Pre-Application Advice

We offer a paid for pre-application advice service for householders and developers.

To make an enquiry please:

  • fill out a pre-application advice form using the button below
  • pay the relevant fee (which can be found at the bottom of this page)
  • include sufficient information for us to assess the enquiry.

For all proposals we aim to provide a response to you within 6-8 weeks of receiving a valid enquiry. 

Sometimes we may arrange a meeting to discuss the enquiry in more detail, however responses are often provided in writing. 

The advice that we give you may include:

Land use

  • Whether the proposals are in line with the National, Regional and Local planning policy framework. If they are not, how they could be justified.
  • If the site is covered by any specific policies or covered by any other designations or safeguards
  • If proposals take account the impact on local needs and facilities, for example the impact on transport, education or community use and how a S106 Agreement or Obligation might mitigate against such effects


  • The characteristics of the existing site and surrounding context
  • The architectural approach including the height, scale, massing and materials
  • The environmental impact of the development including sustainable design and construction
  • The design of the public realm including open space and landscape treatment


  • Provide advice on the council’s affordable housing and housing supply requirements
  • The impact your proposal may have on a listed building or, if within a conservation area, an unlisted building on or near the site
  • When a proposal is in or adjoining a conservation area, in our opinion the development would preserve or enhance the character and appearance of that conservation area


  • Where there are any trees or hedgerows that are protected and require special treatment
  • How the council’s public open space policies will impact on your proposal and whether a financial contribution under a S106 agreement might be appropriate
  • If the proposal is within a flood plain, whether it is feasible to build in the area or advise on the level of mitigation required
  • Habitats regulations and/or Environmental Impact Assessment information


  • Advice about which other agencies you need to speak to for example, the County Council or Natural England
  • In the opinion of the council, any further information that would require submission with a full planning application
  • In respect of larger more complex development proposals we will also agree a timescale with you for the production of the written confirmation advice given by us at any meeting and/or site visit. If this is part of a pre-arranged block of meetings, we will also agree milestones for the delivery of further information or the arrangement of future meetings will be discussed.

Any advice given by council officers to pre-application enquiries is the informal opinion of that officer, and does not constitute a formal response or decision of the Council in respect of any future planning application.

Planning officers will ultimately make a recommendation to the Council, as Local Planning Authority, on how the application should be determined. The officer’s duty remains to advise the Council on determining the application in the public interest. It follows that officers cannot give any guarantees about the final formal decision that will be made on any future planning application.

Any advice given in relation to planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response under the provisions of the Local Land Charges Act 1975, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and other relevant legislation.

Views or opinions expressed are given in good faith, based on existing planning policies and standards and the information supplied by the applicant. Circumstances and information may change, and so alter the position and affect the final recommendation on the application. Any views provided will also be without prejudice to the formal consideration of any future planning application which will be the subject of public consultation and may ultimately be decided by the Council’s Planning Committee or by senior officers.

Last updated 3 October 2023
Do you need to get in touch with us? Use our contact form.