Planning Information

Welcome to the Planning Department at the Council of the Isles of Scilly

Please explore our webpages but if you cannot find the information you require email and we can help you. Email or phoning on 01720 424455 is the best way to communicate with the department as postal communication can experience delays in being received and sent out. Most correspondence is acceptable via electronic communication but if you need to submit paper copies please take them to the reception desk at the Library during opening hours and hand it to someone or place in the post box in front of the desk. Please DO NOT leave post in any unattended location. The postal address for the planning department is: Town Hall, The Parade, St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly, TR21 0LW (please do not hand deliver post to this location).

Officers work remotely so unfortunately we no longer offer an in person drop in service. The best way to contact us is via the methods outlined above or we can be contacted through the Council's main phone number: 0300 1234 105. We have access to phone lines/voicemail and email in our remote working so we can easily arrange electronic meetings otherwise in person meetings can be organised if necessary subject to officer workload and a suitable location being available. There is one qualified Planning Officer on the Islands, this is currently Chief Planning Officer Lisa Walton.  An appointment will be required to speak to the Planning Officer which can be arranged via the email address above, the Council's main phone number above or the Planning Department's direct number 01720 424455. Often the planning department support staff can assist before speaking with the CPO and information can be provided to better inform discussions. 

If you wish to submit a new planning application, the best way to submit will be through the Planning Portal or by email. Any application submitted by post may be subject to delays, given the remote-working nature of staff. You should provide all the information necessary as set out in both the list of national planning requirements and local validation requirements for submitting a planning application in order to reduce the chances of your application being invalid.

For information on how we handle data and Information associated with planning. Please see our Privacy Notice.

General Information

The Planning Department discharges the Council's statutory planning and related duties and plays a key role in managing competing pressures to allow a viable and sustainable community to thrive on the Isles of Scilly. There is a balance to be struck between protecting our unique environment and allowing sufficient development to house local people and enable the economy to prosper and diversify. The purpose of planning after all is to effectively manage development and the use of land on behalf of the wider interests of the community.

You can find out more about the new Local Plan (2015-2030) by clicking on the respective links on the left of this page under Planning Policy.

You can find out about the Planning Application Process and a list of Current Planning Applications by clicking the links on the left under Planning ApplicationsIn October 2018 Members of Full Council approved the adoption of an updated Planning Protocol. This was updated in January 2021.  This sets out clarification to anyone involved in the planning process as to the standards and conduct of Officers and Members when determining planning applications.  The Planning Protocol 2021 Update can be viewed by clicking the link.

The department reports to monthly Full Council Committee Meetings and is responsible for upholding the Isles of Scilly Local Plan, determining planning applications and making decisions that conserve and preserve the AONB and preserve or enhance the conservation area and the important natural and historic environments. As well as directly consulting with the community, there is ongoing dialogue on the islands with local organisations such as the AONB PartnershipDuchy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and with national agencies such as the Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England to ensure that all decisions are fully informed

For the national planning context please visit the Planning Portal or the Government's Website. The Planning Portal provides a guide detailing information on all aspects of the planning process. You can submit your planning application online from the Planning Portal website.

The Department of Communities and Local Government have published a Plain English Guide to the Planning System which gives a good overview of the English planning system and how it works.

A list of locally set fees and charges for services offered by the department can be found here. Planning application fees, however, are not set locally but are set nationally by Central Government. The latest planning fees can be found here. Planning Fees increased nationally by 20% on 17th January 2018Information on how to make payments can be found by clicking this link.

Planning Aid

Planning Aid England (PAE) provides free, independent, professional planning advice and support to help individuals and communities engage with the planning system.  This includes online guidance and a limited amount of free email advice which can be accessed via an online enquiry form.  In some circumstances PAE may be able to offer additional bespoke support.  To find out more visit

There is also free advice available at: