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Pre-application advice

If you need planning information on extensions and alterations to a residential property (including domestic outbuildings) you can find it by accessing the national Planning Portal. It provides simple-to-use interactive guidance for householders about a wide range of planning related matters.

You can find professional advisors (‘agents’) who are registered with relevant bodies here:

Formal pre-application advice (charges apply)

We offer pre-application advice via a pre-arranged meeting or written advice. Advice will be given on one proposal per meeting and only information attached with your submission will be discussed.

If a meeting is held we will not usually provide written advice. If you require a written record of the meeting, you may make a record and ask us to confirm its accuracy. If you require further advice you will need to make another application.

We will advise you of specific constraints affecting your site, key policy considerations (including what infrastructure contributions might be required), what documentation we will expect to be submitted with a planning application, and an opinion as to the likelihood of permission being granted. We may also make recommendations about how your proposal could be improved.

To access this service you will need to complete our pre application advice service form (PDF, 292KB) and pay the relevant charge. Pre-application enquiries can either be submitted by email or post.

Pre-application payment

You will also need to submit this information:

  • a location and site plan (giving post code and grid ref where appropriate), which can be obtained from the Planning Portal website.
  • sketches of the proposal
  • photographs of the site and surroundings
  • a brief summary of the proposals and the condition of the existing site
  • a list of any key issues about which you require specific advice

The more relevant information you submit, the more useful the meeting is likely to be. If the information supplied is inaccurate, our advice may not stand when you come to apply for planning permission.

Once we have registered your application you will be contacted by a planning officer. We are unable to make assurances about timescales at present.

Charges

For each type of development a fee will apply for formal pre-application advice given by us. These fees can be found in our pre application fees (PDF, 186KB). 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

It is envisaged that householder advice will be provided free of charge via the general planning advice (duty planning officer) service, but if applicants require formal advice due to the complexity of their proposal this will fall within category D.

Pre-application advice for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), for other projects where we are not the determining authority, or for mixed or unusually complex forms of development will be charged at a rate to be agreed on a case-by-case basis. Contact us by email at planning@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk if your proposal falls within these categories.

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

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

No. We will do our best to work positively and proactively with developers, but all advice is given without prejudice to the outcome of any subsequent application. Any subsequent 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. We encourage prospective developers to liaise with neighbouring owners/occupiers, parish councils and any statutory consultees prior to submitting planning applications.

Advice will be given in good faith, based on the legal and policy position at the time of application and the information provided. All advice is given without prejudice and is not binding in any way on us.

More information can be found on Gov.UK.

General planning advice service

To ask a general Planning question you can use the advice request form.

Prior to speaking with a planning officer, we recommend you look at the permission and approval page and the pre-application advice page. This service is appropriate for discussing specific types of proposals, for which formal pre-application advice will not normally be provided:

  • simple householder applications (for extensions, outbuildings, etc.)
  • discharge of or compliance with planning conditions
  • proposals requiring ‘prior approval’ or ‘prior notification’ under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015

Please provide some information to us about your query and a member of staff will contact you by email or telephone. We will try to contact you within five working days between 9am and 5pm, Monday-Friday. If you have a particular requirement with regard to contact, please provide any information within the form.

Advice request form

Alternatively, you can contact us by phone and leave a message:

  • phone: 0300 123 7027
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