Pre-application advice

Opening times for the duty planning service are:
Monday-Wednesday 9am–1pm

While there is no legal requirement for Local Planning Authorities to undertake pre-application discussions it is widely accepted that offering pre-application advice is good practice. As a service we welcome and encourage discussions before a developer or applicant submits an application.

Pre-application advice will generally give more certainty at an early stage and help resolve issues so that speedier decisions can be made. It allows the early identification of key issues and contributes towards both quality outcomes and the avoidance of delays in the formal submission process.

Such an approach should lead to a reduction in the number of planning applications that are invalid when we receive them. It should also lead to a reduction in the number of planning applications that are refused or withdrawn because the development is unacceptable. Pre-application discussions should also help to avoid the need for significant revisions to a scheme once an application has been submitted.

Fees (updated February 2018)

Category of Proposed Development


Band A – Major proposals of 10 dwellings or more; 

                Sites over 0.5 ha;

                Development of more than 1000sq.m. (including change of use).


Band B –  Minor proposals of fewer than 10 dwellings;

                 Business, employment offices, Industry, leisure,

                 Retail, agriculture less than 1000sq.m.;

                 Retail, servicing, distribution, education;

                 Telecoms equipment/apparatus;

                 Change of use less than 1000sq.m.


Band C –   Other proposals domestic extensions/resident/

                   Householders; Advertisements.

Duty Planner Service then £54


  • The above charges do not apply to registered charities.
  • Where the works are required to meet the needs of a person’s disability.


Does this affect our Duty Planner service?

The Duty Planning Service will remain to provide general planning advice for Band C proposals in the Council’s reception and on the telephone Monday- Wednesday between 9am-1pm, but please note that this will be for small scale developments only. No appointment is necessary but enquiries are limited to a maximum of 20 minutes, after this time the above fees will be charged. No site visits or written responses will be available from this service.


How do I get advice for which there is a charge?

If you are proposing a scheme for which pre-application advice is chargeable, you will need to submit a request for the provision of the advice. Please complete the pre-application advice form.  Once complete please return the form to us. You will need to provide the initial information as set out on the form and to submit the payment. Payment can be made by credit or debit card please call 01992 785510 or via BACS. The information we normally require, as a minimum, should include a location plan, a proposed site layout plan, sketch elevation drawings and a brief description of the proposal. Photographs of the site and surroundings are not essential, but do further assist.

For householder proposals we can normally assess a scheme with reduced information. A location plan is not required if the location can be readily identified from an address. Site layout plans and some basic dimensions of proposed extensions/ outbuildings should be provided. The Council will assess the proposals on the basis of the information provided and, if more is required, this will be requested.


What advice do I get?

For the initial fee, the Council will undertake the following as its response to any request for advice:

  • relevant research relating to your proposals;
  • identify the key issues likely to be raised by the proposal;
  • advise on the information required if a formal planning submission is to be made;
  • advise on amendments/alterations that could be made to improve the proposals;
  • advise on the likely outcome of any formal planning submission.

A written summary of the above will be provided. We will endeavour to respond to your request for advice within 20 working days.