Coronavirus (Covid-19): service updates, support and health advice.

Online planning, building control and licensing services will be unavailable between 2pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 29 January. This is because of essential maintenance.

If you know that planning permission is needed for your project, you can apply for an informal pre-application assessment before you submit your planning application.  There is a fee involved for this service.

If you do not have a printer, you can save the pre-application form to your computer or device and then complete it electronically. Make sure that you re-save the form when you finish so that you can send it to us by email.

Alternatively you can print the form and complete it in ink.

Download, save and edit or print application form

Pre-application advice can: 

  • identify projects that have little or no realistic chance of getting planning permission and highlight the main issues, saving time and money
  • help you understand what information you would need to make a planning application
  • help resolve possible issues before the application is submitted and so make the process of getting planning permission easier
  • identify any communityrelated groups and/or elected members who you should be involving in developing your scheme
  • for major applications, establish the benefits of using a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA)
  • start to build and establish a relationship with the planning officers and others who will make up the pre application/development team 

The advice cannot deliver a guaranteed planning outcome. Planning applications are subject to wider consultation process and issues may come to light that are not known at the time of giving the advice. 

The National Planning Policy Framework promotes the use of independent Design Review Panels. Design Review is often best carried out at pre-application stage.

Certain planning applications will be decided by a planning committee made up of elected members. Although the committee will have an officer report and recommendation to consider, members may decide to give different weight to key parts of the assessment. 

What you can expect 

The advice will be in writing and for most proposals we will use a standard template. A supporting letter will be included for more complicated and contentious cases. 

Before you apply

Before you apply for pre-application advice we encourage you to read the following points:

We reserve the right to not accept requests for pre-application advice.

Requests for advice will not be accepted or considered until the following has been submitted:

  • a pre-application request application form completed in full
  • a location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 with the site edged red
  • photographs of the site
  • proposed sketches or plans (which do not have to be professionally drawn)
  • the required fee

The advice given is based on the information you provide to us.

The advice given is the informal opinion of the officers of the council only and does not fetter or prejudice our statutory duty, as the local planning authority, to determine formal planning and other applications, pursuant to our statutory powers and duties under the planning acts or otherwise.

Changes to planning policy, interpretation of policy or any other relevant issues can result in advice becoming out of date.

When you are unable to act quickly on the advice given, we recommend that you submit a new request for further advice – standard fees will apply.

Once the advice has been issued requests for further advice regarding amended proposals will require the submission of a further pre-app inquiry – standard fees will apply.

We may share and discuss your proposal with local councillors, town or parish councils or other statutory consultees.

We may share your request for advice and the advice we provide following a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.


Type of
development fee
Major type 4 500 dwellings and above; or
50 hectare or 50,000sqm of commercial floor space and above
Major type 3 200 – 499 dwellings; or
21 to 49 hectares; or 20,000sqm – 49,000sqm of commercial
floor space
Major type 2 50 -199 dwellings; or
6 – 20 hectares; or 5,000sqm to 19,000sqm of commercial
floor space
Major type 1 10 – 49 dwellings; or
1 – 5 hectares; or 1,000sqm – 4,999sqm of commercial
floor space
Minor type 3 Covers proposals for 5 – 9 new residential units, including
changes of use to flats; or 125sqm to 999sqm for business
change of use or commercial floor space
Minor type 2 Covers proposals for 2 – 4 new residential units, including
changes of use to flats; or 50sqm to 124sqm for business
change of use or commercial floor space
Minor type 1 Covers proposals from 1 residential unit; or
business change of use or commercial floor space up to 49sqm
Listed building consent

Written advice only, including EPC searches. The nature of advice typically included as part of this service relates to minor works, extensions and some larger scale extensions or alterations. An hourly officer rate of £75 (excl VAT) for any site meeting or office meeting to discuss the enquiry will be charged.

LBC pre-apps that relate to more major, extensive or multiple alterations are likely to incur further costs, taking into account the complexity and amount of officer time required to respond to such enquiries. This will be charged at the hourly officer rate.

Householder development  £121.30
  • The fee quoted above is inclusive of VAT.
  • It includes only a written response for Minor applications.
  • It includes one meeting with a case officer and relevant specialists and written response for Major
  • Meeting agendas and attendees will be agreed in advance.
  • In exceptional cases meetings may be agreed for minor type applications or additional meetings for major type applications.
  • These will be invoiced in advance at an additional cost of £65 per hour per officer.
  • Due to availability of staff it may be necessary to extend the usual response timescales where meetings are requested.
  • Written responses will not normally be released until additional fees have been paid.

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