Advice and Guidance

New buildings, major alterations, enlargement of existing buildings and many changes in the use of buildings and land require planning permission.


A Guide to Planning in the Vale of Glamorgan explains more about Development Control, Planning Enforcement, Appeals and the Building Control Service.


There are a number of important changes to Planning Application process and Development Management in Wales. 


From January 7th 2019, there will be new and significant requirements for all planning applications across Wales. Any new applications with a minimum of 2 new developments or with a construction area over 100 m2 will have to ensure that all surface water drainage incorporates Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) which complies with mandatory national standards. All drainage systems will have to be submitted to be approved by a SuDS approval body (in this case, the Vale of Glamorgan Council) before the commencement of any construction work.


The following subordinate legislation came into force on 16 March 2016.

  • Town and Country Planning (Validation Appeal) (Written Representations Procedure) (Wales) Regulations 2016
  • Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Services) (Wales) Regulations 2016
  • Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016 (”the Order”) 


Changes to Process and Development



*The council is unable to offer informal, written advice on the need for planning permission for householder applications for the foreseeable future and will require a formal application for all such determinations. The Local Planning Authority will determine all Certificate of Lawfulness applications under Section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in accordance with the new Order.

Important changes to Planning Application process and Development Management in Wales

The following subordinate legislation will come into force on the 16 March 2016.

  • Town and Country Planning (Validation Appeal) (Written Representations Procedure) (Wales) Regulations 2016
  • Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Services) (Wales) Regulations 2016
  • Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016 (”the Order”)

An explanation of the main changes to the development management process is provided below. It is Welsh Government's intention to publish additional information in a ‘Development Management Manual’ in March to coincide with the coming into force of the above legislation.


Subordinate Legislation

  • Pre-Application Consultation

    This is a statutory requirement for developers to submit a Pre Application Consultation report as part of any planning application for  “major” development and is not to be confused with the Council’s own Pre Application process.


    Detailed guidance on the requirement for Pre-Application Consultation can be found under Section 17 of the Planning Wales Act 2015


    The provisions contained within the DMPWO for pre-application consultation in respect of applications for “major” development came into force in March 2016 and the requirement for applicants to submit the Pre-Application Consultation report (PAC) became a validation requirement for applications made after 01 August 2016.


    As part of the PAC process, developers are required to undertake pre application consultation with “community consultees and “specialist consultees”. The consultee is required to provide a “substantive response” to the developer within 28 days, or within such period as agreed.  


    To assist developers in undertaking “community consultees and “specialist consultees” a list has been produced of all Town / Community Councils and Ward Members and Specialist Consultees, based on the Schedule 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012 as amended by the 2016 Order. 

  • Pre-application Services

    The Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Services) (Wales) Regulations 2016 require all local planning authorities (LPAs) in Wales to provide a statutory pre-application service.

    Applicants must submit a completed pre-application advice enquiry form containing information on their proposal to enable a response.


    As a minimum you will be required to provide:


    •  Name, address, contact details
    •  Description of the proposal (including an indication of increase in floor space, and/or number of new units proposed)
    •  Site Address
    •  Location Plan
    •  Fee

    The fees that can be charged for statutory pre-application services are now the same across Wales, although vary depending upon the size and scale of the proposed development:


    •  Householder - £25

    •  Minor development - £250

    •  Major development - £600

    •  Large major development - £1000


    For large major developments the above fee will include an hour meeting at the Council’s offices, at the Council’s discretion. For an additional fee of £160 (inclusive of VAT) the Council will provide an hour meeting in respect of Householder, Minor and Small Major developments on request, at the Council’s discretion.

    The Vale of Glamorgan Council will endeavour to provide a written response to all valid pre-application enquiries within 21 days, unless an extension of time is agreed between the authority and applicant.

    As a minimum, applicants for householder developments should expect to receive the following information within their written response:

    •  The relevant planning history of the site
    •  The relevant development plan policies against which the development proposal will be assessed
    •  Relevant supplementary planning guidance (i.e. design, conservation etc.)
    •  Any other material planning considerations
    •  An initial assessment of the proposed development, based on the information above

    For all other development proposals, applicants should receive all the information outlined above, as well as whether any Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy contributions are likely to be sought and an indication of the scope and amount of these contributions.

    Without payment of the appropriate fee, the LPA will be under no obligation to accept a pre-application enquiry form.

  • Changes to Design and Access Statements

     The requirement for a Design and Access Statement (DAS) will change on the 16 March 2016. The requirement to submit a DAS with a planning application will only apply to the following:

    •  All planning applications for “major”1 development except those for mining operations; waste developments; relaxation of conditions (section ‘73’ applications) and applications of a material change in use of land or buildings

    •  All planning applications for development in a conservation area2 or World Heritage Site3 which consist of the provision of one or more dwellings or the creation of floorspace of 100 sq. m. (gross) or more.

    For those planning applications that do not require a DAS, LPAs have the ability to request further information about the design during the pre-application and determination processes if it will assist them in making a decision on the application in light of development plan design policies. However, any information required must now be both material to the determination of the application, and reasonable relative to the nature and scale of the proposed development.  

    Content of a Design and Access Statement

    The DMPWO has been amended so that a DAS must:
    •  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 or approach adopted as to access and how policies relating to access in the development plan have been taken into account
    •  explain how specific issues which might affect access to the development have been addressed.

    The scope of a DAS should be agreed wherever possible at the pre-application stage of development to ensure all relevant issues are covered.
  • Invalid Applications: Notice and Appeal

    Notice - Local Planning Authorities

    New provisions that allow for an appeal against the decision of a LPA that an application is invalid come into force on 16th March. This provision applies to both applications for planning permission and for any consent, agreement, or approval required by any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.

    If the LPA considers that an application for planning permission (or anything accompanying it) does not comply with a validation requirement (see Section 62 of the 1990 Act) they must give a notice to the applicant informing them that the application is invalid.

    This notice must identify the particular requirements in question (in relation to Section 62 of the 1990 Act) and explain why the application does not comply with the validation requirements.

    In the case of an application for a consent, agreement, or approval (required by any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted) the LPA must give notice that an application is not valid if they consider that the application does not comply with the terms of the planning permission, because the applicant has failed to include information in the application or to provide documents or other materials with it. The notice in this case must identify what information, documents or materials are required to be submitted.

    A notice that an application is not valid must inform the applicant that they have a right to appeal to the Welsh Ministers via the Planning Inspectorate within two weeks of the date of the notice, and include the relevant contact details for the applicant to make an appeal if they so choose.


    Making an Appeal – Appellants 

    Following the receipt of a notice that an application is invalid an applicant has a period of two weeks from the date of the notice to submit an appeal against the invalidation of their application to the Welsh Ministers.

    The appeal must be made by submitting a form published by the Welsh Ministers (this will available via the Welsh Government website before the 16 March 2016) and submit alongside it the following information:
    •  A copy of the notice served by the LPA
    •  A copy of the application made to the LPA
    •  A copy of the forms, documents, plans, drawings, statements, declarations, certificates, particulars or evidence which were submitted to the LPA in connection with the application
    •  A copy of the notice of the decision to grant planning permission (note this is only relevant where the appeal relates to an application for a consent, agreement, or approval required by any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted)

    The appellant must also send to the LPA, as soon as reasonably practicable, a copy of the form (and documents) served on the Welsh Ministers so that the authority is aware that an appeal has been made, and what information has been lodged in challenge to the notice The LPA therefore knows to take no further action on the application until the outcome of the appeal is known.

    Whilst appeals can be lodged in hardcopy and by post, appellants are encouraged to submit all information electronically to make the process as efficient as possible.

    When the Planning Inspectorate receives an appeal (on behalf of the Welsh Ministers) they will write to both the appellant and the LPA to inform them of the appeal reference number. The Welsh Ministers have set a target of 21 days for the Planning Inspectorate to consider and determine appeals against the invalidation of applications.

    If the appeal is upheld then the information that is being sought by the LPA does not need to be submitted in order for the application to be found valid. If the appeal is dismissed the applicant must decide whether to submit the information or withdraw the application. The applicant is encouraged to contact the local planning authority to inform them of their intention, and the likely timescale.

    Where an appeal is dismissed, and the information required has not been submitted within a reasonable timescale, or the applicant has simply not informed the LPA of their intentions, then the authority should return the application and associated fee to the applicant.

  • Charges for post Submission Amendments

     From the 16 March any applicant who has submitted a major planning application, who wishes to amend their proposal, will be required to pay a fee of £190 when they submit an amendment.

    Upon receipt of all the documents accompanying the amendment and the fee the local planning authority will have a statutory additional 4 week period (if required) in which to consider the new information before making a determination.
  • Live Decision Notices

     From the 16 March 2016 LPAs must ensure that new decision notices, issued on or after this date, specify the plans and documents (reference numbers) in accordance with which the approved development is to be carried out.

    Where a planning application is approved on or after the 16 March 2016 the decision notice that grants the principle of the development (i.e. outline or full planning permission) is to be updated, and a revised version issued where any subsequent consents are given; such as details required by a condition (including reserved matters applications), or the removal or variation of a condition are approved.

    As a minimum the revised version of the notice must include:
    •  the reference number that has been allocated to the subsequent application (for consent or approval of condition)
    •  the date on which the decision was made
    •  the effect of the decision (i.e. how the permission or condition has been changed)
    •  the name of the body that made the decision (in the event that such a consent or approval was made under an appeal)
    •  the revision number (so that it is clear that the notice has been amended)

    There is nothing in the regulations precluding an LPA from including any additional informative on revised notices that they consider relevant to assist the applicant.

    For clarity the requirement to revise decision notices does not apply to any planning permission where a decision notice was issued prior to the 16 March 2016, therefore this will not apply retrospectively to existing planning permissions.  
  • Requirements for Notification of Commencement of Development & Display of a Notice

    The requirement to notify the local planning authority of the commencement of development and to display a notice on site does not apply to planning permissions granted consent before the 16 March 2016.



    When a developer who has the benefit of planning permission for major development wishes to commence their development, they must complete a ‘Notification of initiation of development’ form. They must submit the completed form to the Council (or authorities if a site straddles more than one authority area).

    The submission of an incomplete form does not necessarily preclude an applicant from commencing development at the date specified. However, section 71ZB(5) of the 1990 Act ensures that any planning permission is only deemed to be granted subject to the duty to provide notification before development commences. Therefore, an incomplete form would represent a breach of condition and the applicant could be subject to enforcement action by the LPA.   

    The notification form also acts as a check sheet as the developer needs to identify and confirm that all pre-commencement conditions have been complied with.


    Notice of Development Commencing


    Display of a Notice

    As part of the requirements for notification of development, applicants are also required to display a notice which confirms the granting permission of development at, or near the development site, and provide a plan indicating the site area of the development. 

    The site notice must be displayed at the location on the notification of development notice.

    The site notice must be displayed at all times while the development is being carried out (this is considered to be while the development is under construction), at the specified location from the date the development commences.


    Notice to be Displayed on Site


  • New Use Class - Houses in Multiple Occupation

    The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2016 has been made and comes into force on 25 February 2016. The related Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2016 (“the GPDO Amendment Order 2016”) has been laid before the National Assembly for Wales and will also come into force on 25 February 2016.

    The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2016 amends the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 to:
    •  amend use class C3 (dwellinghouses) to:
    o  include a definition of “single household” which applies to use class C3(a) only;
    o  remove from the scope of use class C3(c) houses in multiple occupation falling in new use class C4; and

    •  introduce a new use class C4 (houses in multiple occupation).

    New use class C4, subject to an exception, covers use of a dwellinghouse as a small House in Multiple Occupation as defined in section 254 of the Housing Act 2004. In broad terms, this use occurs where tenanted living accommodation is occupied by 3 to 6 people, who are not related and who share one or more basic amenities, as their only or main residence.

    The GPDO Amendment Order 2016 amends Part 3 (changes of use) in Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 to give permitted development rights to changes of use from buildings used as a small scale houses in multiple occupation (new use class C4) to use as dwellinghouses (use class C3). The provision enables use class C4 to revert to use class C3 without requiring planning permission.