Drawings are a key part of your planning application, and it is essential that drawings are of a suitable standard and include all of the information necessary to describe the development proposal in detail and to enable your application to be assessed. It is also important that your proposals can be clearly understood by third parties (such as neighbours) who may not be familiar with reading plans and drawings, and will mostly be looking at your application online.
This guidance will assist you in making an application, help to avoid most common mistakes and reduce any delay in your proposal being considered by a planning officer. If drawings are received that do not contain sufficient detail, your application will be invalid and the registration of your planning application will be delayed until appropriately revised or further drawings are submitted.
Presentation of plans and drawings
A separate list or schedule of drawings, plans and documents, to include the drawing numbers and the plan titles, should be submitted with the application The submitted plans and drawings should meet the following criteria:
All plans must be to a conventional metric scale (normally 1:50 or 1:100), state original paper size and show a north point or identify which direction all elevations face (when relevant) and be named in a logical manner.
When proposing new built development they must also include a scale bar and key dimensions (distance of development form site boundaries and size of extension/building). Plans/drawings containing disclaimers such as "Not to scale" and "Do not scale" will not be accepted by the council (perspectives drawings excepted).
Each plan/drawing should have a title box stating:
- site address
- the proposal
- the title of the drawing (e.g. "existing rear elevation, proposed floor plan")
- the date - scale of the drawing
- drawing number, e.g. D1, D2, D3, etc.
Any revisions to the drawings should be clearly identified with a new number, e.g. D1a, D2b, D3c, etc. The date and details of the revision should also be indicated on the drawing.
Every plan (including all copies) that is based upon Ordnance Survey maps should have the appropriate Ordnance Survey copyright notice.
Requirements for specific drawings
Site location plan
A site location plan is a map base that shows the location of the application site in relation to surrounding roads, buildings and other land.
Site location plans should:
- be taken from an up to date Ordnance Survey Base, or to an equivalent standard
- be to a suitable scale of 1:1000, 1:1250 or 1:2500 for larger sites
- show the direction of north
- where possible, cover an A4 sheet of paper with the application site in the centre of the plan
- show the application site boundary outlined in red; this should include all land necessary to carry out the proposed development (e.g. land required for access to the site from a public highway, visibility splays, landscaping, car parking and open areas around buildings
- show any other adjoining land owned by the applicant outlined in blue
- show adjoining road names and numbers.
- identify sufficient roads and/or buildings on nearby land to ensure that the exact location of the application site is clear. For example, in rural areas you will normally need to show two named roads.
Site layout plan (sometimes called a block plan)
A site layout plan shows a detailed layout of the whole site and the relationship of the proposed works with the boundary of the property, nearby roads and neighbouring buildings. Most applications should include an existing site layout plan and a proposed site layout plan. For simple applications the existing and proposed site can be combined and shown on one plan so long as what is existing, what is proposed, and what is to be demolished is highlighted and annotated clearly.
Site layout plans should:
- be to a scale of 1:200 or 1:500
- show the proposed development, all existing buildings and structures, the garden and other open areas
- show proposed buildings shaded
- show the position and size of existing and proposed hard surfaced areas e.g. parking spaces, turning areas, paths, etc
- show the whole of the boundary of the property, indicating the position and height of all existing and proposed boundary walls and fences
- identify any buildings to be demolished
- include details of all trees, e.g. position, spread and species (e.g. oak, ash, etc)
- identify trees proposed for felling
- show all roads/footpaths/public rights of way adjoining the site
- show all existing buildings and structures on land adjoining the application site
- show the direction of north.
Elevation drawings show what a building will look like externally: In most cases, two separate sets of elevation drawings will be required, "existing" elevations showing the building as it is now and "proposed" elevations showing how the building will look, after the works have been carried out. Blank elevations must be shown if only to show this is the case.
- be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
- be clearly annotated existing and proposed
- show every elevation of the building, e.g. front, side(s) and rear and state the direction in which each elevation faces, e.g. rear (south)
- for extensions to existing buildings, show every elevation of the proposed development in situ with each relevant elevation of the existing building
- show the whole of any existing building to be altered/extended so that the relationship of the new building/extension to the existing can be clearly seen
- show outline elevations of other buildings that are close to the development. For example, a side extension close to neighbouring dwelling
- show the property boundary
- indicate the colour and type of finishing materials to be used (e.g. colour and type of brick, render, roof tiles etc.)
- identify building(s) to be demolished
- details of external materials, please ensure that all materials are described in detail, including the colour of each material
- show the position and size of all windows and doors (existing and proposed).
You need to describe what the roof covering, wall facing and window frames and doors will be made of, their design, colour and if known manufacturer. If the proposed materials will match exactly those of the existing dwelling, this may be stated on the plans e.g. "brickwork to match existing". Specifying on your plans the proposed materials can avoid the imposition of a condition requiring approval of materials to be applied for at a later date.
Floor plans show the internal layout of the building.
In most cases, two separate sets of floor plans will be required: "existing" floor plans showing the building as it is now and "proposed" floor plans showing how the building will look, after the works have been carried out.
Floor plans should:
- be to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
- be clearly annotated existing and proposed
- show all relevant floor levels of the building(s) being constructed, altered or extended, in relation to the remainder of the building
- clearly state the use of each room and include position of windows, doors, walls and partitions
- clearly label each floor
- clearly label the primary use of each room
- identify anything to be demolished.
Existing and proposed site sections and finished floor/site levels
Where a proposal involves a significant change in ground levels, illustrative drawings should normally be submitted to show both existing and finished levels. These drawings should demonstrate how the proposed development would relate to existing site levels and neighbouring development. Providing such details upfront helps us understand your proposal and avoids delay which asking for this information later in the process.
In the case of householder development, the levels may be evident from floor plans and elevations, but particularly in the case of sloping sites it will be necessary to show how proposals relate to existing ground levels or where ground levels outside the extension would be modified.
Level drawings should:
- state the existing and proposed levels on the site and where levels differ from that of land immediately adjoining the site
- be plotted on a plan (scale 1:200 or 1:500), by using spot ground levels at regular intervals in a grid pattern across the site
- specify a fixed and identifiable datum level, usually "Above Ordnance Datum" - AOD
- state the finished floor levels of proposed buildings.
Section drawings should:
- identify existing and proposed ground levels where significant cut and fill operations are proposed, or where slopes in excess of 1 in 20 exist (or will exist)
- show "slices" (cross sections) through buildings, normally at a scale of 1:50 or 1:100
- show "slices" (cross sections) through land, normally at a scale of 1:200 or 1:500
- be accompanied by a plan showing the points between which the cross sections have been taken, which should also indicate the direction of north
- show existing and proposed buildings within and adjacent to the site
- identify finished floor and ridge levels of buildings.
Street Scene or context plan
Will be required for development fronting a public highway (including public footpaths) where there is a gap of more than 30m between the buildings. Such drawings can augment the Design and Access statement and help neighbours and local councils understand how the proposed development will relate to its surroundings.
- be of a scale of 1:100 or 1:200
- as a minimum, accurately show the height and outline of neighbouring dwellings/buildings and the position and size of windows/doors
- accurately show any differences in levels
- include written dimensions for gaps between buildings.
These should be drawn to a scale of 1:50 or 1:100 and is used to show the shape of the roof particularly when development includes changes to its appearance and shape. Show the position of all ridges, valleys, dormer windows, roof lights and other features, such as chimneys or raised parapets. Details such as the roofing material and their location are typically specified on the roof plan.
Landscaping plans should accurately show:
- the position and spread of the existing trees
- details of any trees to be retained and measures to be taken to protect the trees
- the species of the trees and details of their condition
- an indication of which, if any, are to be felled
- details of the size, species and positions of trees to be planted and boundary treatments. Where a Tree Survey or Arboricultural Statement is submitted this should cross reference with the landscaping plan
- floor plans for new development, and for existing buildings altered by the proposed development. These should identify existing floorspace and highlight any existing walls or buildings that are to be demolished, where applicable. If the application relates simply to a change of use, and no development work is to be carried out, a floor plan may not be necessary.