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Pre application advice

Due to the very high number of planning applications being received, we are not currently providing a pre-application advice service.


What is pre-application advice?

Pre-application advice is early discussions with agents and developers to facilitate acceptable development. 


The benefits of pre application advice

Constructive discussions about schemes before they are submitted as a planning application can help steer proposals into a form that are more likely to be acceptable to us whilst leading to the reworking or dropping of proposals that appear to be fundamentally unacceptable.

Entering into pre application discussions will help save time, avoid wasted expense and avoid frustration. More complex proposals or those requiring a site visit may take longer to assess. If we cannot respond within 10 working days, we will write to you and let you know when you can expect to receive a full reply.


Request pre-application advice for a non-householder developments

We have a simple form and  pre application advice checklist (PDF) [273KB] for you to complete. 

Before pre-application advice can be provided you will need to provide: 

  • a location plan identifying the site to a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500. Photographs of the site are also helpful
  • an accurate survey of the site including the buildings and features within and surrounding the site (for example trees on adjacent land but close to the site boundary) and an analysis of the constraints and opportunities of the site should always be undertaken. 

The survey should also include:  

  • identification of existing and proposed character area's including views into and out of the site
  • accurate site levels
  • an assessment of the impact of the proposed development on trees located within and adjacent to the site.

Your proposal should be accompanied by a supporting statement to explain and justify the design approach chosen. The supporting statement should include an explanation of:  

  • how the proposal accords with planning policies
  • how the scheme relates to and reinforces local distinctiveness  
  • how the proposal is appropriate for the site in terms of the amount of development proposed
  • for residential schemes of 15 (5 in rural areas) or more houses (new build or conversion) it will be necessary to demonstrate how affordable housing will be provided.  

If you are having difficulty providing the above information, it may be possible for us to give you advice based on simple sketch drawings of your proposal. You can email or call 01257 515151 to discuss whether this will be possible.

Once you have completed the  pre application advise form (PDF) [273KB] and gathered the information set out above, you should e-mail it to The relevant fee as detailed in the pre-application advice form can be paid by calling us on 01257 515151 and advising you wish to pay a planning pre-application advice fee. 


Householder developments

We no longer deal with pre-application enquiries for householder developments on a bespoke basis.

This is because we have adopted a Householder Design Guidance Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (PDF) [1MB]  that sets out the design principles for a range of householder developments. 

The Householder Design Guidance SPD seeks to ensure that property extensions have a satisfactory relationship with existing neighbouring buildings, do not have overbearing impacts on adjacent properties and amenity areas and do not lead to the excessive loss of daylight or overshadowing of habitable rooms and amenity spaces of adjacent properties.


Permitted Development enquiries

Please note, we are unable to confirm in writing whether a development does not require planning permission because it falls under 'permitted development' through pre-application advice. If you require confirmation that your development does not require planning permission because you consider that it falls within 'permitted development', you will need to submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate for a proposed use. 

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