Design and Townscape Guide - Refresh 2009 (Consultation Draft)

Ended on the 30 April 2009

Section Six - Making an Application

(4)6.1 Pre-Application Discussions

398. Pre application discussions with the Planning Department can make a significant positive difference to the application process. It can be an opportunity to clarify information requirements and to discuss the key issues and constraints relating to the development site as well as consider alternative design approaches and details. Southend Borough Council encourages all applicants to partake in pre application discussion particularly for major developments. Where no pre-application discussions take place the Council will determine the application as submitted and will not negotiate on amendments in order to meet its Government targets.

6.2 What to include in your Application

(2)6.2.1 Statutory Requirements

399. All planning applications must include the following:

  • The Completed Standard Application Form(s)
  • Certificate of Ownership and Agricultural Holding Certificate (except for the approval of reserved matters, discharge or variation of conditions, work to protected trees and express consent to display an advertisement).
  • The correct fee (except where exemptions apply: e.g. applications required by an Article 4 Direction, Listed Building Consent, Conservation Area Consent or for Works to Protected Trees).
  • An up to date location plan at a recognised metric scale (1:1250 for smaller sites and 1:2500 for larger sites) with the site edged in red and wherever possible showing at least 2 adjacent roads.
  • Properly numbered scale drawings of all existing and proposed floor plans and elevations and sections (where appropriate) at either 1:100 or 1:50 scale (These plans should also include dimensions or scale bar for internet viewing.)
  • Schedule of all materials.
  • A Design and Access Statement

400. For major applications applicants should discuss with the Council beforehand how many copies of the plans and documents are needed for consultation purposes. An electronic copy of the complete application should also be included.

For further details see Guidance Notes that accompany the Application Forms and Schedule of Fees which can be found on the Council's Website Applications can now be submitted online.

6.2.2 Amended Plans

401. Where amended plans are required they should clearly identify on the drawings, all the changes from the original proposal. It would be helpful to list submitted and cancelled drawing numbers.

(1)6.2.3 Design and Access Statement

402. A Design and Access Statement is now required for all applications. It is the applicant's opportunity to explain the design concept behind the scheme. It should describe how the design relates to its wider context (through a full context appraisal where appropriate) and include full details of the materials including surfacing of parking areas etc. It must also give details of the access, parking and sanitary conveniences for people with pushchairs, wheelchairs and special needs.

403. All Design and Access Statement should follow use following headings:

  • Assessment of Local Character (of area and / or existing building as appropriate)
  • Proposed Use(s) (including schedule of accommodation)
  • Layout (including position of buildings and relationship to existing townscape)
  • Scale (including density and justification of increased height or scale as appropriate)
  • Appearance (including response to local character and schedule of materials)
  • Landscaping (including commitment to biodiversity)
  • Amenity Space (including justification of provision (see criteria in Section 5) and design) Residential and Mixed Use schemes only
  • Parking (including schedule of provision and relationship to building)
  • Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Transport Links
  • Waste and Recycling Provision
  • Commitment to Inclusive Access
  • Commitment to Secured by Design
  • Commitment to Lifetime Home Standards Residential and Mixed Use schemes only
  • Commitment to Sustainable Development (including explanation of 10% renewable energy generation on site - Core Strategy requirement)

404. The written statement should be illustrated as appropriate by:

  • Plans and elevations
  • Photographs of the site and its surroundings
  • Other illustrations, such as perspectives and montages>
  • Sketch maps to illustrate the context appraisal.

405. A design statement should accompany all applications where design is a key issue.

For further advice on writing Design and Access Statements see CABE Guidance at

For further details on access requirements see Building Regulations Part M which can be viewed at

6.2.4 Additional Visual Information

406. Additional visual representations of the existing situation (e.g. photos) and the proposed scheme in context (streetscene drawings, sections and site level diagrams, photomontages and 3D modelling, models) can help to show how the proposed development can be successfully integrated into the streetscene, and although not a statutory requirement, are always useful in determining an application. These may be requested by the case officer.

407. Photographs of the existing situation are particularly helpful even for minor applications.

(2)6.3 Additional Supporting Documentation

408. The following information may be required to accompany application on larger development sites:

6.3.1 Environmental Statement

409. An Environmental Statement assists the Council in determining the environmental implications of the development.

410. The Environmental Statement should:

  • Identify any significant wildlife habitats or features on the site
  • Provide an assessment of how the development will impact on local ecology and wildlife including long term management of retained and new areas.
  • Outline how the development contributes to local habitat links and plugging the gaps in the green grid network.

411. An Environmental Statement should be submitted for major applications and minor applications where ecology is a key issue. If you require clarification you can ask the Council for a Screening Opinion which will confirm whether an Environmental Statement is necessary (including reasons). If it is deemed necessary you can also request a Scoping Opinion which outlines what should be covered in the Environmental Assessment.

For further details see The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 which can be viewed at See also Appendix 8 Options for enhancing Biodiversity in Development.

6.3.2 Report to Inform an Appropriate Assessment

412. Under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc) Regulations, 1994, the Council is required to carry out an Appropriate Assessment of proposals that might have a significant effect on a European Site. Such sites are designated for their importance for European nature conservation and currently include the Borough's foreshore.

413. Where a Report to Inform an Appropriate Assessment is necessary the developer will be required to provide relevant information to enable an Appropriate Assessment to be carried out.

For further information see the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) website and English Nature Habitats Regulations Guidance Note HRGN1

6.3.3 Supporting Planning Statement

414. The Supporting Planning Statement should include:

  • A full explanation of the proposal including any relevant background or site history
  • Identified the context and need for the proposed development including justifications for proposed change of use where appropriate.
  • An overview of how the proposal accords with BLP saved policies, Local Development Framework emerging policies and any other supplementary planning guidance or development briefs.
  • Details of any consultation undertaken with statutory consultees and the local community (A statement of community involvement may also be appropriate).

415. A Supporting Planning Statement should be submitted for all new applications (except householder applications). It may be combined with the Design and Access Statement

(1)6.3.4 Loss of Employment Land Justification

416. Applications for change of use from a commercial use to residential will be required to justify why the existing or another employment use is no longer viable. This should include:

  • An explanation as to why the existing employment use or an alternative employment use is no longer viable on the site.
  • Details of the number of jobs lost or relocated.
  • Evidence that the site has been marketed for an employment use for a substantial period of time. (usually 12 months)

417. A loss of employment land justification will be required whenever a development proposes the loss of an existing employment use.

For further information see the Interim Employment Land Policy 'Providing and Safeguarding Employment Land' and saved policy E2 of the Borough Local Plan. These can be viewed on the Council's website

(1)6.3.5 Sunlight / Daylighting Assessment

418. A Sunlight / Daylighting Assessment should include diagrams of how the shadow of the building will impact on its neighbours for all 4 quarter of the year. Both diagrammatic and technical information may be required.

419. A Sunlight / Daylighting Assessment should accompany applications for tall buildings and proposals that break the established building grain and street pattern. Specialist consultants may be required to undertake this assessment.

6.3.6 Transport Assessment / Transport Statement

420. A Transport Assessment is a comprehensive and systematic process that sets out transport issues relating to a proposed development. It identifies what measures will be taken to deal with the anticipated transport impacts of the scheme and to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel, particularly for alternatives to the car such as walking, cycling and public transport.

421. In some cases, the transport issues arising out of development proposals may not require a full Transport Assessment to inform the process adequately and identify suitable mitigation. In these instances, it has become common practice to produce a simplified report in the form of a Transport Statement (TS). There will also be situations where the transport issues relating to a development proposal are limited, and no formal assessment is necessary.

422. A Transport Assessment or Statement will usually be required for larger developments where it is important for the travel and transport needs of the development to be clearly understood.

423. A Transport Statement may also be required where a development is proposed in a sensitive area of parking stress, traffic congestion or where it is important that the Planning Authority has a full understanding of the travel and transport implications associated with the proposal.

424. A Transport Assessment should include information on:

  • The existing and proposed, commercial and residential, vehicular and pedestrian movements to and from the site and a detailed examination of the way that development proposals will affect existing highway and transport infrastructure.
  • Loading areas and servicing arrangements should also be identified and assessed for adequacy where appropriate.


  • Developers will be expected to fund highway improvements where overloading the highway network is identified as a risk.
  • Developers will be expected to fund infrastructure improvements that will assist in encouraging travel by non-car modes where minimal or reduced parking levels are being provided.

For Further Information about when a Transport Assessment or Statement is required See Appendix 16. For further information on the content see PPG 13:Transport which can be viewed at and 'Guide to Transport Assessments' (March 2007) which can be found at

6.3.7 Car Parking Management Strategy

425. A Car Parking Management Strategy should:

  • Explain in detail the operation of the car parking facilities e.g. timed use of parking by different users, management and enforcement.

426. A Car Parking Management Strategy should be submitted for all development that include large parking areas with multiple users.

(1)6.3.8 Travel Plan

427. A Travel Plan should outline how the transport implications of the development will be managed in order to ensure the minimum environmental, social and economic impacts. They must give details of how the development will encourage sustainable means of travel.

428. It should include:

  • Measures to promote public transport.
  • Measures to promote walking.
  • Measures to promote cycling.
  • Measures to promote Car sharing.

429. A Travel Plan should be submitted for all new educational, commercial or mixed-use applications (very minor commercial alterations). It will also be required for flatted development of a significant size.

For further information about when a travel plan is required see Appendix 16. The Council's Travel to Work Advisors can assist applicants on producing a Travel Plan. For further information including detailed guidance on what to include visit the Council's Website

6.3.9 Planning Obligations Legal Agreement (S106) - Draft 'Head of Terms'

430. Planning obligations (or "Section 106 agreements") are private agreements negotiated between local planning authorities and developers and are intended to make the impact of a development more acceptable in planning terms.

431. The Planning Obligation requirements are outlined in the Planning Obligations DPD. Applicants are advised to clarify the specific requirements for their proposal in pre application discussions. A draft 'Head of Terms' may be submitted to the Council for discussion.

For further details on planning obligation requirements see Planning Obligations DPD which can be viewed on the Council's website

(4)6.3.10 Flood Risk Assessment / Drainage Strategy

432. A Flood Risk Assessment / Drainage Strategy should include:

  • An assessment of the existing situation
  • Whether any proposed development is likely to be affected by current or future flooding from any source.
  • Satisfy the Local Planning Authority that the development is safe and where possible reduces flood risk overall.
  • Whether it will increase flood risk elsewhere.
  • Mitigating measures proposed that will be undertaken to deal with the effects and risk of flooding

433. A flood risk assessment may be required for development sites within Flood Zones 3 (High Probability) or 2 (Medium Probability), or in a functional floodplain or where the proposed development may lead to an increase in surface water run-off.

434. The flood-risk assessment must be carried out by a suitably qualified competent person.

Further information on areas at risk of flooding is available from the Environment Agency. The Flood Map can be found on For further information on the content of a Flood Risk Assessment see Planning Policy Statement 25 Development and Flood Risk Annex E which can be viewed at

6.3.11 Sustainability Appraisal / Energy Statement

435. A Sustainability Appraisal should outline the elements of the proposal that contribute to sustainable development.

436. This document should consider:

  • Resource and Waste Minimisation
  • Renewable Power Generation
  • Heating
  • Drainage

437. A Sustainability Appraisal should be submitted for all new applications (Except householder applications)

For further information see PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development, PPS9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation, PPS10: Planning for Sustainable Waste Management and PPS22: Renewable Energy which can be viewed at

(2)6.3.12 Contaminated Land Assessment

438. A Contaminated Land Assessment will initially involve a desk study and site reconnaissance (walk-over) to develop a conceptual model of the source of contamination and pathways by which it might reach vulnerable receptors, as well as the means by which the identified pollutant linkages can be broken. The desk study and site reconnaissance will assist in determining the need for and scope of further investigation.

439. A Contaminated Land Assessment will be required where contamination is known or suspected or the proposed use would be particularly vulnerable.

440. A Contaminated Land Assessment must be carried out by or under the direction of a suitably qualified competent person and in accordance with BS10175 (2001) Code of Practice for the Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites.

For further information see PPS23: Planning and Pollution Control which can be viewed at

(2)6.3.13 Noise Assessment

441. Applications that raise possible noise nuisance and disturbance issues should be accompanied by a noise impact assessment prepared by a suitably qualified acoustician.

442. A Noise Impact Assessment should be submitted for all applications where noise nuisance may be a consideration e.g. for sites adjacent to a railway line, a main road or MOD testing area.

For further details see PPG 24: Planning and Noise which can be viewed at and Environmental Health Guidance - Environmental Noise Impact Residential Developments.

6.3.14 Air Quality Assessment

443. Proposals that have a significant impact on air quality or developments that are potential pollutants should be supported by an air quality assessment outlining the proposed mitigation measures.

For further details see PPS 23: Planning and Pollution Control which can be viewed at

6.3.15 Retail Assessment

444. A Retail Assessments should include details of the sequential test process that supports the chosen site location.

445. A Retail Assessment should be submitted for all significant retail proposals that are outside of the town centre.

For further details see PPS 6:Planning for Town Centres which can be viewed at

(2)6.3.16 Recycling / Waste Management Plan

446. Developers of larger sites will need to demonstrate:

  • How refuse and recycling will be stored and collected
  • That the proposal will meet the current waste and recycling requirements and is flexible enough to adapt to future needs.

447. A Recycling / Waste Management Plan should be submitted for all new applications (except householder applications)

For further information see the Southend Borough Council Waste Management Guide which is available on the Council's website and PPS 10: Planning for Sustainable Waste Management which can be viewed at

(1)6.3.17 Lighting Strategy

448. A lighting Strategy should include details of the proposed lighting scheme.

449. A lighting Strategy may be required for major leisure developments, large residential developments and other applications where external lighting is a key issue.

(1)6.3.18 Structural Survey

450. A Structural Survey may be required where an application involves the substantial or total demolition and redevelopment of building for structural reasons. This will be particularly important where the building has historic value.

6.3.19 Heritage Statement / Listed Building Appraisal

451. A Heritage Statement should include:

  • The significance of archaeology, history and character of the building / structure or area
  • The principles of and justification for the proposed works and their impact on its special character
  • Detailed schedule of the proposed work
  • A Structural Survey if required

452. A Heritage Statement may be required for Listed Building and Conservation Area Applications

For further details see PPG15: Planning and the Historic Environment and PPG16: Planning and Archaeology which can be viewed at

6.3.20 Affordable Housing Statement

453. An Affordable Housing Statement should include:

  • The number and mix of units and their proposed location
  • Details of rooms and floorspace
  • Details of future management
  • Contact details for the chosen Residential Social Landlord (RSL)

454. An Affordable Housing Statement may be required where an element of affordable housing is required as part of the scheme. Schemes for 10 residential units or more will be required to include an element of Affordable Housing. For further information see policy CP8 in the Core Strategy which can be found on the Council's website

6.3.21 Tree Survey

455. A Tree Survey should contain:

  • A comprehensive survey of all the existing trees
  • Details of proposed works to existing trees
  • Details of replacements where applicable
  • Details of how retained trees are to be protected during development

456. A qualified tree surgeon report will be required for applications to fell preserved trees that it is alleged are causing structural damage. It is advisable to check whether there are any preserved trees on the site before work begins.

457. A Tree Survey may be required for major development sites and tree applications.

6.3.22 Ventilation / Extract Details

458. Ventilation and extract details will be required for applications involving restaurants, cafes hot food takeaways (Use classes A3, A4 and A5).

6.3.23 Crime and Disorder Assessment

459. A Crime and Disorder Assessment should include:

  • Details of measures proposed to minimise and mitigate the risk of crime and disorder.

460. A Crime and Disorder Assessment will be required for uses or locations where there is a risk of crime and public disorder.

For further information see Section Secured by Design and Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act

6.3.24 Health Impact Assessment

461. A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a practical approach that seeks to assess how a proposal will impact on peoples health. Health is affected by a number of determinants including transport, housing, education, the environment and economic activity.

462. HIA must:

  • Identify the potential health consequences of a development
  • Identify Measures proposed to encourage healthy activities such as walking and cycling
  • Maximise the positive health benefits and minimise potential adverse effects on health

463. And it should connect with other statements such as Environmental Impact Assessment and Traffic Impact Assessment where appropriate.

464. The threshold for HIA screening across Essex threshold is for developments above 50 residential units and / or 100sqm commercial floorspace

For further information see

6.3.25 Statement of Community Involvement

465. A Statement of Community Involvement sets out how the applicant has complied with the requirements for pre-application consultation set out in the Council's Statement of Community Involvement and demonstrate that the views of the community have been sought and considered in the formulation of the development proposals.

466. For larger schemes the Government recommends applicants carry out professional consultations and engage the community at an early stage to help avoid potential pitfalls before it is too late to change the scheme. Working with the community can usually achieve a more successful supported scheme.

467. Details and results of any community involvement should be submitted with the application in the Supporting Planning Statement or in a separate Statement of Community Involvement.

The Statement of Community Involvement can be viewed on the Council's website Further guidance on Statements of Community Involvement is available in 'Creating Local Development Frameworks: A Companion Guide to PPS12 (Chapter 7).

6.3.26 Biodiversity Survey and Report

468. Where a proposed development may have an impact on wildlife and biodiversity, a Biodiversity Survey should be undertaken to show the impacts and to allow the full consideration of the impacts in the formulation of the development.

469. The report should information on:

  • The location of significant wildlife habitat or features
  • The location of habitats of protected species
  • Assessment of the impacts of the proposal including long term maintenance and management
  • Proposed mitigation measures including justification

470. This information may form part of the Environmental Statement where one is required.

For further information see PPS9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation.

6.3.27 Economic Statement

An Economic Statement should include information on the regeneration benefits of the proposal, including:

  • New jobs created or supported
  • Relative floorspace for each use
  • Community benefits
  • Links to known regeneration strategies

(1)6.3.28 Foul Sewerage and Utilities Assessment

471. All new buildings need separate connections to foul and storm water sewers. Where the connection is to an existing drainage system this should be shown on the application drawings. Where the development involves the disposal of trade waste or the disposal of foul sewage effluent other than the public sewer then a fuller foul drainage assessment will be required. This should include details of the method of storage, treatment and disposal.

For further information see DETR Circular 03/99 and Building Regulations Approved Document part H and BS297.

6.3.29 Landscaping Details

472. Applications for larger scheme should be accompanied by full landscaping details. These should include:

  • Plan of proposed design including identification of species.
  • Proposals for long term maintenance and management.
  • Details of existing trees to be retained and explanation as to how they are to be protected during development.

473. Where the proposal includes planting on a deck or roof the landscaping proposals should also include details of irrigation systems and drainage and a cross section of how the planting will work above ground level (i.e. green roofs, planters etc.)

6.3.30 Site Waste Management Plan

474. Proposals for large scale new development or where significant evacuation or demolition is required should be supported by a site waste management plan. The plan should provide details of the volume and type of material to be demolished / evacuated and identify opportunities for the reuse and recovery of materials.

475. The plan should

  • Provide a statement detailing how the developer intends to minimise the creation of waste during construction and how the adverse environmental impact from any waste that has to be removed from the site will be minimised.
  • Provide details of how the waste materials for reuse, recycling or disposal will be separated to ensure the waste is handled in the most sustainable manner possible.
  • Demonstrate that where practical and when fit for purpose, sustainable sourced, recycled, reclaimed and second hand materials have been used to construct the development

6.3.31 Telecommunications Development - Supplementary Information

476. Planning applications for mast and antenna development by mobile phone operators should be accompanied by a range of supplementary information including:

  • Area of search
  • Details of consultation
  • Details of proposed structure
  • Technical justification
  • Information about the proposed development
  • Signed declaration that the equipment and installation has been designed to comply with the requirements of the radio frequency public exposure guidelines of the ICNIRP.

For further information see Code of Practice on Mobile Network Development (2002)

6.3.32 Proposed Tall Building Justification

477. Proposals for tall buildings will be required to submit a Tall Buildings Justification (this may be included as part of the Planning Statement or the Design and Access Statement). The justification should demonstrate that at least one of the following conditions has been met:

  • To provide variety to the roofline - only appropriate where a varying roofline is a characteristic of the area, should respect existing plot widths, small variations in height only.
  • To act as a local landmark - townscape significance of the site should be explained in the design and access statement, small variation in height only.
  • Define a node - usually only appropriate at the junction of two or more main routes / distributors, non-residential elements may be required to reinforce importance of junction.
  • To provide presence to spaces - where the space has a clear civic or community function.
  • To act as a district landmark - few appropriate sites, exceptional design required. Justification for significant increase in height should be provided in the design and access statement

6.3.33 Executive Summary of all Supporting Documents

478. Where a number of different supporting documents are required the Council may request an Executive Summary outlining the key issues of each assessment.

(1)6.4 Design Award Scheme

479. The Council operates a Design Award scheme to recognise and reward good design in the Borough. It is open to all developments that have received planning permission in the previous five years and includes categories for both new build and conservation projects. This initiative has grown in stature over the years and an improvement in design quality through the Borough is evident.

Further details about the Design Award Scheme including how to enter can be found on the Council's website

Note: Other specialist categories may be added in the future. Please see the Council's website for further details.

(2)6.5 Planning Briefs, Design Briefs, Concept Statements and Masterplans

480. In order to apply the above guidance (and other planning criteria) to specific sites and areas of strategic importance the Council may prepare a planning brief, a design brief, a concept statement or a masterplan, as appropriate. Development proposals will be required to comply with any such documents.

For instructions on how to use the system and make comments, please see our help guide.
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