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Pre-Application Advice

Advice before submitting an application

The pre-application phase of development management is part of a positive and proactive planning process. Engagement prior to any planning application being formally submitted can be critically important and should provide the applicant and the Council with the opportunity to gain a clear understanding of the objectives of and constraints on development.

The aim of this service is to deliver wherever possible timely, responsive, constructive and reliable advice so as to save significant resources by allowing an applicant not to pursue schemes which are unacceptable, or have to be modified once they’ve been submitted.

Anybody wishing to apply for planning permission is strongly advised to use this service. Applications that have been submitted in the absence of any pre-application discussions are likely to be refused without further negotiation where significant amendments are required to make the development acceptable.

How do I apply for pre-planning advice?

All requests for pre-application advice need to be received in writing and should be accompanied by the following information:

How long does it take?

We aim to respond to pre-application enquiries within 21 days of all the necessary information (and the application fee) being submitted. More complex proposals or those requiring consultations or a site visit may take longer to assess. Please note that we are currently experiencing a high volume of applications and enquiries and cannot guarantee to provide a response within the time frame specified.

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 if required.

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.


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