Before making a planning application
We can provide you with help and advice prior to the submission of planning applications through our duty planning service or by making a written submission.
Advice and information is also available from the Do I need planning permission webpage.
A charge based on 25% (plus VAT) of the planning application fee will be charged for any written submission made. For further fee information take a look at our table of pre-application fees.
VAT is payable on pre-application submissions as the service is discretionary and the advice can be provided by other outside bodies in competition with the council.
- Pre-application discussion
The benefits of pre-application discussions include:
- understanding whether planning permission is required
- identification of key constraints associated with proposed development
- the potential for a quicker decision if a subsequent planning application is pursued.
Applications which are submitted in accordance with our approved polices and standards will be dealt with quickly. Applications submitted not in line with our approved policies and standards are likely to be refused without discussion with the applicant or agent. Amended plans will only be accepted if the application can be determined within the agreed deadlines. The approved policies and standards can be found by visiting the local plan page.
- Pre-application consultation
We also consider that a planning application which has had the benefit of consultation with stakeholders and interested parties prior to its submission will result in an improved scheme. You should consider undertaking your own consultations with relevant councillors, the parish council and local residents. We have an adopted Statement of Community Involvement which details the level of public engagement and consultation that developers should take with local community before submitting a planning application (summarised on pages 49 and 50).
- Written submissions
Written submissions can be made to gain advice on all types of development proposals including:
- permitted development enquiries (whether planning permission is required)
- householder extensions
- discussions after the refusal or withdrawal of a planning application
- all residential, commercial, agricultural or community based development
The level of information needed will vary depending on the nature of the proposed development. We will always need the following basic information to provide you with advice:
- a clear address for the site, preferably with the postcode
- a brief description of what you want to do, for example, a two storey rear extension
- the appropriate fee, take a look at our planning application forms and fees webpage.
To get the best out of the service we suggest you also send us the following information:
- a scaled plan showing where your proposal would be on the site
- photographs showing the key features of the site with the directions shown on the plan above
- plans of what you want to do, drawn to metric scale
- a location plan or map with your site clearly outlined. Our preference is for this to be at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 with a north point shown.
Commitments made by the applicant and the council in undertaking pre-applications are available in the document below:
The Environment Agency is not included as part of the pre-application consultation process but your proposals may impact on issues within the Environment Agency remit. The Environment Agency offers two forms of pre-application planning advice:
- a free ‘preliminary opinion’ which is a detailed constraints check with a formal position
- detailed advice through a charged service.
You are therefore advised to contact the Environment Agency directly at email@example.com
Please note that responses to requests as to whether works to be undertaken are permitted development will remain as an informal response under this process. If a formal determination to confirm whether proposed development is lawful or not then it will be necessary to apply on the appropriate application forms under Section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Council officers and councillors have access to all pre-applications submitted to the council.
- Pre-applications and confidentiality
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we may consider pre-application submissions, which are commercially sensitive, and confidential. A public interest test will be applied to decide a proposal can be deemed as confidential. Should the information fall outside of this category or a planning application is submitted on the site for a similar scheme, the information may be made available to the general public.
Building Control team