The Planning Process

Stage 1: Pre-application advice

We can provide you with advice before you submit a planning application. Whilst we do have some information on our website, our pre-application advice service can provide you with more detailed advice on whether planning permission or other consent may be required. If it is required we can advise whether it is likely to be approved.

This can often help resolve issues and make submitting a valid application easier, saving time and expense in the long run.

How to apply for pre-application advice?

Benefits of pre-application advice

  • Greater certainty on whether you need to make an application
  • Lower the chance of your application being invalid
  • Help understanding how planning policies and other requirements affect your proposals
  • Greater certainty of the outcome of a planning application
  • A more efficient application process

What will the advice include?

  • An indication of whether you need to apply for planning permission (or other consents)
  • An indication of whether the proposal is likely to be acceptable in policy terms
  • Identifying any residential amenity or design constraints
  • Identifying other possible constraints eg environmental, flooding or highways
  • Identifying what consultations may need to take place
  • Identifying matters that may be covered by section 106 planning obligations
  • Identifying any documents you need to submit with your planning application

If you would prefer a meeting you should request this when the pre-application advice is asked for, however we will decide if a meeting is necessary.

Our officers will ensure that any pre-application advice is robust, but please be aware that any advice they give is on a 'without prejudice' basis and cannot pre-empt consideration of a formal application. We may change our views on the merits of a proposal if there is a change in circumstances after pre-application advice has been given eg a change in Government policy, case law or a previously unidentified matter comes to light.

Further advice requested after the Council has provided a response will be subject to an additional charge. 

Information we do not provide as part of the advice:

  • Detailed technical advice
  • Drawing up of plans
  • Designing the proposal for you

How long will it take to receive a response?

Once the required documents and fee is received we will acknowledge your request within 10 working days. The officer will aim to provide a response within 8 weeks for minor proposals and 13 weeks for major enquiries. 

Minimum information you need to submit

  • A site location plan scale 1:1250/1:2500 (site outlined in red)
  • Proposed sketches of the proposal showing height and scale of development
  • Photographs and Sketch drawings of site and surroundings (scale not necessary but measurements must be included)
  • The fee or payment reference

We can provide advice on plans at any stage. This could simply be on whether a particular kind of development would be acceptable, or advice on more detailed plans. You should consider what level of advice would be most useful for you in preparing your application, you should also be aware that the more detail provided by you, the more detail the officer can provide in return. For example, if you do not submit plans/sketches of your proposal we will be unable to provide detailed advice on design matters.

Pre-application fees

There is no fee for:

  • Solely affordable housing proposals
  • Community proposals by local organisations, or parish, district and county councils

We will decide which charge applies in the event of any dispute and will not consider a pre-application advice request until the correct fee has been paid.




Commercial/ Change of use/ Other 

Fee (excluding VAT) 

Total Fee to Pay (including VAT) 

 Strategic Proposal 

 50 dwellings or more 

10,000 sq.m. floor space 



 Major Proposal 

 10 to 49 dwellings 

1,000 to 10,000 sq.m. floor space 



 Minor Proposal 


 7 to 9 dwellings 

4 to 6 dwellings 

1 to 3 dwellings 

Up to 1,000 sq.m. floor space  












 Extensions, outbuildings etc to a residential dwelling only 

Not applicable for commercial properties or for changes of use. 

This fee is for extensions, outbuildings etc to a residential dwelling only. Please note the change of use to/from a residential property will be considered as a minor, major or strategic proposal as applicable. 



Additional and follow up advice following a pre-application response £279
Team leader advice request


(in addition to the pre-application fee)

Planning application validation check £78