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Pre Application Advice

Why seek advice?

Our pre-application advice service offers professional guidance from qualified planning officers on the path through the planning process to attain a meaningful outcome for your development proposals.

Our advice gives you the opportunity to understand how national and local policies might apply to your development and where additional information might be required as part of your subsequent planning application, such as that relating to transport, flooding, noise, ecology, trees and landscape.

What we will provide:-

  • Written professional planning advice and guidance on your proposals (see exclusions below), for an up-front fee to cover administration costs and officer time in assessing and drafting the response;
  • Consistency in dealing with pre-application advice and with subsequent planning application submissions;
  • The highlighting of the most relevant NPPF guidance, Local Plan/Neighbourhood Plan Policies and any other relevant SPD or other guidance to the proposal and any previous planning history that is applicable to the proposal;

Pre-application Process

There will be a queuing system for all categories, limited to a maximum of 10 ‘live’ cases for each category of Major, Minor and Householder on a first come first served basis.  Places will only be secured once applications are valid. Depending on how many applications we are currently progressing, this could take up to 8 weeks*

Applications should be submitted using our online portal.  From January 2024, this will require an account to be created in order to allow you to manage your submission and payment at the relevant stage.

Once we are satisfied your pre-application advice request contains the correct minimum information required, your application will join the relevant queue until a space becomes available to progress your request.  Once a space is available, you will receive a request to submit the required fee.  Once the correct fee is received, the pre-app will then be validated, registered and progress as a “live” case.   An officer will also be allocated and a likely decision date confirmed.

For full service details, timescales and costs, please refer to our table of charges. Please also see our Pre-Application Protocol for further guidance on this service.

*For up to date information please refer to our Planning Service Updates

Listed Building Advice

The council, regrettably, is unable to provide pre-application advice in respect of any works requiring listed building consent (this includes paid advice) at the moment. However, where a proposal seeks planning advice which may affect a Listed Building or its setting for example, then the input of Conservation Officers may be sought where necessary and this is accounted for in the scope and costs proposed.

There is of course advice that can be sought outside of the council through Conservation Architects and Conservation Practices and we would urge you to seek such advice before applying for listed building consent or carrying out any works to your listed building.

All pre-application advice is provided without prejudice to the final decision of the Council on any planning application subsequently submitted.


The Council does not publish pre-application advice submissions but may be required to disclose these under a Freedom of Information request or an Environmental Information Regulations request.  This does not include personal details covered by Data Protection, or commercially sensitive information (subject to the public interest test).

Should a planning application subsequently be lodged with the Council for the same (or very similar) proposal at the same site, then the Council will publish the relevant pre-application advice provided it was provided within three years previous to the date of the planning application being validated.