We provide pre-application advice for all development proposals as part of a positive and proactive planning service.
We welcome and encourage early discussions with anyone considering development.
But providing pre-application advice is time consuming and costly and can only be made available within the resources available, so we now have to charge for advice on all proposals for new housing, including conversion schemes, and for larger development schemes, to recover the costs. Unfortunately the current statutory planning fees don't cover the cost of this pre-application advice. The income raised from charging for this pre-application advice is channelled into improving the service and ensuring that some of the cost of providing advice doesn't fall to the council tax payer.
However, advice for householders and property owners on all other smaller and medium-scale development continues to be available free of charge.
We also provide a “duty planner” service providing informal advice and guidance.
What are the benefits of pre-application advice?
The benefits of pre-application discussions include:
• A clearer understanding of how national and local policies may influence proposals
• Identifying those proposals that would have limited chance of success, so potentially saving the cost of pursuing a formal application
• An opportunity to improve schemes at an early stage
• Identifying need for specialist input at an early stage
• A shared understanding of constraints and opportunities
• Agreeing information requirements
• Establishing timescales and explaining administrative processes
• Reducing the time taken from submission to decision on the application itself.
Service provision and charges
Applications for ‘major’ development schemes are subject to charges for pre-application advice along with any proposal for new housing
(including conversion schemes). All other development proposals remain exempt from any charge for advice and guidance. A ‘major’ development is defined as:
• A proposal for 10 or more dwellings
• An outline application for residential development on a site of more than 0.5 hectare
• New building(s) of more than 1,000 sq. m. floorspace; or
• Development on a site of more than one hectare.
Apart from the exemptions listed below, the following fees will be charged for pre-application advice in respect of any site or development proposal that falls
into the above definition. In addition, the prospective developer will be responsible for the cost of any independent technical advice not available in-house.
|Major development||Smaller Housing Scheme|
|Service provided||Fee payable||Fee payable|
| Response to a formal
request for planning
liaison with consultees,
meeting with Planning
Case Officer (on site if
necessary) and provision
of written appraisal with
additional follow up
advice as appropriate.
| 1 to 3 dwellings - £150
4 to 9 dwellings - £450
Exemptions (no fee payable):
• Development by Town and Parish Councils/Meetings for non-commercial purposes
• Registered housing providers for 100% affordable schemes
• Agricultural buildings (unless for intensive agricultural purposes).
For further information about the process for obtaining pre-application advice and to complete an application form, click here.