Pre-Application Advice: Major Proposals

Charged service for major development (level 3)

Because of the scale and complexity of these major proposals we provide pre-application advice only at meetings. This approach is helpful to discuss the various aspects of the development and our experience is that it leads to improved schemes and shorter application timescales. Much more detailed information is available in our Major Sites Charter and expectations in delivering new development.

If the proposal is in a part of the borough that has a Parish Council, we will ask you if they may be involved in the discussions at an early stage. Details on how and when we do this are in our pre-application Parish Council Protocol.


We have changed the way we process our Level 3 Pre Application Advice for Major Proposals. In order to validate applications, the fee for the first hour of the meeting with the planning officer will be required in advance. If the meeting exceeds an hour or a further meeting is required, then this will be agreed within the meeting taking place.

The fee for this service is currently £503.00 from 1 April 2021 (inc. 20% VAT) per hour or part thereof for each meeting held This will include travelling time if you want to have the meeting on site. This charge also includes the cost of obtaining advice from other council services, e.g. drainage, environmental protection etc, and external consultation where available to us.

These charges are in addition to fees for making planning and advert applications. Visit our planning fees page for information on planning application fees.

Each project or separate site referred to in an enquiry will be charged at the appropriate rate.

What you need to do

If you want us to comment on a particular scheme you will need to commit to the approach explained in our major development web pages. You may also find it helpful to view our pre-application design process.

You may start the process by emailing us including:

  • An explanation/description of what you want to do
  • Full site address and location plan (preferably at 1:1250 scale) with the site outlined in red
  • Any relevant information about previous uses
  • Sketch drawings providing details of the proposal with floor plans and how the building will look from the outside (elevations) as well as how it will relate to nearby buildings
  • An initial design and access statement, ecological, landscape, contamination, flood and transport assessments may be needed depending upon the location, nature and complexity of the development
  • Photographs of the site
  • Pay the fee of £503.00 from 1 April 2021 (inc. 20% VAT) – visit our Methods of Payment page

What we will do

  1. Acknowledge receipt of your enquiry, within three working days, giving you a reference number and the name of the case officer who will be dealing with your request.
  2. The case officer will contact you to confirm whether we have all the information we need. They will also arrange a date for a meeting and ask for any necessary additional information.
  3. The timing of the meeting will depend upon the complexity of the scheme and the amount of work that will be needed prior to a meeting including any time necessary to obtain initial views of other interested parties. Attendance of other officers at the meeting, including specialist advisers, will be at the case officer’s discretion.
  4. After the meeting, we will write to you confirming the advice given. This will usually be within 28 working days unless the proposal is particularly complex. The written response will outline the major planning issues, matters agreed or raised at the meeting, and other constraints and requirements which have been agreed with the council. You may also take notes at the meeting and, if you wish, we will check and amend these as necessary.
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