Frequently Asked Questions

General

iApply allows you to complete, pay and submit planning and/or building control applications to local authorities in England and Wales. Additional functionality is provided to allow you to share the application with colleagues or customers, to get further information or even to pay for the application. You can also track the progress of your applications with the local authority all from within iApply.

We will continue to add new functionality in future updates and we are keen to hear from you on how we can make iApply even better. Send us your ideas to info@iapply.co.uk

We want to make the process of applying for planning permission and building control approval as straightforward as possible, to help with this and to provide a single destination where you can follow the progress of your application we have created additional premium features. If you upgrade from the standard user to a Project or Enterprise user then you can benefit from these enhancements.

These are available to all users for free during the Beta phase, so feel free to try them out.

If you are having problems with using iApply, you can contact the service desk using the details below.

iApply service desk:
08447 254 333 (UK)
+44 (0) 3330 111 663 (International)
servicedesk@iapply.co.uk

For questions about planning and building control, the content of applications, and the requirements for submissions you should contact the appropriate local authority.

If you want further information on iApply, you can contact us on:

Tel : 08447 254 344
International +443330111664
Email: info@iapply.co.uk

If you are having problems with iApply, please use the service desk contacts.

Yes! We’ve developed the National Planning Register to allow you to view planning applications in England and Wales. It’s free to use and will show you basic information on current applications shared by local authorities.

Idox plc is a supplier of specialist document management collaboration solutions and services to the public sector and to highly regulated asset intensive industries around the world in the wider corporate sector.

Idox is the leading applications provider to UK local government for core functions relating to land, people and property, such as its market leading planning systems and election management software. Over 90% of UK local authorities are now customers. Idox provides public sector organisations with tools to manage information and knowledge, documents, content, business processes and workflow as well as connecting directly with the citizen via the web, and providing elections management solutions. It also supplies in the UK and internationally, decision support content such as grants and planning policy information and corporates compliance services. Idox delivers engineering document control, project collaboration and facility management applications to many leading companies in industries such as oil & gas, architecture and construction, mining, utilities, pharmaceuticals and transportation in North America and around the world.

The Group employs over 560 staff located in the UK, the USA, Canada, Europe, India and Australia.

For more information visit www.idoxgroup.com

We’ve partnered with SpecifiedBy to bring you access to the Building Regulations in a simple easy to use format that allows you to search, view and copy details to help with your project.

To view the documents, follow the Approved Documents link from the Tools section of the iApply home page.

iApply will work with a variety of modern browsers including:

  • Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari

If you find a problem with the site using a particular browser please let us know so we can investigate.

Spell checking within the site is dictated by the local settings of your browser not by iApply. If a spelling error is incorrectly highlighted, try right clicking on the word and updating the language setting used.

Registration

Registration is free and simple. Click on the Get Started button, enter your email address and create a password. We’ll send you a link via email to confirm your email address, once confirmed you can add contact details and start creating your projects and applications.

Your email provider may have incorrectly identified the confirmation email as spam, check your spam folder to see if this is the cause. You may want to add noreply@iapply.co.uk to your contacts to avoid this happening again.

Personal contact details can be updated from the My Account page once you have logged in. Select My Account from the user area in the top right hand corner of the navigation bar. From here you can update your contact details, login information and password.

This setting is used by iApply when completing applicant/agent details on the forms. As a professional user the agent details are automatically populated with your contact details, as a public user then the applicant details are automatically populated to save you time.

If you’ve forgotten your password, the iApply login page includes a link to let you quickly create a new password.

You can change your password in one of two ways:

  1. If you have forgotten your password, follow the link on the Login page to create a new password.
  2. If you simply want to update your password you can do this via the My Account page once you have logged in. Select My Account from the user area in the top right hand corner of the navigation bar. From here you can update your contact details, login information and password.

iApply is free to register and use, you are free to create and progress projects on the site, the changes you have made with the applications is stored automatically. To make sure that this happens and that only you, or those that you have shared the application with, can access these details we need you to register first. This also allows us to make sure we have your email address so we can keep you up to date with changes on your applications. Your registration details can also be used when completing an application, saving you time later.

We only store basic name, address and contact details for you on iApply, these are then used to help complete the applications. We do not store any credit or debit card information.

Application

If you are applying for planning permission in a National Park then your application should be sent to the appropriate National Park authority.

The list of available forms depends on the location of the site, with different planning forms in England compared to Wales. The list of forms available is shown below.

English Planning Forms

  • Pre-Application Advice
  • Householder Application
  • Householder Application – Conservation Area
  • Householder Application – Listed Building
  • Prior Approval of a Proposed Larger Home Extension
  • Planning Permission
  • Planning Permission with Some Matters Reserved
  • Planning Permission with All Matters Reserved
  • Planning Permission and Conservation Area Consent for Demolition in a Conservation Area
  • Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for Alterations, Extension or Demolition of a Listed Building
  • Planning Permission and Consent to Display an Advertisement
  • Conservation Area Consent for Demolition in a Conservation Area
  • Listed Building Consent for Alterations, Extension or Demolition of a Listed Building
  • Tree Works
  • Consent to Display an Advertisement
  • Consent to Display an Advertisement and Application for Listed Building Consent
  • Lawful Development Certificate for an Existing Use or Operation or Activity Including Those in Breach of a Planning Condition
  • Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Proposed Building
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Proposed Road
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Excavation/Waste Material
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Proposed Fish Tank
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Development in Respect of Permitted Development by Telecommunications Code Systems Operators
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Demolition
  • Hedgerow Removal Notice
  • Approval of Reserved Matters Following Outline Approval
  • Removal or Variation of a Condition Following Grant of Planning Permission
  • Approval of Details Reserved by Condition
  • Non-material Amendment Following a Grant of Planning Permission
  • Application for a Certificate for Proposed Works to a listed building
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use from Office to a Dwellinghouse
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use from Agricultural to a Dwellinghouse and Associated Operational Development
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use from Retail or mixed Retail/Residential to Dwellinghouse and Associated Development
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use to State-Funded School or Registered Nursery
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use of Agricultural Building to a State-Funded School or Registered Nursery
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use of Agricultural Building to a flexible (Commercial) use
  • Prior Approval of Change of Use from Storage/Distribution Buildings and land to Dwellinghouses
  • Prior Approval of a Change of Use from Amusement Arcades/Casinos and land to Dwellinghouses
  • Prior Approval of a Change of Use from Commercial premises to Restaurants and Cafes
  • Prior Approval of a Change of Use from Commercial to Assembly and Leisure Uses (Class D2)
  • Prior Approval for the Erection or Construction of a Collection Facility within the Curtilage of a Shop
  • Prior Approval for the Temporary Use of Buildings/Land for the Purpose of Commercial Film-Making
  • Prior Approval for Installation/Alteration/Replacement of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) equipment on Non-domestic Buildings

Planning forms for Wales

  • Pre-Application Advice
  • Householder Application
  • Householder Application – Conservation Area
  • Householder Application – Listed Building
  • Planning Permission
  • Planning Permission with Some Matters Reserved
  • Planning Permission with All Matters Reserved
  • Planning Permission and Conservation Area Consent for Demolition in a Conservation Area
  • Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for Alterations, Extension or Demolition of a Listed Building
  • Planning Permission and Consent to Display an Advertisement
  • Conservation Area Consent for Demolition in a Conservation Area
  • Listed Building Consent for Alterations, Extension or Demolition of a Listed Building
  • Tree Works
  • Consent to Display an Advertisement
  • Consent to Display an Advertisement and Application for Listed Building Consent
  • Lawful Development Certificate for an Existing Use or Operation or Activity Including Those in Breach of a Planning Condition
  • Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed Use or Development
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Proposed Building
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Proposed Road
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Excavation/Waste Material
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Agricultural or Forestry Development – Proposed Fish Tank
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Development in Respect of Permitted Development by Telecommunications Code Systems Operators
  • Prior Notification of Proposed Demolition
  • Hedgerow Removal Notice
  • Approval of Reserved Matters Following Outline Approval
  • Removal or Variation of a Condition Following Grant of Planning Permission
  • Approval of Details Reserved by Condition
  • Non-material Amendment Following a Grant of Planning Permission

Building Control

The following Building Control forms are available for use in both England and Wales

  • Full plans
  • Building Notice
  • Regularisation

Once you have submitted your application, an email will be sent to the selected local authority advising them of the submission. We will pass your application on to the local authority for processing in the normal way. All further correspondence between the authority and yourself will be handled independently of iApply.

We use a web service provided by Ordnance Survey to provide the address information within iApply – we use this information to identify the appropriate local authority for your application. If you were unable to identify the correct site location using the standard approach, and have used the coordinate or no exact address option, you will be prompted to select the appropriate planning and/or building control provider from a list as part of creating a project.

Your local planning authority will be identified automatically when you create a project and use the address gazetteer to lookup an address. If you cannot find the address and you use one of the alternative options then the system will prompt you to manually select the authority – normally this will be the authority to whom council tax is paid.

If the site location is within a National Park boundary the National Park authority will be responsible for planning.

iApply does not currently support applications for waste and minerals or for developments under schedule 3.

If you have used the address gazetteer to select the site address, iApply will automatically select the planning authority appropriate for the location, if within a National Park then you will need to select the National Park authority manually. If you have used the coordinate or no exact address option then you will be prompted to select the authority.

If you’ve selected the wrong authority but have not yet submitted the application then you can create a new project ensuring that the address and selected authority details are correct. Details from the original application can be copied to the new application.

If you have already submitted your application then the local authority will reject the planning application as normal. You will need to create a new project as above to submit to the correct authority.

Absolutely, one of the benefits of iApply is that you can keep all your related applications together as part of a single project.

Providing the applications are all for the same location then simply use the Add button in the draft applications section, to create a new application within your project.

No, you can create as many projects as you like.

No, you can share your projects with as many users as you like.

Yes, iApply includes functionality allowing you to track the progress of your application and receive notification when the status changes. You can view the status of your applications on the project dashboard page – simply click the ellipsis button on the right hand side of the page for the project you are interested in.

Whilst we are working on providing tracking information for all applications, this information may not be shared by your authority at this time.

We’ve partnered with Getmapping as the leading location plan provider, to allow you quickly purchase a location plan for your applications. From the Location Plan section of the application form, simply select Purchase a plan and follow the instructions.

We’ve partnered with Getmapping as the leading location plan provider, however, if you want to use an alternative provider simply select the Attach local plan option to upload your purchased plan.

You can only be a member of one organisation at a time, however, you can share your projects using the project sharing functionality with as many users as you want.

When you share projects and applications within an organisation all users will have read and write permissions for the projects. In addition one user will be set as the administrator for the organisation with the ability to invite or remove users.

iApply automatically stores your progress as you complete each section of the form. If your session times out whilst you are still completing a section then previously completed sections are safe.

Payment

Unlike planning application fees, there are no set fees for Building Control or pre-application enquiries so iApply cannot calculate the appropriate fee. For building control each authority may provide a schedule of their fees allowing you to calculate the fee, a link to the fee guidance where available will be displayed in the authority contact details and on the fee page. Alternatively you should contact the building control provider directly. Contact details for the selected building control provider are displayed on the project and application summary pages.

For pre-application enquiries you should contact the planning authority, contact details for the selected planning authority are displayed on the project and application summary pages.

Payments at the point of submission can be made online by debit or credit card. Idox use Worldpay as a secure online payments provider. Where available you may be directed to a local authority payment page to make the payment.

A VAT invoice covering the iApply service and card fees, will be produced automatically as part of the submission and included with the submission confirmation email. A copy is also available to download from the submission summary screen. It can be downloaded when viewing the details for submitted applications.

To improve efficiency and avoid delays with the registration and validation of applications iApply does not support payment by cheque. We are investigating alternative payment options to provide flexibility whilst reducing delays.

Not currently, but alternative payment options are being investigated.

If we fail to deliver the submitted application to the relevant authority we will offer a full refund; contact the service desk in the first instance to request this.

If you are seeking to withdraw the application after you have submitted the application you will need to contact the planning or building control authority direct.

iApply is free to use – although you will still need to pay the application fee!

Where payment for the application fee is being made through iApply then a card processing fee will be applied.

  • All credit and corporate cards attract a 2% processing fee
  • Personal debit card payments attract a £0.75 processing fee.

Planning permission

Most new buildings or any major changes to buildings will require consent from the local planning authority (LPA). This is known as planning permission.

You can find out your local authority by searching the Directgov website.

The main activities classed as development include:

  • Building work
  • Engineering work
  • Mining work
  • Materially – significantly changing the use of the building or land

There are also occasions when planning permission is not required. This is because the change will have little impact on the surrounding environment. For instance, changes within the same development class or some small/minor changes which are automatically allowed, known as permitted development.

However, some areas are given special protection against certain developments. The reasons for special protection include:

  • Protect Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Parks
  • Protect interesting plants and wildlife
  • To control the expansion of towns and cities into the countryside i.e. Green Belts
  • Protect monuments or buildings of historical interest

Community Involvement

The public can be involved in the planning system in two main ways:

  • They can provide feedback during the public consultation stage for Local Development Frameworks
  • They can voice their opinion on planning applications that could affect the community.

They can also contact their local planning authority if they believe there has been a breach of planning law or if they want to comment on planning appeals.

The Planning Inspectorate provides guidance on the planning appeals process.

Where can I get advice?

Your local planning authority is best placed to provide advice and guidance on local planning matters. You can find out your local authority by searching the Directgov website.

You can also contact:

  • The Planning Aid: a free or low cost independent service set up by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
  • Professional advice – there are many qualified planners and consultants available
  • Your local councillor or Member of Parliament (MP)
  • The Local Government Ombudsman – a government agency which investigates complaints about council services or decision making.

The section on planning permission provides guidance on which activities require planning permission.

However, if you intend to carry out building work or to make changes to land, there is a good chance you will need to gain consent from your local planning authority. The local authority will either grant consent (with the possible inclusion of conditions) or refuse consent.

It is the responsibility of the land or homeowner to ensure that they have gained the necessary planning permission.

If you have any planning queries, it is best to contact your local planning authority.

Lawful Development Certificates

If you have any doubts over whether an existing building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC).

You can apply for an LDC via your local planning authority.

Permitted development rights

You can make certain types of minor changes to your property without the need to apply for planning permission. These are known as permitted development rights.

Permitted development rights vary between local authorities, with some being more restrictive, such as in conservation areas or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Local authorities also have the power to issue an article 4 direction, which would remove some permitted development rights. These are issued when planning decisions may negatively impact on the character of an area.

It is advised that you could contact your local authority before any building work begins. Your local authority will be able to clarify whether planning permission is required or if you have a permitted development right.

Further information on permitted developments rights can be found in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

What factors affect planning permission?

Here are some factors that will help you to decide whether or not you need to apply for planning permission.

  • Your neighbours – let them know about the work you intend to carry out
  • Design – a well-designed building is more likely to be attractive for your neighbours
  • Nature and wildlife – some development may impact on local wildlife
  • Environmental health – any developments that impact the health and safety of an area could be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Roads and highways – the local highways authority will need to be consulted if roads and highways are impacted

What happens if I fail to obtain planning permission?

A failure to comply results in what is known as a “planning breach”. These occur because development is undertaken without being granted planning permission or it breaks one of the conditions of the planning permission.

Although a planning breach is not illegal, failure to seek the appropriate permissions can result in the issue of an enforcement notice.

Who can apply?

You can apply for planning permission yourself or you can appoint an agent to act on your behalf. Examples of agents include architects, builders and solicitors.

You also don’t need to own land to apply for planning permission. This means you can apply for permission before deciding to buy a property or land.

You must inform interested parties of your application. These include:

  • The owner or all the part-owner/s
  • Any leaseholder who has seven years remaining
  • Any agricultural tenants

It may be a good idea to seek help before making an application. Some of the main sources of advice include:

Should I do anything before applying?

You may want to arrange an information meeting with a planning officer before you submit your application.

Your local authority may charge for this service but it is a question on the application form and it may aid your local planning authority in dealing with your application.

On meeting a planning officer, it is important that you are able to describe your proposals and show plans. You will have the opportunity to ask whether you’ll have a reasonable chance of getting permission, as well as other issues such as possible conditions that may be imposed by the local authority.

There are a range of consents that can be applied for online. You can apply for more than one type of consent. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your local authority to make sure you are applying for the correct consent.

The consents available online are:

  • Householder planning consent
  • Full planning consent
  • Outline planning consent
  • Planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area
  • Reserved Matters
  • Listed building consent
  • Advertisement consent
  • Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)
  • Prior notification
  • Removal/variation of conditions
  • Approval of conditions
  • Consent under Tree Preservation Orders
  • Notification of proposed works to trees in conservation areas
  • Application for non-material amendments

Which documents should I include in my application?

Your application must contain the correct documents. It should include:

  • the necessary plans of the site
  • the required supporting documentation
  • the completed form
  • the correct fee

Your local authority will not be able to process your application unless you provide the mandatory documentation. You are also able to include any further information that you feel is relevant to the application.

What costs are involved in making an application?

In most cases your local authority will charge a fee for processing your application. Although in cases of listed buildings and demolition in a conservation area, no fees apply.

You should ask your local planning authority directly for the costs in applying for planning permission.

It’s important that your fee is correct as it could delay your application.

If your planning application is granted, refused or withdrawn, you can make one further application, on the same type of development, free of charge within 12 months. The local planning authority will decide whether this applies.

The decisions on planning applications have to be made in line with local planning authority’s (LPA) Development Plans. They are usually decided within 8 weeks, although complex cases can be increased to 13 weeks.

Factors the LPA will consider when making a decision:

  • The number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings
  • The infrastructure available, such as roads and water supply and proposed means of access
  • Any landscaping requirements
  • The proposed use of the development
  • The likely impact on the surrounding area

In minor planning application cases, a senior planning officer from the LPA will make the decision.

However, usually a planning officer will make a recommendation to a planning committee – which will be made up of local councillors. Applicants can attend and briefly speak at these committee meetings.

Once a decision has been reached, the LPA will issue a summary detailing the reasons why an application has been granted or declined.

If your application is refused, or given conditions, you have the right of appeal.

The Planning Inspectorate provides guidance on the planning appeals process.

Yes, the Government publish detailed information on the Planning Practice Guidance site including information on the process, fees and CIL’s.

No. Planning Appeals are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate who provide their own portal for the submission and monitoring of Planning Appeals.

Further information and guidance on the appeals process can be viewed here.

The Appeals Casework Portal may be accessed here.

Local authority

If you choose to use a local authority, the procedures are laid out in the building regulations. The regulations relate to work that hasn’t been carried out yet (pre-site procedures) and work which is already underway (on site procedures).

Approved Inspector

If you decide to choose an Approved Inspector, then you and the Approved Inspector should notify the local authority that the building control work is being carried out by the Approved Inspector. This is called the “Initial Notice”.

There are two types of bodies responsible for checking building regulations: local authority building control services and private sector Approved Inspectors. Customers are free to choose which ever body they prefer.

The approval process depends on whether you choose to use a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) service or an Approved Inspector.

iApply supports the local authority building control process, allowing you to quickly create and submit an application to the local authority responsible for building control based on the site location.

If you decide to use your local authority, there are three types of application that can be made for approval. These are all available on iApply.

Each of these applications is subject to a charge from your local authority (prices vary). Where available a link to the local authority fee schedule may be displayed within the authority contact details section and on the fees page. If in any doubt you should contact your local authority for information on charges.

The three types of application are:

Full plans

You can apply for Building Regulations approval by submitting a full plans application to your local authority building control service.

A full plans application should include plans and any other construction information, preferably well in advance of the start of the work. At this stage you can also request a completion certificate, although this would not be issued until the work was completed and complied with building regulations.

Your local authority should respond to your application within five weeks, or with your permission, two months from the date of deposit.

Once you submit your application, you have three possible outcomes:

  1. You will receive a notice stating that you have approval
  2. You may be asked to provide further information or make changes to your plans.
  3. You may be issued with a conditional approval. This could require that you make specific changes to your plans or provide further information to the local authority.

Local authorities will only apply conditions if you request them to do so or have consented to them doing so.

Once approval is granted, your local authority will carry out inspections of your work as it progresses.

A full plans approval notice is valid for three years from the date of deposit of the plans.

Building Notice

You can apply for buildings regulation approval by giving a building notice to your local authority building control service.

This is quicker than the full plans process and does not require you to submit plans. It is best suited to smaller projects. However, you must be sure that your work will comply with building regulations, as your local authority may ask you to make changes if it does not.

You are unable to apply for a building notice if:

  • The building work is subject to section 1 of the Fire Precautions Act 1971
  • The building work is close to or on top of rain water and foul drains
  • A new building fronts onto a private street

Once you have given your “building notice”, your local authority will carry out inspections of your work as it progresses.

A building notice lasts for three years from the date the notice was given to the local authority.

A certification of completion will automatically be sent once the work is complete and complies with building regulations.

Regularisation

Individuals who do not comply with building regulations can be prosecuted.

However, it is possible to make a retrospective application in cases where work has been completed without approval, and was started on or after the 11 November 1985. This process is called regularisation.

Depending on the situation, changes may have to be made to ensure that work complies with building regulations.

It is recommended that you discuss your personal circumstances with your local authority building control service.

Your local authority building control service will make statutory and routine inspections as the work progresses.

As part of the approval process, and in line with buildings regulations, you are required to give the local authority notice of when the work has reached particular stages. The notice periods are:

  • Commencement: at least two days before the work is commenced
  • Completion: not more than five days after the work is completed

You should also give at least one whole day’s notice for activities relating to:

  • Excavation for a foundation (before covering up)
  • The foundation itself (before covering up)
  • Any damp proof course (before covering up)
  • Any concrete or material laid over a site (before covering up)

When these stages are reached, it is important that work is halted and that local authorities are given time to inspect the site.

It is also important to note that if you are planning to occupy a building that has been erected, before the work is complete, you are required to provide five days’ notice before occupying the building.

If the local authority believes your work contravenes building regulations, they can issue an enforcement notice requiring you to make changes.

If you disagree with this decision, you can appeal. The Department for Communities and Local Government has produced guidance on the procedure for appeals.

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