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Making a planning application

Pre Application Advice

Should you wish to contact the Planning Department for pre-application planning advice relative to a specific site, it is hoped to encourage all such enquiries to be made in the first instance by email.

Your email is required to include the following information and ideally titled under the following headings to ensure a fuller response can be given:

  1. Full contact details, including a telephone number and e-mail address;
  2. Description of the proposals;
  3. Explanation of the proposals and what you are trying to achieve;
  4. Site location plan and site layout;
  5. Sketch drawings including elevations and floor plans (if applicable);
  6. Description of the site (including its existing use) and any particular site characteristics, e.g. level changes;
  7. Details of any known planning history;
  8. Photographs of the site and immediate surroundings;
  9. Any known constraints to development; and
  10. Technical studies (if available), e.g. ecological or traffic impact assessments.

Further advice can be found within the Pre-Application Guidance Note.

Accordingly your enquiry should be directed to our generic email addresses either North Planning Enquiries or South Planning Enquiries, depending on the location of the site (please see Planning Officer Area map). Your query will be allocated to an officer to respond in due course. Alternatively you may wish to speak to the Duty Planner.

Please note that due to current staff shortages and work levels there may be a delay in providing a response to you by this avenue, so it would be helpful if the Planning Office was not contacted in addition to your email to check on the progress of the query. Further, in terms of officer's time, priority will be given to dealing with planning applications over other queries and pre-application enquiries. Your query will be dealt with as soon as possible.

This arrangement will continue for the foreseeable future so please do not disregard this advice in respect of further enquiries.

Completing the application form

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that a planning application is completed honestly, accurately and is accompanied by all appropriate details, plans, certificate/statement of ownership and (where required) fee. 

A planning application must make intention proposed by the application completely clear to any person reading its content, including the layman. Accordingly an applicant may benefit from recruiting the services of a qualified professional (architect or engineer) to assist them in the compilation of their application. 

If upon receipt, an application is proven incomplete, it will be returned to the applicant or their agent with a request that the missing information is provided. Or, should detail be later established as missing, determination will be delayed or the application refused as incomplete. 

A planning application must consist of 4 copies of the application form together with a checklist, and be supported by 4 copies of all plans as required by statute. Where an application may be for replacement windows, an application and supporting drawings plus two additional copies are required. The supporting documents are listed under Article 4(1)(a), Schedule 1, of the Town and Country Planning (Development Procedure)(No2) Order 2013.

Requirements can be defined as follows:

  • site plan* - showing the layout of the site and its boundaries
  • location plan* - showing the location of the land to be developed in relation to neighbours/streets etc
  • all drawings to detail the footprints and elevations as required (existing and proposed showing any impact against neighbouring buildings)
  • if the site is sloping, a cross section showing its impact on the hillside should be provided
  • any engineering or environmental submissions should be furnished
  • the correct fee. An up to datefees schedule is included in the Town and Country Planning (Application and Appeal Fees)(No.2) Order 2016.
  • if the building is registered, an application for Registered Building Consent must also be made.  Please see our Registered Buildings page for further information.
  • Certificate O1 as the statement of the land owner – copy downloadable to the right – must be included to validate the application.
  • A certificate of ownership in support of an advertisement application (Application for express consent), requires an ownership Certificate O2, however this will be issued by the Department for completion by the applicant once the application has been validated
  • A Certificate O3 is required as a statement of ownership in support of a Registered Building Consent application.

*Maps to provide these plans are available from the Department of Infrastructure which is the custodian for the Island maps (not Ordnance Survey).  

In all instances the application will be scanned for the benefit of planning public services upon receipt

Once validated, two application copies are retained by the Department, one for public scrutiny and the other as a working copy. The other copies are sent to Department of Infrastructure Highways Services (located at the Sea Terminal) and the relevant local authority. 

See downloadable documents for a guide to making a planning application. 

In addition to completing the relevant paperwork, applicants or their agents are required to advertise the application at the site of the proposed works. The advertisement is undertaken by way of a site notice issued by the Department once the application has been validated. The Notice is issued with a request that it is placed where it can be read from the nearest public highway to the site of the application for a minimum of 21 days. Also the Department requires that a copy of that notice is furnished to the landowner or the occupier/tenant (if not the applicant) and to the relevant local authority for their own purposes. 

The Directorate will endeavour to make a decision on the majority of applications within 8 weeks of the application having been validated. However, this will depend upon the nature and complexity of the application. Some applications will take longer to consider and further information or amended plans may be required.

Amendments to submitted planning applications

Please note that with effect from the 1 June 2017, an administration fee of £80 will be charged for any amendments to planning applications for proposed development which are submitted after the planning application has been validated.  The fee will be applied to plans which seek to alter the proposed development at the request of the applicant, plans or information which has been sought by the Office of Planning and Building Control because the original plans or supporting information are considered to be inaccurate or misleading or has been requested to allow the proposed development to be properly considered.

The Office of Planning and Building Control retains the right to waive the administration fee in instances where additional plans or information have been submitted at the suggestion of a planning officer as part of their consideration of an application and which seek design improvements.  The right to waive the fee does not apply to plans or information which have been sought to correct inaccuracies or to make the application capable of being considered.

If amendments are submitted without the administration fee and the fee is not forthcoming on request, the application will be determined on the basis of the original plans submitted.

Registered Building Consent

Where a building is protected by entry in the Departments protected buildings register, any development or works proposed to the building (external OR internal) must first be supported by Registered Building Consent. An application for such consent must be made on the appropriate form (see downloadable documents). Where the works proposed areinternalonly the application, its supporting plans and three complete copies must be provided to the Department (one copy is conveyed to Manx National Heritage).

Where the works proposed are external, whilst four copies the application form is required only three copies of the supporting plans and documents are needed, along with a separate and independent application for planning approval and its supporting plans. In this instance, only a copy of the Registered Building Consent application form will be conveyed to the Local Authority along with their planning application copy. 

An application for Registered Building Consent must also be supported by a land ownership statement – (certificate O3 in the downloadable documents)

Link with Building Control/Regulations

In many cases, building regulations approval will be required in addition to planning permission. Both are distinct and different areas of control but both (with exception to Douglas and Onchan which have their own Building Control authority) will be handled by Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, Planning and Building Control.

Please note that where the Department handles both applications the administration team will compare both sets of plans to ensure that any built structure is erected in accordance with both permissions given.

Information in relation to Advertisements or Lawful Use Cetificates.

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