Local Government Board: Planning Applications

Scope and Content

The planning applications generally contain two kinds of records:

1. Plans for the structure proposed to be built or altered in drawing, blue or white paper;

2. Letters from the architect or builder submitting the plan and listing the construction materials to the Local Government Board.

The plans are hand drawn and some are coloured with watercolours. They can be complemented by a block plan, which is a sketch, coloured or not, of the property location in the area. The block plan may be in a corner of the same sheet of the main plan. They may be signed or stamped by the architect and are typically marked approved or disapproved by the Local Government Board with a signature and date.

The plans and letters are folded and enclosed in numbered envelopes in ascending order. The envelopes also contain a brief title identifying the type of plan, the requester and if it was approved or not.

After plan 596, inclusive, the Local Government Board began adding a sticker to the back of the plans which was completed with the date the application was submitted, inspected and approved or not.

Some plans in this series predate the timeframe of planning applications as an administrative function.

Administrative / Biographical History

Concern with the organisation and planning of the Isle of Man urbanisation started in the mid-19th century with the promulgation of the Local Government Act in 1886. This Act allowed the creation of elected local authorities whose goal was the creation, maintenance and planning of public services, for example water, sewers, transportation and roads. This law was amended and revised during the next decades until updated in 1916 in the form of The Local Government Consolidation Act. In Part IV - Government of Towns - Regulations of Streets and Buildings, Sections 217 and 218, the Act gives the legal context for the planning applications in this series, forbidding the construction of any building without the submission of a plan to the Local Government Board. In 1936, The Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Regulations, Section 3, detailed the various documents and information required to submit the proposed plans, describing what had been previously been done in the timeframe of this record series.


On arrival at the Local Government Board, the plans and letters that constituted a 'planning application' were stored in standardised paper envelopes. The envelopes were marked with an ascending number and, generally, complemented with a short description of the contents and outcome of the application.

The item reference numbers used in this catalogue reflect the original numbering on the envelopes. Some plans were found to be missing from the series on transfer to the Record Office. Where plans no longer survive in the series, this has been indicated in the catalogue sequence.

Access Information

For information on visiting the Isle of Man Public Record Office please see our website: www.gov.im/pro.

Other Finding Aids

Please see our website for catalogues: www.gov.im/pro.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Envelope: Upright paper envelopes close to DL size.

Envelope: Upright paper envelopes close to DL size.

Drawing tools: Bottled ink, pencil and watercolours.

Generally, plans and letters are folded together. At the time of cataloguing, they were found attached to each other in the top right hand corner by a pin or a clip. These old fasteners were removed during the listing process and replaced by brass clips to assist preservation of the paper and preserve their physical order.

Archivist's Note

Catalogue created in 2017 by Liliana Silva. Listing by Wiktoria Maliszak and Liliana Silva.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in plans submitted for planning application purposes will rest with the Architect.

Crown copyright in planning and building control records created by the Local Government Board (duration - 125 years from the end of the calendar year of production).

Custodial History

The planning function was administered by the Local Government Board until its dissolution in 1986. The function was then transferred to the Department of Local Government and Environment (1986-2010), Department of Infrastructure (2010-2015) and is currently held by the Planning and Building Control Division in the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

The applications in this series were first transferred to Manx National Heritage by the Local Government Board in the late 1970's or early 1980's. Manx National Heritage transferred them to the Public Record Office in 2005 to accompany the planning application series already stored at the Record Office.

Related Material

Planning applications, index maps and registers

  • - Planning application index maps (Ordnance Survey County Series and National Grid) – scanned versions available to view in the Public Record Office reading room - A34
  • - Planning application registers (31 volumes) - 1936-1985 - A26/2
  • - Planning applications (not a complete sequence)- 1936-1983 - A10, A26, A34
  • - Planning applications (microfilm copies – not a complete sequence) - 1936-1983 - A26/4, A34, A10/3
  • - Planning applications – Douglas No 1 and No 2 planning schemes (not a complete sequence) - 1939-1986 - A26/1
  • - Planning applications – ‘miscellaneous hospitals and agriculture’ sequence - 1939-1989 - A26/1
  • - Planning applications – ‘special planning’ sequence - 1968-c1978 - A26/1
  • - Rolled plans, principally planning applications for Government projects (please ask a member of staff for further details) - c1960-1983 - A34
  • - Douglas No 2 Ballakermeen and Ballabrooie Estates planning scheme – 1 plan/map and 1 provisional planning order – 1939 - A26/3

Planning application enquiries and committee minutes

  • - Planning – public enquiries minute book - 07 Jan 1937-22 Dec 1939 - A34
  • - Planning Committee minutes - 28 Dec 1944-06 Feb 1984 - A34
  • - Planning – Special Planning Committee and Planning Appeals: Committee minutes - 10 Oct 1967-30 Jun 1975 - A34