Planning and building control

Planning and building control


COVID-19 update

We are still open and accepting, validating and registering all types of planning applications, although we are asking applicants and agents to work with us to enable some of the usual processes involved in determining an application to be carried out. 

Duty Planner service

There is no on-site duty planner service at present for householder pre application advice. The Council’s contact centre is extremely busy as present and therefore we would encourage you to  use our website to answer any queries you have

Pre-application advice

We will continue to offer a pre-application advice service, using virtual meeting platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom for small, medium and major proposals.  For householder pre application advice we are offering a written response service rather than our usual face to face service, and we are aiming to get a short response to you within 28 days.

Consultation on planning applications

The Council is required to publicise certain types of planning applications and other related consents by way of a site notice in at least one place on or near the land to which the application relates for not less than 21 days.  In light of the Government’s advice regarding staying at home and social distancing the Council is unable to put up site notices at this time.

Therefore, we are emailing the site notice, for those applications, to the agent / applicant and asking them to put up the site notice. The notice must be placed on or near the land to which the application relates, where it can be easily seen, for a period of at least 21 days. This can be in the window of the property if it can be seen from the street. If it is put up externally, for example on a lamp post, fence etc, it should be laminated, or placed in a clear plastic folder/wallet.

If you put up the site notice, you must send to the Council a photograph of the site notice in situ, clearly showing where it has been placed, to the planning case officer.

Consultation letters are being sent to neighbouring residents as usual by post.

Viewing planning applications

The Council’s Planning Offices are closed to the public and therefore it will not be possible to view applications in person. Applications can be viewed on-line, via the Council’s planning search webpage.

Assessment of planning applications

Unfortunately, Waltham Forest Planning Officers are also no longer able to continue to carry out site visits for planning applications. Therefore, the case officer will be asking the applicant / agent to submit photographs of the site and neighbouring properties and a live video 360 degrees of the whole site and context. If we receive any objections to proposals, we will of course be asking objectors to also submit photographs and a live video. We will be using these submissions in combination with google earth/street view to view the site in context.

If, from the details we receive from applicants / agents and neighbours, we are concerned that this will not enable a sufficient assessment of the proposal, then unfortunately we will have to delay the determination of the application and ask applicants / agents to agree an extension of time until such time that we can carry out a site visit in person.

Set out below are the limits on the types and size of files we can receive, which is an extract from our local validation checklist.

File Type

  • All drawings should be attached as .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) files.
  • Other files types that will be accepted are .jpg, .doc and .xls files only.
  • All files should be clearly labelled / named referencing the drawings they contain.

File Size

  • The maximum size of any single attachment must be no more than 5MB.
  • All drawings submitted electronically must be A3 or smaller.

For live videos please use file types that can be viewed in windows media player such as .mov (from an iphone), .asf, .asx, .wax, .wm, .wma, .wmd, .wmv, .wvx, .wmp, and .wmx.

As we are all working remotely at present, we are having issues with receiving larger files by WeTransfer, if you are using Microsoft Outlook then please use Mimecast; alternatively please save the document / video into a one drive file and share it with the case officer.

Where we are able to, the Council will continue to assess and determine planning applications.

Planning Committee

The Council successfully held its Planning Committee on Tuesday 31 March 2020, and it is our intention going forward to continue to hold virtual Planning Committees, please check the Council’s website to confirm dates of future meetings and the agendas. Details of committee and speaking arrangements will be notified to those that have made representations. The Council is taking all appropriate precautions to maintain the safety of the public, officers and Members. We will be webcasting the meeting on YouTube / MS Teams, so you do not need to attend in person. Webcast will be available here on YouTube.

Objectors and supporters/agents/applicants can register to speak in the normal way; you will be able to do this via MS Teams. If you were planning to register to speak but would rather not do so via MS Teams, you can submit a written objection which will be read out by a Council Officer.

Please email this to

Correspondence by post

While the Council is still receiving post, there may be delays in delivery to the Council and receipt by the Planning Department. Therefore we would strongly encourage you to use electronic means instead.

Section 106 

We are continuing to negotiate s106 heads of terms and agreements virtually and are able to seal and issue agreements whilst working remotely. If you have any queries over s106 agreements please contact your planning case officer or the s106 monitoring officer.

Draft Local Plan

Work continues on developing our borough-wide Draft Local Plan, as well as more localised site-specific masterplans, in order to support economic recovery.

Although we have had to cancel all in-person engagement until it can be conducted safely, we will continue a programme of thorough, ongoing community consultation using digital and non-digital methods.
If you would like to receive regular updates

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Planning looks at the use of the land and decides whether the proposed building work can go ahead, and in what capacity.

Building control is concerned with the technical side such as making sure building regulations are upheld and public safety is maintained.

Read our newsletters and find out more about changes in planning regulations
Information about party wall surveying and plan drawing
Find out if property or land you are buying has any restrictions attached