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The charity making life better by water

Planning applications

Find out how we’re involved, where to get help to respond to an application or appeal, how to submit a planning application and where to find more information if you want it.

Leeds Lock and Crown Point Bridge, Leeds

Our involvement

We're a statutory consultee on planning applications. This means a local planning authority (LPA) must consult us on certain planning applications that are likely to affect our network. We've got a statutory duty to provide advice to the LPA.

When we get a planning consultation, our planning team will:

  • look at how it affects our waterways and wellbeing and respond to the LPA
  • only raise issues that are material planning considerations

We may:

  • request further information to allow us to properly assess the proposal
  • ask the LPA to put conditions on any planning permission to deal with issues
  • ask for a planning obligation (s106 agreement) to address issues
  • ask the LPA to put informative notes on any planning permission to alert the developer to certain things
  • if the proposal would be unacceptable to us, ask for amendments or object
  • make comments as landowner

When we are consulted on a planning appeal our planning team will decide, on a case by case basis, how involved we need to be.

Planning applications made by us

A lot of the work we do is automatically given the go ahead under planning law and therefore does not need a planning application. We may, however, need to submit a planning application for some development we want to do. Please contact our National Planning Delivery Manager Richard Newton if you would like to know more about one of our own applications.

Participating in a planning application as an individual or on behalf of a group representing a waterway organisation

Any individual or group can comment on a planning application – you don't have to receive an invitation from the local planning authority. If you want to comment council websites may provide help.

Planning Aid England provides General Guidance on Consultation and Commenting on Planning Applications.

Please note: The Planning Aid England guidance advises that structural stability matters controlled under Building Regulations are not planning considerations. However, the impact of new development on the stability of adjoining land, buildings and other structures (including canals, bridges, locks, embankments etc.) is not controlled by Building Regulations and therefore are material planning considerations that can be taken into account when deciding whether to grant planning permission.

This diagram shows the key stages of the planning application process and how you can be involved.

Planning application flowchart

Also, see our page for help in assessing the appropriateness and potential impacts of new development on waterway infrastructure, facilities and their surroundings. We have some waterway case studies you might find useful.

Participating in a planning or enforcement appeal as an individual or on behalf of a group representing a waterway organisation

The Planning Inspectorate run the appeal process on behalf of the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Individuals and groups can comment on or become involved in appeals. Take a look at the Planning Portal and government websites for more details on taking part.

Submitting a planning application

The Planning Portal has general information for applicants on how to apply, the decision making and appeal processes.

Take a look at our information to see if the LPA may consult us on your proposal.

We're happy to provide our initial views on your proposals before you submit your application, it might save you time and money.

Last Edited: 31 March 2022

photo of a location on the canals
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