Paragraph W – Procedure for applications for Prior Approval under Part 3
If you are looking to submit a prior approval application under Part 3 – Changes of Use, then you will need to comply with all elements of Paragraph W. Failure to comply with Paragraph W could result in your application not being validated or refusal.
As with any other part of the GPDO the original legislation is not updated, therefore you need to read all the amendments that relate to the part of the GPDO that is of interest to you. Thankfully at Planning Geek, that is all done for you. This is up to date to the date mentioned at the end of this page.
Below this the full legislation for Paragraph W.
Procedure for applications for prior approval under Part 3
W.— (1) The following provisions apply where under this Part a developer is required to make an
application to a local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of
the authority will be required.
(2) The application must be accompanied by—
(a) a written description of the proposed development, which, in relation to development
proposed under Class C, M, N or Q of this Part, must in the same application include any
building or other operations;
(b) a plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development;
(ba) in relation to development proposed under Classes M, N, O, P, PA and Q of this Part, a
statement specifying the net increase in dwellinghouses proposed by the development (for
the purposes of this sub-paragraph, “net increase in dwellinghouses” is the number of
dwellinghouses proposed by the development that is additional to the number of
dwellinghouses on the site immediately prior to the development);
(bb) in relation to development proposed under Class Q of this Part, a statement specifying—
(i) the number of smaller dwellinghouses proposed;
(ii) the number of larger dwellinghouses proposed;
(iii) whether previous development has taken place under Class Q within the
established agricultural unit and, if so, the number of smaller and larger
dwellinghouses developed under Class Q;
(bc) in relation to development proposed under Class M, N, O, PA or Q of this Part, a floor
plan indicating the dimensions and proposed use of each room, the position and
dimensions of windows, doors and walls, and the elevations of the dwellinghouses;
(c) the developer’s contact address;
(d) the developer’s email address if the developer is content to receive communications
(e) where sub-paragraph (6) requires the Environment Agency to be consulted, a site
specific flood risk assessment,
together with any fee required to be paid.
(2A)Where the application relates to prior approval as to adequate natural light, the local planning
authority must refuse prior approval if adequate natural light is not provided in all the habitable
rooms of the dwellinghouses.
(3) The local planning authority may refuse an application where, in the opinion of the authority—
(a) the proposed development does not comply with, or
(b) the developer has provided insufficient information to enable the authority to establish
whether the proposed development complies with,
any conditions except for conditions in paragraph M.2(1)(f), paragraph N.2(1)(e), paragraph
O.2(1)(e), paragraph PA.2(1)(v), or paragraph Q.2(1)(g), limitations or restrictions specified in
this Part as being applicable to the development in question.
(4) Sub-paragraphs (5) to (8) and (10) do not apply where a local planning authority refuses an
application under sub-paragraph (3) and for the purposes of section 78 (appeals) of the Act such a
refusal is to be treated as a refusal of an application for approval.
(5) Where the application relates to prior approval as to transport and highways impacts of the
development, on receipt of the application, where in the opinion of the local planning authority
the development is likely to result in a material increase or a material change in the character of
traffic in the vicinity of the site, the local planning authority must consult—
(a) where the increase or change relates to traffic entering or leaving a trunk road, the
highway authority for the trunk road;
(b) the local highway authority, where the increase or change relates to traffic entering or
leaving a classified road or proposed highway, except where the local planning authority
is the local highway authority; and
(c) the operator of the network which includes or consists of the railway in question, and the
Secretary of State for Transport, where the increase or change relates to traffic using a
level crossing over a railway.
(6) Where the application relates to prior approval as to the flooding risks on the site, on receipt of
the application, the local planning authority must consult the Environment Agency58 where the
(a) in an area within Flood Zone 2 or Flood Zone 3; or
(b) in an area within Flood Zone 1 which has critical drainage problems and which has been
notified to the local planning authority by the Environment Agency for the purpose of
paragraph (zc)(ii) in the Table in Schedule 4 to the Procedure Order.
(7) The local planning authority must notify the consultees referred to in sub-paragraphs (5) and (6)
specifying the date by which they must respond (being not less than 21 days from the date the
notice is given).
(8) The local planning authority must give notice of the proposed development—
(a) by site display in at least one place on or near the land to which the application relates for
not less than 21 days of a notice which—
(i) describes the proposed development;
(ii) provides the address of the proposed development;
(iii) specifies the date by which representations are to be received by the local
planning authority; or
(b) by serving a notice in that form on any adjoining owner or occupier.
(9) The local planning authority may require the developer to submit such information as the
authority may reasonably require in order to determine the application, which may include—
(a) assessments of impacts or risks;
(b) statements setting out how impacts or risks are to be mitigated; or
(c) details of proposed building or other operations.
(10) The local planning authority must, when determining an application—
(a) take into account any representations made to them as a result of any consultation under
sub-paragraphs (5) or (6) and any notice given under sub-paragraph (8);
(b) have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework issued by the Ministry of
Housing, Communities and Local Government in February 2019, so far as relevant to
the subject matter of the prior approval, as if the application were a planning application;
(c) in relation to the contamination risks on the site—
(i) determine whether, as a result of the proposed change of use, taking into account
any proposed mitigation, the site will be contaminated land as described in Part
2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and in doing so have regard to
the Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance issued by the Secretary of State for
the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in April 2012, and
(ii) if they determine that the site will be contaminated land, refuse to give prior
(11) The development must not begin before the occurrence of one of the following—
(a) the receipt by the applicant from the local planning authority of a written notice of their
determination that such prior approval is not required;
(b) the receipt by the applicant from the local planning authority of a written notice giving
their prior approval; or
(c) the expiry of 56 days following the date on which the application under sub-paragraph (2)
was received by the local planning authority without the authority notifying the applicant
as to whether prior approval is given or refused.
(12) The development must be carried out—
(a) where prior approval is required, in accordance with the details approved by the local
(b) where prior approval is not required, or where sub-paragraph (11)(c) applies, in
accordance with the details provided in the application referred to in sub-paragraph (1),
unless the local planning authority and the developer agree otherwise in writing.
(13) The local planning authority may grant prior approval unconditionally or subject to conditions
reasonably related to the subject matter of the prior approval.
(14) When computing the number of days in sub-paragraph (8)(a), any day which is a public holiday
must be disregarded.
Page updated: 15th August 2020
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