor) unless it can be demonstrated that it is not technically feasible or financially viable to do so (Ref: Building for Life 12

 The Design Review Panel has a similar purpose.

Structural survey (barn/outbuilding conversion) – (planning policy: NDC – ECN5): if the application relates to the conversion of a barn or outbuilding, then a comprehensive structural survey will be required undertaken by a qualified surveyor. 

Sunlight/daylight assessment (planning policy: NDC – DVS3): may be requested before the application is registered where there is a potential adverse impact upon the access to sunlight /daylight of for existing and proposed properties and buildings.

Supporting (planning) statement: applicants and agents are encouraged to provide a supporting statement for all applications. However, where the application relates to a major development, then a supporting statement must be provided before the application is registered. This should explain how the proposed development accords with policies in the development plan, supplementary planning documents. It should include details of any pre-application consultations/discussions.

Sustainability assessment (planning policy: NDC – DVS1A): where the application relates to a major development, a sustainability assessment must be provided before the application is registered. This must be accompanied by a copy of a pre-assessment estimator demonstrating how the design will achieve code for sustainable homes level three for residential or BREEAM good for non-residential development. This should demonstrate how sustainable design and construction principles have been incorporated within the development over and above building regulation requirements, with reference to Table 2A of the adopted North Devon Local Plan – detailed guidance is available in our sustainable design and construction guide.

Transport Assessment (NPPF 32): where the application relates to a major development then a transport assessment must be provided before the application is registered. The transport assessment should include:

  • all existing and proposed commercial and residential vehicular and pedestrian movements to and from the site
  • clearly identified loading areas and arrangements for manoeuvring, servicing and parking of vehicles
  • description and analysis of existing transport conditions, how the development would affect those
  • conditions and any measures proposed to overcome any problems

Where the application relates to a wind farm or a large scale solar panel photovoltaic array then a transport assessment must be provided before the application is registered. The transport assessment should include:

  • the types, sizes weight, and numbers of delivery and construction vehicles that will be needed   
  • the proposed access route, during the construction and any later decommissioning phases, will need to be agreed with the Local Highway Authority including the route of any abnormal loads such as for cranes etc. and identified in the application
  • a road survey of the intended route will need to show that available carriageway width and geometric road layout is adequate to accommodate the largest commercial vehicles intended to be utilised for delivery and construction of the turbines, Photo Voltaic Farms and all components and any other equipment and materials associated with the proposal. The route should be identified from the point at which it leaves the motorway network to the access serving the proposed site. Tracking analysis may be required at individual junction points or locations along the route where delivery vehicles may have difficulty in manoeuvring within the adopted highway

Note: where the application relates to a wind farm or a large scale solar panel photovoltaic array then the following will also be required:

  • the route of any proposed connection to the electricity grid system will need to be identified including any highway implications
  • any proposed new access or alterations to an existing access to be used to gain access to the site from the public highway will need to be identified together with measures to harden the accesses to prevent mud and debris being carried onto the public highway and measures to provide suitable access visibility at any new access
  • a section 106/278 agreement may be required prior to, and if planning consent is to be issued. Such agreement shall contain details of the approved route, a traffic management programme and detailed drawings of all engineering alterations /improvements required as a consequence of the development, including any lands that may be required to be adopted as public highway

 In other cases, an assessment may be requested before the application is registered.

Travel plan (NPPF 32): where the application relates to proposed new development a travel plan may be requested before the application is registered. This will certainly be the case for new traffic generating proposals. The plan should consist of a simple analysis outlining the transport implications of the scheme and illustrating the measures that will be incorporated to make it accessible to a range of transport modes. Further advice is available in Using the planning process to secure travel plans: best practice guide from Devon County Council ( telephone: 0845 155 1004 ).

Travel statement (NPPF 32) Further advice is available in Using the planning process to secure travel plans: best practice guide from Devon County Council ( telephone: 0845 155 1004 ).

Viability assessment/appraisal: a viability assessment will be required before an application is registered if full policy requirements are not being met. The concept of ‘viability’ used in economic terms is assessed via a calculation (usually by a financial appraisal) of the gross development values that a development proposal is expected to generate, less gross development costs, including elements such as planning obligations, professional fees, finance charges and contingencies. The calculation also needs to take account of the necessary level of ‘return’ that would be required to enable development to proceed, comprising return to land owner to enable the release of land for development, and return to developer (profit) that reflects their specific business model, the level of project risk and any specific investor expectations. When end value exceeds the costs and required returns, a scheme can be considered to be viable in economic terms.

Waste audit (planning policy: waste local plan – W4): the waste local plan prepared by Devon County Council requires a waste audit for applications likely to generate a significant volume of waste through development or throughout its operational phases. The waste audit should demonstrate how construction and demolition waste will be minimised and how unavoidable waste will be reused and recycled on site.  If the proposal is ‘major’, the statement should cover the management of waste arising from the construction and operational stages of the development. Further guidance is available on Devon County Council’s Waste management and infrastructure supplementary planning document.

Water Interest Survey: where the application relates to:

  • a major development
  • a wind farm
  • a large scale solar panel photovoltaic array

an assessment of the impact of that proposal on the existing water resources and site hydrology must be provided before the application is registered.

Wildlife trigger list and associated wildlife report (planning policy: NDC – DVS1A, ENV1, ENV2, ENV3, ENV4, ENV8, ENV9, ENV10, ENV11 and ENV12): a completed wildlife trigger list must be provided before the application is registered. This will identify whether the proposed development is likely to impact on any wildlife interests.

If the proposal results in a 'yes' answer to any of the questions on the trigger list, a wildlife report must be provided before the application is registered. The wildlife report should be produced by an appropriately qualified and experienced ecologist and should include a ‘Wildlife Checklist' and a 'Conservation Action Statement'.  The report should not be older than one year old.

The wildlife trigger list is available from Devon County Council's web-site. Further guidance and information for applicants, agents and ecological consultants is also available on Devon County Councils website and on the Natural England web-site.

Note: potential wildlife impacts need to be considered at the earliest stages of development as certain survey work can only be undertaken at specific times of the year. Consequently advanced planning will be necessary to ensure that the appropriate survey work can be completed prior to the submission of the application.

Wind Turbines (planning policy: NDC – ECN15 and DVS5): shadow flicker and noise impact must be addressed in formal documents, as well as any installation for the harnessing of wind power for energy production where the:

  • the development involves the installation of more than 2 turbines
  • the hub height of any turbine exceeds 15 metres

The planning application must be accompanied by:

  • how the applicant complied with section 61W(1) of the 1990 Act
  • any responses to the consultation that were received by the applicant
  • the account taken of those responses