Apply for planning permission

Before you apply, we recommend all applicants request pre-application advice. We offer a paid for pre-application advice service. This service will provide you with time to meet with a planning officer and discuss your plans and suggest any improvements that may help your application to be approved.

It is also important to make sure you have all the documents and plans needed to make a planning application. If your planning application is submitted without the relevant documents, it may be deemed invalid and this could result in your losing 25% of your deposit.

Documents you need to supply

From September 2023, check what documents you need to supply under our local validation requirements for planning applications.

Apply for planning permission

You can apply for planning permission either online or by email.

Applying for planning permission online, via the Planning Portal, is quicker and easier. Registration is simple and you can complete your application form online, upload supporting documents and pay the appropriate fee online by credit or debit card, or over the phone.

Any applications that are made invalid, or where the additional information requested is not submitted within the time frame given, will be returned in the post along with 25% administration cost taken from the planning fee.

Most planning applications require a location plan and a site plan (also known as a block plan), to be submitted as supporting documents. The most common reason for planning applications being rejected is that the accompanying plans are invalid.

You can buy plans from one of the Planning Portal's accredited suppliers:

Buy a plan

There are also National and Local Validation checklists for planning applications.

Apply for planning permission

To assist you, you may wish to use the council's interactive map prior to submission. It includes details of current site constraints that may inform your submission.

Apply by email

You also can apply by email if you wish. To do this, download the appropriate planning application form from the Planning Portal website. Fill this form out and email it, along with the correct supporting documents, plans and notice, to:


Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

All planning applications must provide sufficient information to allow the city council to determine whether the development is liable to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy. Applicants are therefore required to complete the CIL Additional Information Form which must be submitted with their application(s).

Developer Contributions

Sometimes planning permission for new developments will include obligations to help support local services.

Solent Disturbance and Mitigation Project (SDMP)

All applications for planning permission or prior approval for new residential development across the city received after Monday 7 July 2014 will need to provide a means of mitigating the development’s impact upon the ecological importance of the Special Protection Areas within and around the Solent.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

The Council’s adopted saved LDF Core Strategy Policy CS22 requires all new development to produce a net gain in biodiversity by designing in provisions for wildlife.


In order to comply with the provisions of the Habitat Regulations to ensure that development does not adversely affects the integrity of a European designation, new development which leads to a net increase in residential or hotel units must be subject to an appropriate assessment to demonstrate how mitigation measures will be implemented to achieve nitrogen neutrality.

The mitigation measures must be implemented and effective at the point of occupation of the development, and be legally secured for the duration of the development’s effects (based on Natural England’s published advice, generally taken to be 80 to 125 years).

The requirement applies to any proposal for:

  • Class C use (dwellings, houses in multiple occupation, hotels, residential institutions including student accommodation) and also sui generis houses in multiple occupation
  • Planning applications (full or outline) and prior approvals
  • New development or changes of use

The requirement for mitigation measures is based on the net increase in the number of dwelling units (or equivalent).

In order for the council to conduct an appropriate assessment, the applicant must submit a nitrogen budget and provide the necessary information regarding the efficacy of mitigation measures with their application. View the nitrogen budget calculator on our Sustainability Checklist page.

For more information on nitrates please visit our nitrate mitigation page

Nitrates and prior approval decisions for residential use

Following the grant of prior approval for a residential use the development is automatically subject to a planning condition that states that, where development is likely to have a significant effect on a European site, works may not begin until the developer has received further written notification of the approval of the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

This condition is imposed by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (regulations 75-78). Natural England has advised that all new residential development within Southampton is likely to have a significant effect on protected sites and therefore an applicant will need to obtain the further written approval of the LPA before they can proceed with their development.

In order to satisfy these requirements an applicant should undertake the following: Process for demonstrating Nitrate Neutrality for a residential prior approval residential approval:

  1. An applicant should formally request in writing the council’s approval to discharge their obligations in respect of nitrate neutrality (Reg 75 applies) describing the development that benefits from permitted development rights (including reference to the Council’s prior approval reference). This request can be by email to as no formal application form exists. An applicant may wish to justify a lower nitrates amount in their submission, but it should be accompanied by:
    1. a Nitrates Budget calculation using the Natural England budget calculator: Nitrogen Mitigation; and,
    2. confirmation of how this will be mitigated – with evidence of credits purchased where applicable; and,
    3. a planning fee of £30 to cover the costs of administration by the council.

    The weblink provided includes details of a credit-based scheme that is managed by Eastleigh Borough Council, but others options are available, and submitting evidence that the necessary credits have been purchased will expedite the overall process.
  2. On receipt of a valid request the council will create a new casefile and prepare a Habitat Regulation Assessment, which it will send it to Natural England along with the applicant’s submitted details, nitrates calculator and proof of mitigation. Following the consultation with Natural England the council will then confirm whether or not the conditions have been properly satisfied. Receipt of this decision then allows lawful residential development to commence and occupation to occur.

How can I make payment?

If you have submitted your application via the Planning Portal and you have a portal reference number (starts with PP) then you will need to pay via the Planning portal site.

Otherwise, you can pay for planning applications online.


Before you make a payment

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself a couple of minutes to fill in the form.

You will need:

  • A payment card, Apple Pay or Google Pay*
  • Application reference number
  • Site or planning location address (first line and postcode)

Pay for a planning service

If you are unable to make payment by these options, please email quoting the site address and advise you are unable to pay online.

Remember: If you do not use the correct Planning Portal Reference Number (starting PP) and/or the location address of the property for which you are applying for planning permission when making payment, it could delay acknowledgement of your payment and the validation of your planning application, and may also result in further payment requests.