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Does the council offer a pre-application advice service?

Does the council offer a pre-application advice service?

Yes, the Council offers a comprehensive pre-application advice service.

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

Print and complete the relevant application form stating the full site address and details of the proposal.  You can submit the completed form via email at or you can send the information by post.

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.
  • Pay by phone using a debit card - please call 01621 854477 and speak to an advisor.  Please do not use our Automated Telephone Payment service for pre-application fees.

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.

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).