Apply for pre-application advice

We offer a chargeable advice service to help you determine if planning permission is required, before you submit a planning application. If you do require planning permission, we can also provide informal advice to guide you through the process.

Further information

Lawful Development Certificates (LDC)

If you require formal written confirmation on whether you will need to apply for planning permission, it is recommended you submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate. A successful application will provide you with a statutory document that your proposed use or development is lawful. It can also prove useful if you intend to sell your property in the future.

You can also apply for a certificate for confirmation, if an existing use or development is lawful. Further information and details on how to apply for a LDC can be found on the Planning Portal website.

How we can help with pre-application advice

Our paid for informal advice service can help determine if planning permission will be required. If we consider that planning permission is required, we can also offer informal guidance on how to make a formal submission for a planning application. Our assistance will help ensure you have all the appropriate information from the start, which can help to avoid delays during the process.

Our written response to you will be the informal opinion of our officers only and will not be legally binding. If planning permission is required following this advice then the normal planning application fee will apply. 

Types of pre-application enquiries and fees

For a short period there will be no fees charged for pre-application enquiries whilst we introduce our new system. The fees below will apply once the full system is in operation.

  Proposal Initial enquiry response Fee (inc. VAT) Additional meetings/further work (inc. VAT) per hour
A Householder proposal - works or extensions to a dwelling occupied by a single household Written response £42 £120
B Permitted development enquiry Written response £42 £120
C 1-3 dwellings (inc. flat conversions/new buildings for other uses under 200 sq.m) Written response £300 £120
D 4-9 dwellings/new buildings for other uses 200-999 sq.m/<0.5 ha site Meeting and written response £1200 £120
E 10-199 dwellings/new buildings for other uses 1,000-9,999 sq.m/0.5-4 ha site area Meeting and written response £2,400 £240
F 200 + dwellings/buildings for other uses 10,000 + sq.m/site over 4ha Meeting and written response £3,000 £360
G Non-householders other than C, D, E and F Written response £42 £120
H Works to a listed building Written response £42 £120
J Other minor planning enquiry not covered above Written response £42 £120*

*as appropriate (to be determined by agreement).

Get further guidance on these categories: Download our pre-application advice categories and charging schedule (PDF).

What's included in the pre-application advice service?

Details of our response to your enquiry can vary depending on whether it is a small or large pre-application request.

Small pre-application enquiries

Smaller pre-application enquiry (categories A, B, C, G, H, J) responses will include:

  • the main issues
  • concerns we may have with the proposal
  • relevant policies which need to be complied with
  • highlighting any important information to you to consider before applying.

Please note: We do not offer site visits with smaller pre-application enquiries.

Large pre-application enquiries

Larger pre-application enquiry responses (categories D to F) will detail all of the above and may include a site visit if the case officer deems it necessary. Internal consultations will take place with relevant specialists such as the Local Highways Authority, Trees Team, landscape, ecology etc. There may be a requirement for a meeting to discuss the proposals, however this will be at the case officer's discretion.

What type of information will I need to provide?

The more information you can provide about your enquiry, the more accurate and in-depth our feedback will be. When submitting an enquiry to us, it will need to include the following:

  • Site address
  • Description of proposal
  • Site plan with the site clearly identified in a red outline
  • Existing and proposed floor plans/elevations (a sketch is acceptable for smaller pre-applications)
  • Supporting photographs of the site and/or street can be useful.

The plans submitted do not need to be to scale, however dimensions should be provided in metric.

Further information requirements for larger developments

For pre-applications related to larger developments (Categories D, E and F above), you will need to provide further information in addition to the information stated above. To find out what further information will be required, please refer to the Pre-Application Major Development Requirements document (PDF).

Apply for pre-application advice

You can apply for pre-application advice online using the form below. You will need to pay a fee before you can submit the form, depending on the type of enquiry. We will not process any application until the full initial fee as detailed above has been paid. 

When will I get a response after making an enquiry?

We aim to give you a full response within the timescales stated below.

  • Smaller pre-applications (proposals within categories A, B, C, G, H, J in the fees table above):
    • 4 weeks
  • Larger pre-applications (proposals within categories D, E, F in the fees table above):
    • 5 weeks

Please note, that in some instances we may need to consult on enquiries, which may take longer. You can discuss timescales for complex and major schemes directly with the case officer.