Pre-application advice for potential applicants
We are able to provide advice and information if you are considering submitting a development proposal.
We welcome and encourage discussions before you submit your application and understand that early discussions of your proposal can provide advantages for all parties involved. We will be able to provide detailed advice to applicants and their agents on key issues prior to formal submission where the function is to speed up the development process and avoid delays or refusals due to unacceptable proposals.
The provision of advice on development schemes is time consuming and under the current statutory planning fees, does not cover the cost of these discussions. In view of this and taking into account the increased number of requests for advice, we have formalised the procedures for handling this area of work and introduced a fee for the current service. The system has been refined and amended to include other classes of development from 1 April 2011.
Which developments are within the charging scheme?
Development Control no longer provides informal advice via the duty officer system on the types of proposal covered by the new charging regime other then within Category 6. Development proposals that will be subject to the chargeable pre application advice scheme are the following types of development (All of the floor space figures set out below are gross measurements):
Category 1 - Large Scale Development - £4,800 (inclusive of VAT)
- Provision of 50 dwellings & above, with the proviso that officers can negotiate fees above this if the case results in significant levels of officer time.
Category 2 - Major Development - £3,036 (inclusive of VAT)
- Provision of 25 or more dwellings
- Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space in excess of 2000m²
- Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space in excess of 2000m²
Category 3 - Major Development - £1,656 (inclusive of VAT)
- Provision of 10-24 dwellings or the provision of residential on a site of 0.5 hectares or more
- Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space between 1000m² - 1999m²
- Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space between 1000m² - 1999m²
- Mixed use developments
- Large/complex change of use applications
- Site subject of an environmental impact assessment
- Complex listed buildings applications
- Telecommunication equipment and masts applications for 10 or more sites (not including prior approval submissions)
Category 4 - Medium Development - £758.40 (inclusive of VAT)
- Provision of 1-9 dwellings
- Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space between 100-999m²
- Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space between 100-999m²
- Change of use applications involving floors pace between 100-999m²
- Individual telecommunication equipment and masts applications (not including prior approval submissions)
- Advertisement hoardings
Category 5 - Concept meeting - £480 (inclusive of VAT)
- One meeting with officers to discuss the basic principles and procedures for a proposed development, without any follow-up correspondence from the Local Planning Authority e.g. is the principle of a house on land currently being use for employment worth pursuing?
Category 6 - Householder developments - £90 (inclusive of VAT)
- Alterations and extensions to a (non-listed) dwelling only; excludes work resulting in additional units.
Category 7 - Minor listed building developments - £758.40 (inclusive of VAT)
- This is likely to cover all minor applications, including householder applications relating to Listed Buildings.
What this service will provide:
- A meeting with a planning officer and written summary of advice (see procedure section)
- Information on relevant policies, guidance and the planning requirements
- Advice on estimated timescale to process applications
- The information required to make applications valid
- Informal officer comments on the scheme
- Section 106/Unilateral undertaking matters, including likely heads of terms and estimated costs
- Best practice consultation methods
What this service cannot provide:
Any guarantee that a proposed development will receive planning permission.
There will be limits on an Officers time that can be spent providing advice and on meetings. This is described more fully in the Procedure for Developers Pre-Application Advice and the charging system.
No Charge Categories
Applications involving improvements to access for disabled people or ones specifically related to promoting sustainable development, would not incur any charges.
Note applications promoting access or sustainable development relate solely to these initiatives, such as proposed improvements to entrances of buildings or wind turbines.
Other developments, which may incorporate some access improvements and/or sustainability measures in their design, but are not the main purpose of the development would not benefit from this exemption.
The Council has adopted a Business Protocol(pdf, 14KB) which, with the exception of the larger developments and change of use (over 100 sq m floorspace), this will be provided free to local businesses when proposing the development (including change of use) of premises for their business use.
A Duty Planning Officer is available Monday to Fridays between 1pm and 4.30pm, by appointment only, for householder enquiries.
Any advice given by Council officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal response or decision of the Council with regard to future planning consents. Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of ability but without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, which is subject to public consultation and ultimately decided by the Council. You should therefore be aware that officers cannot give guarantees about the final form or decision that will be made on your planning or related applications.
Although the advice note will be brought to the attention of the Planning Committee or an officer acting under delegated powers, it cannot be guaranteed that it will be followed in the determination of future related planning applications and in any event circumstances may change or come to light that could alter the position. It should be noted that if there has been a material change in circumstances or new information has come to light after the date of the advice being issued then less weight may be given to the content of the Council’s pre-application advice of schemes.