Plymouth’s Architectural Heritage

Plymouth's historic planning applications from 1851

Searching the plans

Plan showing proposed layout of stand at an athletics trackYou can search the plans using our online catalogue which currently contains details of around 19,000 properties. You can view the catalogue in two ways:

Please note that not all of the records we hold have been added to our online catalogue. If you can’t find details of a property that you’re interested in, please email [email protected].

For present day information on the planning process and planning enquiries, visit the planning pages or planning online website.

Area covered

The applications cover the areas administered by the following bodies:

  • Borough of Plymouth
  • Borough of Devonport
  • Urban District of East Stonehouse
  • Urban District of Compton Gifford
  • Plympton St Mary Rural District Council
  • Plymouth City Council

The applications

Plan showing elevation of a large hospital buildingEach surviving application is made up of two parts, sometimes with additional supporting papers:

  • The first part is the form of notice of either a new building or alteration to an existing one. This gives a written description of the property and details what is to take place. There may be numerous forms, detailing each planning application for the property.
  • The second part consists of the architect’s plans. These detail what is to be built – the plans, sections and elevations – and will usually give the names of the architect, owner and developer. Again, there may be numerous plans corresponding to each application.


The applications and plans can be viewed in our public search room, by appointment, during our normal opening hours.

Copying service

In most cases the plans are too large for us to photocopy. Images can be taken of the plans in our Public Search Room using your own camera for a small fee. We can provide colour A3 copies of the plans shown on this website for the purposes of private study or research for non-commercial purposes. Other plans from the collection can also be digitally copied and printed in colour.


All of the images and text in the database are Copyright Plymouth City Council 2006. No images may be reproduced for any use or posted elsewhere on the internet without our permission in writing.

Copyright disclaimer

Copyright for some of the plans included on this site is vested in a number or organisations and individuals. Efforts have been made to locate copyright holders. If you feel you are the copyright holder for any of the material shown here, please email [email protected].