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Due to essential maintenance the following services will be unavailable on Saturday 20 April:

Pre-application planning advice

We welcome pre-application enquiries and will provide pre-application advice before you submit a planning application. There is a charge for this service depending on the type of development being carried out. You can find out details of these charges on our pre-application charging schedule.

If you would like to use this service, please complete a pre-application advice form or contact us supplying the following information;

  • your name and address
  • the application site address and owner (if different)
  • a site location plan (preferably to scale or dimensioned so we can identify clearly where the site is and how it is accessed)
  • what the site is currently used for
  • what development you intend to do (building, alterations or change of use for example). Please give as much detail as you can (sketch plans of the location, dimensions and appearance will assist and need to be dimensioned or to scale)
  • how quickly you need a response. We aim to acknowledge receipt within two working days.

What are the benefits of getting this advice?

it will:

  • Identify those schemes which have little or no realistic chance of getting planning permission and highlight the “show stopping issues. This will save time and money on a scheme that won’t get planning permission
  • Give you the scope of information that you would need to make a planning application so that when you submit the application you have a bespoke validation list
  • Provide help on how to resolve any potential issues before the application is submitted and so make the process of getting planning permission smother
  • Identify community and other related groups and /or elected members who you should be involving in developing your scheme
  • For “Major” applications establish the benefits of using a  Planning Performance Agreement (PPA)
  • Start to build and establish a relationship with the planning officers and other council consultees who will make up the pre-application/development team

  What won’t pre-application advice do?

  • It can’t deliver a guaranteed planning outcome, as applications are subject to wider consultation process, and issues may come to light that are not known at the time of giving the advice.
  • Also some applications which are larger and/or more contentious will be decided by a planning committee made up of elected members. Whilst the committee will have an officer report and recommendation to consider, members may decide to give different weight to key aspects of the assessment.

  What will the advice look like?

  • The advice will be in writing, and for most development proposals we will use a standard template, although in some of the more complex and contentious cases this would be supported by a letter.

  Charging schedule

  • The charging schedule is set on a cost recovery basis and is related to the amount of officer time that dealing with the enquiry will take
  • In all cases there will be an upfront charge, and for most cases there will be a further charge. For the larger and more complex cases, such as those where we use the Development Team approach, there will be an extra charge on a hourly rate. NB before we start to incur additional costs (ie over and above the upfront charge) we will let you know before we start any work
  • Statutory consultees, including the Environment Agency, may make separate charges for pre application advice

  Service standards

Our aim is to respond as quickly as is possible, and our overarching aim is to

  • formal pre-application enquiries (excluding Super Major Applications and Masterplanning requests and where the Development Team approach is used): to give our written response within 25 working days
  • at present we are receiving a high level of pre-application advice requests such that we are unlikely to meet the 25 working day standard. At present responses are more likely to take 8 weeks to respond to; please bear in this in mind when deciding whether to submit a pre-application advice request
  • Super Major Applications/Masterplanning/Development Team: to be agreed on a case by case basis
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