Before you make your planning application, you can apply for pre-application advice.

This will help you prepare all the information you need for a planning application, which can prevent delays in the planning process and potentially save you time and money.

From April 2022 our pre-application advice service offers three categories of advice:

  • householder
  • residential
  • non-residential

There is a cost for this service, the amount depends on the scale of your project.

The benefits

Pre-application advice can:

  • help speed up the planning process by identifying any potential problems before you submit a formal planning application
  • identify the information needed, including specialist officer input (if paid for) at an early stage, which supports the formal application and reduces the likelihood of delays at the validation stage
  • give you an understanding of how policies and guidance will be applied
  • identify projects that have little or no realistic chance of getting planning permission and highlight the main issues
  • provide an opportunity for you to discuss the possible mitigation of the impact of the proposed development (including any conditions)
  • help you establish a relationship with our planning team
  • determine whether a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) would help when projects are more complex or larger scale

What it costs

You can check what it costs in our charging schedule.

What you can expect

The advice will be in writing and will be based on the level of information you have provided.

It is best to include as much detail as you can so we can ensure that the pre-application advice given is as accurate as possible.

How to apply

To apply for pre-application advice you will need to complete the appropriate application form:

You must include:

  • a location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 with the site outlined in red
  • photographs of the site
  • sketches or plans of your project (these do not have to be professionally drawn)

You can pay online using our secure payment website, or call 01454 868004.

Once you have applied

We will aim to respond to you within 6 weeks.

When our advice has been issued, we are not able to have any informal discussions or negotiations (for example, by phone or email) about the comments in the advice given.

If you do not agree with the advice, you can still submit a planning application and test any subsequent decision at appeal.

If you require follow up discussions, a further fee must be paid in advance (household only).

The advice will not be shared with anyone else without your permission, ahead of your formal application being made, except with Ward Councillors or the Design Review Panel on a confidential basis or within the terms of a valid request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

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