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Pre-application advice

The value of pre-application planning engagement is recognised and considered to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application process.

Where to find help

For all initial enquiries, please call the duty planning officer (between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday). There is no charge for this service. 

  • Telephone: 0300 123 7027 

For more complex schemes, a more detailed assessment and response may be required (the duty officer will advise if this is the case).  This can be obtained using our pre-application service detailed below.

Benefits of advice

The key benefits of obtaining formal pre-application advice are:

  • an understanding of how national and local policies and guidance will be applied to your proposal
  • a potential for reducing the time your professional advisors spend in working up the proposals
  • an indication of proposals that are likely to be unacceptable, so saving you the cost of pursuing a formal application
  • advice that is tailored to the specific development
  • advice on what information you need to provide in order for your application to be validated and considered by the authority

What are our charges

For each type of development a charge will apply for formal pre-application advice given by the Council. The charges are outlined in detail in the pre-application guide and are summarised below. All charges are inclusive of VAT.

  • Category A (larger major proposals): £2,040
  • Category B (major proposals): £1,200
  • Category C (minor proposals e.g. three to nine dwellings or proposals more than 75 square metres): £600
  • Category D (other proposals): £270
  • Pre application fees (PDF, 181KB)

We will not charge for the following:

  • householder applications for alterations and/or extensions to dwellings or flats and lawful development certificates
  • schemes for discharge of or compliance with planning conditions
  • prior approvals
  • car parking (under 0.1 hectare in area), service roads or other accesses
  • works to a listed building (where there is no requirement for planning permission other than householder planning permission)
  • works to trees in conservation areas
  • works to protected trees

Why do we charge for this service

The Council has decided that the cost of providing this service should be recovered directly from the developer and not fall as a general cost to the council taxpayer. It should be noted that the current statutory planning application fees do not cover the cost of pre-application advice given by the Council.

Is it mandatory

No. However, engagement before submitting an application is considered to be best practice; it enables Council officers and developers to work together to achieve sustainable development and can help to avoid additional costs and delay.

What do I need to provide

You will need to provide our pre-application advice service form.

You will also need to provide:

  • a location and site plan (giving post code and grid ref where appropriate)
  • sketches of the proposal
  • photographs of the site and surroundings
  • the appropriate fee (see above)
  • a brief summary of the proposals and the state of the existing site
  • a list of any key issues for which you require a specific response

Providing an electronic version of all documents submitted will also enable faster internal consultations by email and help us provide you with a more rapid response.

Site location and block plans can be obtained from the Planning Portal website.

Where do I send the above information, form and fee

Pre-application enquiries can either be submitted via email or post.

What type of response will I receive

Each response will be tailored to the scheme proposed. Upon receiving your pre-application form we will telephone you to discuss timescales and the scope of the advice required.

Will I get specialist advice on specific technical issues

The Council has a range of technical specialists. The officer will co-ordinate the input of these specialists, dependant on the scale and nature of the development proposed. They will be invited to attend meetings as considered necessary by the planning officer.

If I pay for the advice will it secure my planning permission

No. Whilst we will do our best to work positively and proactively with developers, all advice is given without prejudice to the outcome of any subsequent application. Your planning application will be subject to notification/consultation of interested parties and, dependant on the views expressed, this may affect the outcome of your application.

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