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Planning Advice and Information

Pre-Application Advice

Suspension of Pre-Application advice and Duty Planner service

Updated messaged 30 March 2023

The Council places great value in customer service and meeting the needs of the businesses and residents of the District. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of the Council’s control, it has become increasingly difficult to provide timely responses to pre-application queries. Whilst the opportunity to have open and frank conversations about proposed developments holds a very high value to all those involved in the planning process, the delays in providing responses has been an understandable frustration for our customers. It has been decided therefore, following an evaluation of the Councils resources and capacity in providing its discretionary service at this point in time, to continue the suspension of the pre application service for a further 3 months (until the 30th June 2023). The Councils duty planning service will similarly continue to be suspended for the duration of that period.

The Council will review the position with the pre application suspension after 2 months (31st May 2023) to inform our decision on the way forward, at which time the website will be updated.

We will, however, will continue to offer pre-application advice in relation to Major Development (with a meeting) and Strategic Proposals as well as works to both listed buildings and trees subject to a tree preservation order.

We are committed to providing an effective planning service which delivers good quality development proposals. Early discussion between applicants and the planning authority is a valuable part of the planning application process. The benefits of pre-application advice include understanding how our policies will be applied to the proposal, identifying the need for specialist input at an early stage, assisting in the preparation of proposals for formal submission, helping to reduce the time that is spent in working up the proposals and highlighting concerns with proposals.

A detailed response considering the primary planning issues for the future application, will be provided. The level of detail provided in the response will reflect the level of accuracy and detail of the information that is provided; the more information you can provide about your proposal, the more accurate and in-depth our feedback will be. The response will also provide a clear position on where the Local Development Plan is at that time as well as any other relevant policy documents, such as Masterplans or Neighbourhood plans.

How to apply

Applications can be made in writing and submitted via email to

Householder advice includes:

  • house extensions
  • garages
  • enlargement to gardens
  • erection of walls/fences and any other buildings within the boundary of the property.

Other pre-application advice includes:

  • alterations and extensions to a listed building
  • development in a conservation area
  • minor residential including change of use
  • major non-residential (over 1000 sqm) including change of use
  • minor residential (2 to 9 dwellings)
  • major residential (over 10 dwellings)
  • strategic proposals, large and extensive proposals for residential, non-residential or mixed-use development it will be appropriate to enter into a Planning Performance Agreement;
  • works to trees protected by a tree preservation order
  • development in a nationally or internationally designated area
  • confirmation that conditions have been complied with or discharged
  • confirmation that S106 obligations have been agreed and complied with
  • planning history requests

Pre-application fees

For your pre-application to be accepted, you must (submit the correct fee). Fees can be paid using the following methods:

  • BACS - please phone 01621 854477 for our BACS details.
  • Cheque - made payable to 'Maldon District Council' and post it with your pre-application documents to Maldon District Council, Princes Road, Maldon, CM9 5DL.

Please note: If you are paying by cheque, this will be cashed on receipt. This enables your enquiry to be processed in a timely manner.

Please ensure that you quote the pre-application number (if known), or the site address to ensure we can link the payment with your pre-application.

Please do not use our Automated Telephone Payment service for pre-application fees.

Documents required

The more information/sketches/photos you can provide about your property and the proposed works the better. The minimum we require is a completed application form, a site / location plan and the relevant fee. If insufficient information is provided we may be unable to answer your enquiry.

You should receive a written response or a date for a meeting within 28 days of a valid pre-application query being received, however this can vary depending on the complexity of the proposal. The written response following any pre-application meeting will normally follow within 14 days of the date of the meeting.

Please note

It should be clearly understood that the advice given will not bind the Council to making a particular decision and that any views expressed are at officer level only and provisional.

Planning permission does not override the need to obtain any necessary approvals under the building regulations, Party Wall Act or any other relevant legislation. Separate approval may also be required in other areas, for example, restrictive covenants, shared agreements, easements, rights of way, etc.

Freedom of Information Act

This Act requires us to make all documents available to members of the public, if requested.

Pre-application advice requests can only be treated as confidential if there are clearly demonstrable issues of commercial sensitivity or other significant reasons why this information may not be made public. (Any enquiry in this category should be clearly marked as confidential).