Some changes and extensions and alterations to your home or business do not require planning permission. By filling in our Householder enquiry form you can check, free of charge, whether approval is required for either Building Regulations or Planning for alterations to your home. We aim to respond to a Householder Enquiry Form within 10 working days of receipt.
Alternatively, visit the Government’s interactive web page for general planning advice for your home or business.
For other proposals which do require permission, the Council welcomes and encourages discussion before you submit an application for planning permission. In order to deal with increasing numbers of pre-application discussions, and to continue providing a high level of service, we have brought in fees for some types of enquiries so that the cost of this advice can be met by people benefiting from it rather than the council taxpayer. The Council does not charge for advice about extensions to people’s houses or to small business premises and for some other specialised advice.
View the pre-application advice fees.
Pre-application discussions help to identify the planning issues at the earliest possible stage, they also help to improve the quality of design and should enable the Council to process subsequent planning applications more quickly. Where advice is not sought or has been disregarded, the Council is unlikely to accept significant amendments to submitted planning applications.
I’m only looking for very general advice. Do I need to go through this process and pay a fee?
The Council will continue to provide the public with a general level of advice about the planning process. For example:
- How to submit a planning application
- How the planning process works
Issues that would normally be taken into account when planning applications are decided.
This advice is available on this website or contact us the duty planning officer.
How do I seek pre-application advice?
Requests for pre-application advice need to be received in writing and should be accompanied by the following information:
- Your contact details
- The address of the proposed development/works (including post code if there is one)
- A location plan and sketch plans of your proposals
- A draft design and access statement for all schemes (except for works to an individual house or changes of use without any new build)
- Payment of the fee – see the pre-application advice fees.
How long does it take?
We aim to respond to pre-application enquiries within 15 working days once all the necessary information and the appropriate fee has been received. More complex proposals or those requiring consultations or a site visit may take longer to assess. If we cannot respond within 15 working days we will write to you and let you know when you can expect to receive a full reply.
The pre application advice you receive will help you to submit a complete application that complies with relevant policies, plans and guidance.
The pre-application advice cannot guarantee that planning permission will be granted.
When we receive your request it will be given a reference number and be allocated to a named planning officer. You may be contacted for further information to help us process your request or to arrange a meeting or a site visit.
Pre-application advice will be given by letter/email. Your case officer will decide whether a meeting or site visit may also be helpful. Site meetings cannot be offered in all cases, particularly where there is little prospect of planning permission being obtained. Meetings about such development are time consuming and reduce the availability of officers. We may sometimes recommend that you amend your proposals and a further meeting or site visit may be necessary.
The Council may seek the views of third parties such as the Environment Agency or Highways Authorities and information may have to be disclosed by the Council if requests are made under Environmental Information or Freedom of Information Regulations.
Information we do not provide as part of the service
We cannot provide detailed technical advice, draw up plans or design the proposal for you. We cannot guarantee that planning permission will be granted for a future application. The fee is not refundable.