Advice Note Six, Appendix One – Preparing the application index to accompany an NSIP application


This document is an appendix to Advice Note 6: Preparation and submission of application documents.

The application index is an excel spreadsheet in which the Applicant lists the application documents and associated information using the pre-determined drop-down values or free text as appropriate.

The application index should be submitted electronically in an editable form with the application and is used for the efficient import of the application to our internal document management system, and website should the application be accepted for examination.

Without the application index, the import process may be delayed, and we may have to contact you for clarification of the documents provided.

Key points

  • Due to the file conversion process used during the import we ask that document titles and document descriptions do not contain special characters including:
    & , ‘ \ / ?
    The inclusion of any of these will produce errors during the import which will delay the process.
  • To improve public accessibility to files once on our website, we ask that individual files are kept to a maximum size of 50MB. We appreciate that this will not always be possible. However, please consider breaking the large files into smaller files or submitting a compressed (web ready) version of the application documents on a separate data stick as well as the uncompressed version (although the Planning Inspectorate can accept Compact Disc (CD) or Electronic Versatile Disc (DVD) it is not our preference to do so). Failure to do this may result in us requesting a compressed version of the application documents which may delay the documents being imported to our system. Please note, the maximum size of emails that can be received is 10MB.
  • The Applicant may request for the documents to be published on submission. If not, the application will only be published if it is accepted for examination. The documents will be made available from our website on or shortly after the day the acceptance decision is made.
  • Documents should not contain links to other application documents as the links will be broken when published. We would have to return the documents for the links to be removed and references provided instead.
  • Please do not submit the electronic version of the application index as a PDF file as the data within this file needs to be manipulated to create the import file and therefore must be editable.
  • To improve accessibility to the documents published to our website, we request that all documents are numbered methodically. Ideally the files should have numbers at the start of the title which match the number of the corresponding folder.
    Eg: 1.1 Application Form, 1.2 Electronic application Index, 2.1 Statement of Reasons

It is helpful for the Planning Inspectorate to have early sight of a draft index so we can advise on any issues with naming conventions or numbering. This can make the process more efficient for both the Applicant and the case team.

Please send a draft index at your earliest convenience.

Explanation of columns in the application Index

Please also see Table 1 of Advice Note 6 – Suggested order of information submitted with application.

Cell B4 – Total page count of application and accompaniments and Cell B5 – Overall print reduction This information is used internally by the Inspectorate.

Column A – Document Type This data is used internally and is not published to our website. Please only use the drop-down list to prevent errors and delays during document management. If you cannot find a document type that matches the particular document, leave the cell blank. Please give us feedback of any document types you consider are missing from the list.

Column B – Folder Use the drop-down list of values to state which folder you believe the file should be stored in. We use this data to ensure the documents appear under the correct headings on our website.

Column C – Description and summary of contents Provide a plain English description for publication on our website.

Columns D – Ref or plan drawing number Provide your reference numbers.

Column E – Electronic file name The file names must be the complete file name, including the file type (eg .pdf, .gif). The names must be identical to the files submitted.

Column F – APFP Regulation State which Regulation the document falls under.

Column G – Page count approx. This data is used internally.

Column H – Hard copy required? Do not complete, internal use only. If the Inspectorate requires a hard copy, we will use this column to request it.

If you have any problems or queries regarding the application index or associated documents, please contact the case team.