Pre-planning application advice service

The Council is committed to providing an efficient and effective planning service and to work proactively with applicants to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and secure development that improved the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area.

The key part of this is the provision of pre-application planning advice. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) recognises that early engagement has significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application system for all parties and that good quality pre-application discussion enables better co-ordination between public and private resources and improved outcomes to the community”.

What are the benefits of good quality planning advice for customers?

  • It explains how plans, policies and other requirements affect your proposal;
  • It identifies at an early stage any need for specialist advice or issues that need to be addressed and indicates any third party organisations you should seek advice from;
  • It identifies at an early stage where amendments may improve the proposals;
  • It helps you prepare your planning application and ensures that all the necessary plans and supporting documents are submitted with your planning application;
  • It gives an indication of the likely requirement for contributions to be made by the developer (e.g. levels of affordable housing, play areas or sustainable travel contributions);
  • It can reduce the time that you and your professional staff / consultants spend working up your proposals;
  • It highlights potentially unacceptable proposals saving you the time and cost of submitting a formal applications;
  • Providing you take all the advice into account it means your application can be assessed without any unnecessary delay.

How do I obtain pre-application advice?

In order to manage the process all enquiries should be submitted on the pre-application enquiry form and submitted together with the relevant fee and necessary supporting documents as described in the checklist on the form. Click here to download the form from our website. The form and necessary supporting information should be emailed to Card payments can be made using our website or by telephoning 01900 702702. Alternatively cheques made payable to Allerdale Borough Council can be sent to Allerdale House Workington Cumbria CA14 3YJ.

What will this cost?

In accordance with the Local Government Act 2003, it has been agreed to introduce charges in order to recover the costs of providing the service. The charging will be levied on all pre application requests received after the 1 May 2016. Please see below our schedule of fee charges:

Development Type

 a. Written Response

 b. Written Response and Meeting

 c. Additional meeting – per meeting

d. Additional - Development Management Forum

 1. Householder





 2. Minor





 3. Major





 4. Significant Major





*All fees shown are inclusive of VAT


  •  Enlargement, improvement or other alteration to a dwellinghouse.
  • Buildings within the curtilage of a dwelling incidental to the enjoyment of a dwellinghouse.

Minor Development:

  • Residential development of 1-9 dwellings or outline area less than 0.5 hectare.
  • Non-residential development of less than 1,000m2 floor area.
  • Agricultural development.
  • Single domestic or farm scale wind turbine.
  • Solar park development of less than 1 hectare.
  • Change of use.
  • Telecommunications development.
  • Advertisements.


  • Residential development of 10-49 dwellings or outline area between 0.5-2 hectares.
  • Non-residential development of 1,000m2 to 2,000m2 floor area.
  • Commercial wind turbine development of 1-2 turbines.
  • Solar park development of between 1-2 hectares.

Significant Major:

  • Residential development of 50 or more dwellings or outline area greater than 2 hectares.
  • Non-residential development of 2,000m2 or more floor area.
  • Commercial wind turbine development of 3 or more turbines.
  • Solar park development of greater than 2 hectares.

What information do you need to provide?

The council will require certain information to be submitted with your pre-application enquiry to ensure that proper evaluation and robust feedback can be given. The pre-application enquiry form provides a checklist of the information that should be submitted. 

The level of information required to be submitted is commensurate with the scale of the development that is being proposed. The more comprehensive the information supplied, the more detailed our response will be.

How long will it take?

When we receive your enquiry and fee we will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days. We will normally provide a full written response within 20 working days. If a meeting is required this will normally be arranged within 15 working days and a full written response provided within 5 working days following the meeting. If this is not possible we will let you know why this is the case.

Points to note:

Whilst we always aim to provide an impartial and professional response to all enquiries any advice given by officers during pre-application discussions cannot prejudice the Council’s final decision on your proposal when a planning application is submitted. All planning applications will be subject to consultation with the public and statutory consultees and may be subject to consideration by the Council’s Development Panel.

The level of advice that you receive will be based on the level of information that you submit to us. The more information that you can provide about your proposal the more comprehensive the advice you will receive.

Whilst accurate and up-to-date advice will be provided it should be noted that planning legislation, policy and guidance can change over time and this might affect the advice given. It is therefore prudent to act in a timely manner following the receipt of advice. We will endeavour to advise you of any potential changes we are aware of at the time of your enquiry that may affect your proposal.

Whilst we will seek to identify statutory consultees that should be consulted in respect of your proposals we cannot provide advice on their behalf. Statutory consultees e.g. the Environment Agency may have their own procedures and charges for giving pre-application advice which you may have to pay in addition to the fee for the advice we provide. .

Whilst we can provide advice that will assist you in developing the design for your proposals we cannot assist in the drawing up of plans.

Our pre-application advice service relates only to issues associated with the planning requirements for the development. Whilst we will endeavour to highlight where additional consents may be required e.g. building regulations approval, you will be responsible for seeking your own advice on all other consents that may be required.

We cannot advise on any legal covenants or other matters which may impact on your proposal.

Pre-Application Consultation with Elected Members

In line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) we are strongly encouraging the participation of democratically elected members in the pre-application process where it is appropriate and beneficial to do so. We are offering a Development Management Forum to facilitate this engagement on major planning proposals. Please click here for further information relating to Development Management Forums   


We will normally treat all pre-application enquiries confidentially until a planning application is submitted. However, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 includes a presumption in favour of disclosure of information, including pre-application discussions, unless such disclosure would cause adverse impacts. This may mean we have to reveal the details of your enquiry, and the advice given, if a request is received under the Freedom of Information Act. If you have a reason for requesting that your enquiry should remain confidential, for example on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, please let us know prior to your pre-application enquiry being submitted.

Downloadable Documents

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File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerPre-Planning Advice Request Form in PDF format81 Kb12 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerPlanning Advice Services and Charges in PDF format230 Kb33 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerPre-Application Consultation with Elected Members in PDF format205 Kb29 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ