Scope and Content

Applications for local authority consent were required under both buildings regulations and town and country planning acts and applicants were required to submit an official form with notice of intention to erect a new building together with copies of plans of the proposals. Once received these documents were registered (see RDC3/4/R1-3), stamped and placed in official envelopes for administrative purposes, together with any further correspondence relating thereto.

Identifying information on the envelopes includes: plan number, dates of receipt and submission to the relevant authorities (until 1947 these were usually the district housing or sanitary committee, the relevant town planning committee and county surveyor), details of the building proposal and address and names and addresses of owner or builder and architect.

The envelopes contain key documents such as notices of intention to erect new buildings and plans as well as correspondence and other notices.

Notices of intention provide details on key matters such as walls, foundations, damp course, drains, rooms, building lines, roof, water supply and sanitation.

The plans contain usually detailed drawings and descriptions of elevations, floor plans, facilities, drains and building lines. They are often works of art, drawn in great detail and coloured, and record the name of the architect as well as the date-stamps of the relevant local authorities or laws under which copies were submitted. Until 1947, the latter included the Bullingdon Public Health and Housing Department or Housing Committee, the Mid-Oxfordshire Joint Regional Planning Committee and the Restriction of Ribbon Development Act, 1935.

There is almost a complete collection of plans from 1932 (when Bullingdon RDC was created) until April 1946 (Plan numbers 1 - 1400). Plans missing from the original bundles are indicated in the relevant descriptions below. Thereafter, a limited selection of plans have been retained. The Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 established a universal, mandatory system of planning control under which planning records (including plans) have been retained in perpetuity; records of planning applications from 1947 onwards are currently held by district councils.

Identifying plans for a particular property may be time-consuming. The quickest method is to obtain the plan number which can be found in the registers. Some of the registers are name-indexed (by owner, builder or architect). Similarly an approximate idea of the date of building can help in searching the registers which are arranged in roughly chronological order. Alternatively a search of the parish indexes (RDC3/4/R1) will identify developments in specific parishes; they provide details of owners or builders, properties, dates and (sometimes) plan numbers which can then be used to search the main registers (RDC3/4/R2 & R3) or link directly to the plans. External sources of information can be useful in identifying previous owners and dates of building and/or occupation; they include deeds, registers of electors, directories and ratebooks.