Types of scale drawings and plans

Five different types of scale drawings and plans are generally used in planning:

The information below will introduce you to each of these in turn and provide details about the criteria that they must meet.

What types of scale drawings and plans are used in planning?

Location plans

Location plans (also known as “site location plans”) show the location and boundaries of a development site.

In order for a location plan to be accepted with a planning application, it must meet the following criteria:

  • be based on an Ordnance Survey map using an identified standard metric scale (typically 1:1250 or 1:500 for larger sites) and should show the direction north
  • be scaled to fit a A4 size document
  • show the names of roads and/or buildings on land adjoining the development site
    • all properties shown should be numbered or named so that the exact location of the development site is clear
  • show the entire development site, not just the areas affected by the proposed development (including gardens and road access)
    • a red line should used to highlight the boundary of the development site
    • a blue line should used to highlight any other land owned by the applicant that is close to or adjoining the development site.
  • be produced so that third parties, such as neighbours who may not be familiar with reading location plans, can understand them

To ensure that you submit a valid location plan, we highly recommend you purchase your plan from the Planning Portal.

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Floor plans

Floor plans show the relationships between existing/proposed rooms, spaces and other physical features.

In order for a floor plan to be accepted with a planning application, it must meet the following criteria:

  • be readable, accurate and up-to-date
  • be drawn using an identified metric scale (typically 1:50)
    • an appropriate paper size relevant to the metric scale should be used
      • for example, where the scale is 1:50 (or the drawings will be submitted online) A3 paper should be used
    • all relevant measurements should be displayed
  • display a title box stating the title of the drawing, the drawing number, the date, the nature of the proposed development, the site address and the scale of the drawing
    • revisions to any drawings require the word “Revision” to be incorporated into the title box and a new drawing number should be given
      • for example, “3102Rev A” or “3102RevB”
  • all existing and proposed works should be clearly identified
  • show all section lines

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Roof plans

Roof plans show the outline of a building from above and display existing/proposed features such as valleys, ridges, hips, slopes, drainage, chimneys, vents and roof lights.

In order for a roof plan to be accepted with a planning application, it must meet the following criteria:

  • be readable, accurate and up-to-date
  • be drawn using an identified metric scale (typically 1:50)
    • an appropriate paper size relevant to the metric scale should be used
      • for example, where the scale is 1:50 (or the drawings will be submitted online) A3 paper should be used
    • all relevant measurements should be displayed
  • display a title box stating the title of the drawing, the drawing number, the date, the nature of the proposed development, the site address and the scale of the drawing
    • revisions to any drawings require the word “Revision” to be incorporated into the title box and a new drawing number should be given
      • for example, “3102Rev A” or “3102RevB”
  • all existing and proposed works should be clearly identified (including details of any roof lights)

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Elevations

Elevations show a flat representation of a buildings façade (side, front or rear) and are most commonly used to show its existing/proposed external appearance.

In order for an elevation to be accepted with a planning application, it must meet the following criteria:

  • be readable, accurate and up-to-date
  • be drawn using an identified metric scale (typically 1:50)
    • an appropriate paper size relevant to the metric scale should be used
      • for example, where the scale is 1:50 (or the drawings will be submitted online) A3 paper should be used
    • all relevant measurements should be displayed
  • display a title box stating the title of the drawing, the drawing number, the date, the nature of the proposed development, the site address and the scale of the drawing
    • revisions to any drawings require the word “Revision” to be incorporated into the title box and a new drawing number should be given
      • for example, “3102RevA” or “3102RevB”
  • all existing and proposed works should be clearly identified
  • show the site in context with adjoining properties and include details and measurements which show the relationship with adjoining sites, such as the location and height of any boundary walls and the total height of adjoining roofs and eaves

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Sections

Sections show a vertical plane cut through a property and are most commonly used to describe the relationship between different levels of an existing/proposed building.

In order for a section to be accepted with a planning application, it must meet the following criteria:

  • be readable, accurate and up-to-date
  • be drawn using an identified metric scale (typically 1:50)
    • an appropriate paper size relevant to the metric scale should be used
      • for example, where the scale is 1:50 (or the drawings will be submitted online) A3 paper should be used
    • all relevant measurements should be displayed
  • display a title box stating the title of the drawing, the drawing number, the date, the nature of the proposed development, the site address and the scale of the drawing
    • revisions to any drawings require the word “Revision” to be incorporated into the title box and a new drawing number should be given
      • for example, “3102RevA” or “3102RevB”
  • all existing and proposed works should be clearly identified
  • for proposed developments that involve a change in ground levels, sections should show both existing and finished levels
  • for proposed developments on sloping sites or where there are differences in levels on adjoining sites, sections should show:
    • alterations to any levels
    • the way in which a proposed development sits within the development site
    • the relative levels between existing and proposed buildings

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How do I submit scale drawings and plans?

If you apply for planning permission online using the Planning Portal, you will be given the opportunity to upload your scale drawings and plans after you have completed the relevant application forms. Before uploading any files, please read our guidance notes for submitting electronic files with planning applications (PDF) 

If you choose to submit a paper-based application instead, you will need to provide four copies of your scaled drawings and plans along with four copies of the relevant application forms.

Where can I find out further information?

For further information on preparing and submitting scale drawings and plans, please contact planning advice and information