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Document copy requests and file retrieval

We can provide copies of planning and building control documents including decision notices, completion certificates, S106 and legal agreements. We can also retrieve archived planning or building control files.

The provision of some of these services is chargeable, with our fees detailed in our non-statutory fees and charges.

Covid-19 update

Due to the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation, there has been an immediate effect on some of our services. The council has put in place contingency plans and where a service is affected, we are establishing alternative ways of continuing to provide the service.

Due to current government guidance restricting non-essential contact with others, the majority of our staff will be working from home. Whilst these restrictions are in place, copy document requests are still likely to be fulfilled, however it is unlikely that it will be possible to fulfil file retrieval requests.

How to request copies of documents

You can request copies of documentation by emailing us and specifying:

  • the type of document(s) required
  • wherever possible - site address, application number, decision date.

If you have carried out a local authority land search, you can include an extract of the search with any required entries highlighted.

The e-mail address for requesting copy documents is:  planningandbuilding@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Viewing historic planning casefiles

If you require more than simply a copy of a specific decision notice or legal agreement you may need to view the casefile. You can search online for application casefiles from 2000 onwards on our planning register.

Historic planning casefiles pre-dating the year 2000 are not available on our online planning register. Archived files may have been retained off-site and may be able to be retrieved, in line with any fees detailed in our non-statutory fees and charges.

For further information regarding the process, please send an e-mail to planningandbuilding@towerhamlets.gov.uk


Viewing historic building control files

Building control documents are not public documents and are protected under provisions of the Data Protection Act 1990.

In order to view any documentation that accompanied a building control application, we require written evidence giving consent from the owner of the property allowing you to view the documents.
If upon viewing, you wish to obtain copies of drawings, written permission from the original architects of those drawings is required.

For retrieval of building control files: email buildingcontrol@towerhamlets.gov.uk

You will be contacted within approximately 10 working days and we will confirm the process, associated costs and payment options.

Local land charges

Our Local Land Charges team  do not deal with copy requests with the sole exception of two types of requests:

  • Copies of local land charges search
  • Copies of LLC1

If you require either of the above  then please e-mail your request to: landcharges@towerhamlets.gov.uk