Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by Darlington Borough Council - Validating your application

Validating your application

When an application has been received, it is checked to determine whether the information provided is sufficiently thorough and comprehensive to allow the proposal to be properly assessed. This process is known as validation. Typically, many applications will be expected to include the following items:

  • Form filled in correctly, with all relevant questions answered;
  • Correct fee received;
  • Site location plan marked with site boundary;
  • Various scale drawings showing proposal.

In addition, some applications may require additional items, such as:

  • Photographs of site;
  • Design and Access Statement;
  • Site surveys.

However, the exact requirements will depend both on the type of application and on the nature and complexity of the proposed development.

What to include with your application

Please ensure that all of the required documents are present and complete when you submit your application. Incomplete applications are not progressed until missing items are supplied.


Please double-check that all copies of each form have been fully completed and signed before submitting the application.

Plans and drawings

Plans and drawings should be used appropriately to illustrate the details of the proposed development. The nature of the plans and drawings needed to accompany an application will vary, depending on the type of application and on the nature of the proposal. The most common types are described below:

Site Location Plan

Most applications require a site location plan. This needs to be an Ordnance Survey map (usually A4 size and 1:1250 or 1:2500 scale) with the boundary of the site marked in red.

Site Layout Plan

If appropriate, this should be included to show the various different elements within the site (such as buildings, walls, paths, trees). The amount of detail needed will depend on the nature of the application.

The plan should be to a recognised metric scale (typically 1:500) and the north point should be indicated. Any measurements given should be in metric.

Please note that the site layout plan should not be confused with the site location plan. The location plan mainly shows the site's surroundings, whereas the layout plan shows the details within the boundary. The two together should complement one another and it is expected that there should be no difficulty reconciling them. 

Detailed Plans and Drawings

If appropriate, floor plans and elevations should be included. For alterations and extensions, it is normally preferable to produce separate drawings for both the existing building and the proposed alterations. 

Example plans [pdf document]

In simpler cases this may not be necessary, provided that the existing and proposed elements are clearly distinguishable.

All external materials must be adequately described.

All dimensions need to be in metric and plans should be drawn to a recognised metric scale. Floor plans should normally be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50.

Although there is no restriction on the size of drawings, we urge applicants not to submit sheets that are unnecessarily large or unwieldy. When applications are presented to Committee, we need to scan and copy many of the submitted plans and drawings for display. Sheets that are larger than A3 are difficult to copy, so we prefer smaller-sized sheets wherever possible.


Hand-drawn sketches, although normally considered to be inadequate for illustrating design details, are a useful way of indicating sizes and distances, particularly for positions of trees or dimensions of advertisement signs. Again, all measurements need to be in metric.


Photographs showing aspects of the existing site can sometimes be useful. They can be particularly useful in tree applications. Please include photos whenever you think that they might be helpful. Digital photos may be included on a CD.

Design and access statement

The statement should provide sufficient details to demonstrate that due consideration has been given to design, access and sustainability aspects. It applies to Major developments, Listed Building applications, and for developments within a conservation area which consist of the provision of one or more dwelling house; or the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space created by the development is 100m2 or more. 

Heritage Statement

Supporting applications for Listed Building Consent, Conservation Area Consent and applications for planning permission that impact on Scheduled Monuments or Listed Buildings and for any development within Conservation Areas.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

To help control flood risk from new development, the Government have brought in regulations that make it necessary for all proposed major developments to deal with surface rainwater through sustainable drainage systems rather than through traditional pipes and drains. These changes come into force on 6 April 2015. The Council therefore requires details of sustainable drainage to be included with planning applications and pre-application enquiries for major development.


Fees vary for different applications and some types of application do not require a fee. If paying by cheque, this should be accompanied by a Fee Form, which needs to be completed and signed.

A consultation statement

Consultation – Guidance Note 14 [pdf document] for significant proposals

Basic requirements - General Guide [pdf document]

Local List

In addition to the statutory requirements for specific information to accompany a planning application, further information may be required to make the application valid. This will depend on the type of application and the character of the area in which the site is located.

The additional types of information that may be required for different types of application is illustrated in the checklist below. It must however be stressed that this ‘local list’ represents an upper limit for items that may be requested to accompany an application. In practice only a small number of these items will be required for a vast majority of applications.

Local validation checklist - Comprehensive Validation Guidance & Checklist

The following documents provide detailed guidance and list of information that can potentially be requested in support of a planning application.

Validation Guidance (under review) [pdf document]

Local validation checklist for planning applications [pdf document]

Applicants/agents are always encouraged to seek pre-application advice from the Council’s Development Control section regarding the information that they will be required to submit to accompany their planning application.

Comprehensive Checklist

The following document contains a comprehensive list of all the items of information that can potentially be requested by this planning authority for an applicant or agent to supply with an application:

Validation checklist for planning applications [pdf document]