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How to get pre-planning advice

It is often useful to get informal advice from us before submitting a planning application. This can help you understand:

  • how the Local Plan, policies and other requirements affect the principle and detail of your proposal;
  • any need for specialist advice or issues that need to be addressed and indicates any third parties you should seek advice from;
  • identify potential considerations, such as Conservation Areas, and make amendments to improve the proposals;
  • how to prepare your planning application and ensures that all the necessary plans and supporting documents are submitted with your planning application;
  • indicate any likely requirement for contributions to be made by the developer (eg levels of affordable housing, play areas or sustainable travel contributions);
  • any potentially unacceptable proposals saving you the time and cost of preparing and submitting a formal application.

Providing you take all the advice into account it means your application can be assessed without any unnecessary delay and can reduce the time that you and your professional staff / consultants spend working up your proposals.

Find out more about pre-application advice from the Planning Portal.

Download the pre-application form and email it to

What will it cost?

Costs (inclusive of VAT), from 1 April 2021
Application typeWritten responseWritten response and meetingAdditional meeting (per meeting)Development Management Forum
Significant major£2,500£2,550£100£425


Pre-validation application checks
Pre-validation application check - householder applications£18.50
Pre-validation application check - minor and other applications£30
Pre-validation application check - major applications£40

What information needs to be provided?

We 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 three 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 five working days following the meeting. If this is not possible we will let you know why this is the case.

Points to note:

  • While 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.
  • While 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.
  • While 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 eg 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. While we will endeavour to highlight where additional consents may be required eg 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 councillors

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.

The minutes of any pre-application meetings with members will be published on our website.

Download the procedure for pre-application meetings with elected members


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.

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