Pre-application Service

As part of our planning service we provide advice on development proposals in advance of the formal planning or related application.

Please note that potential applicants are not obliged to seek pre-application advice. However, it may avoid delays in the formal application process and the potential of a refusal of permission where insufficient information has been submitted or where elements of the proposal are considered unacceptable. Pre-application advice can draw these matters to the attention of applicants early on.

Once a formal application has been received, the Council will normally make a decision on it without seeking further information or amendments - unless those are of only a minor nature and can be made within the relevant application timescales.

Whilst the Council is keen to provide this service, a charge is made for some types of advice because of the resources that it requires. Please see the attached Pre-Application Guidance Note - November 2023 for more information including expected timescales.

Free Advice

Free advice may be available to you in certain situations that are described below:

  • If you are not seeking to submit a planning or related application yourself, for example you are seeking advice about the operation of the planning system generally, or on a proposal that has been submitted by another person, this advice remains free of charge.
  • If you are a householder who is proposing development which does not result in addition to the existing floorspace of the property (including any conversion works), a change of use or change to the curtilage of the site, this advice is not charged for.

In these instances, please see our Planning advice on the Guide to the Planning Service page as to how to see our Duty Planning Officer

Chargeable Advice

A charge is payable for any pre-application advice that relates to the following types of development:

  • householder development involving an extension to the floorspace of a property (including roof and garage/ outbuilding conversions) and changes to its curtilage (the fee for more unusual proposals, for example the same scheme relating to multiple units, would be considered on a case by case basis)
  • new residential development created either by new build or the change of use of existing buildings
  • non-residential development (e.g. commercial, office, retail and industrial development). Where a new use is being set up - either through the change of use of an existing building or by a new build - the proposals are charged according to the national planning application category into which they would fall. If the use is already in place and minor works are proposed which do not result in additional floorspace (for example, change to a shop front) there is a reduced charge - see the charge table
  • advertisement proposals
  • requests for confirmation that any proposed works are permitted development (PD) - but a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) is not being sought; (Please note however that the charge for advice is £140, the fee for an LDC submission is £106. Applicants may prefer to pursue the formal approach because of the small differential in cost. Please also note that the Council cannot provide advice in relation to uses claimed to be in existence)
  • where any proposal relates to a listed building, or is considered to affect the setting of a listed building, a heritage advice fee will also be chargeable. Please note this is charged in addition to any other relevant fee referred to above except in the case of requests for PD confirmation
  • where any proposal relates to the provision of affordable housing, either directly proposed, or which would normally be required as a result of the Councils planning policies, an affordable housing advice fee will also be chargeable. Please note this is charged in addition to any other relevant fee referred to above.

Charges for this service are subject to VAT. The development categories set out below are the same as those used by the government. In general, major development includes proposals for 10 or more new residential units and new floorspace over 1000sqm. Minor development is for residential proposals of 1-9 units and for other schemes, for a floorspace below 1000sqm. Please contact us if you are unsure of the category of development that your proposals fall into.

Pre-Application Charges from 1 April 2023


Application or Advice Type

Initial fee (Ex VAT)

VAT at 20%


Meeting (Ex VAT)

VAT at 20%









Heritage advice







Major development

Individually quoted fee






New retail over 500 sqm Individually quoted fee     Included    

Minor development Type A, (comprising a single residential unit or development creating new floorspace, but no more than 499sqm (initial fee only)







Minor development Type B, all other minor development 







Minor development Type C, creating no new floorspace and other development (where not included in any other category)







Adverts (initial fee only)







Informal confirmation that proposed development comprises PD (initial fee only)







Requests which are made or on behalf of Parish and Town Councils and registered charities are eligible for a 25% reduction on the pre-VAT charges set out above.

Please note that the fee for a formal Lawful Development Certificate application is £103. This would be payable in addition to the £156 advice fee if it is subsequently decided to pursue a formal LDC submission. Applicants may prefer to proceed straight to the formal process because of the differential in costs.


In all cases the charges set out in the table are levied once if multiple proposals are submitted at the same time and relate to the same site - e.g. a householder ground floor extension and loft conversion will only attract one fee if submitted simultaneously.

If, on receipt and consideration, proposals are considered to be permitted development this will be set out in a response letter and no further advice will be given. Please note however that this will constitute an informal response and does not constitute a Lawful Development Certificate. Fees paid cannot be refunded.

If, in the view of the Council, a heritage advice fee or an affordable housing advice fee is payable for any particular scheme, but has not been paid, it will be requested. If the fee is not subsequently paid within a period of 28 days the submission will not be assessed. Submitted fees will be repaid however

Advice Provided

For the initial fee, the Council will undertake the following as its response to any request for advice:

  • relevant research relating to your proposals
  • identify the key issues likely to be raised by the proposal
  • advise on the information required if a formal planning submission is to be made
  • advise on amendments/ alterations that could be made to improve the proposals
  • advise on the likely outcome of any formal planning submission

A written summary of the above will be provided.

With regard to affordable housing advice, the fee covers all subsequent discussions and liaison with the Councils housing service up to the time of the submission of a formal planning application. You will normally be directed to officers in the housing team for this purpose. There is no secondary fee for affordable housing advice.

Please note that the advice given will be based on the information supplied and that already held by the Council. Officers will generally not be able to visit and inspect a site so it is crucial that any plans and drawings submitted are accurate. Neither will it generally be possible to undertake consultations with other organisations who would normally be invited to comment on the proposals through a formal submission. The advice given is based on the professional judgement of the officer and cannot be binding on the formal decision of the Council. If a scheme progresses to a formal submission it will be subject to consultation and any formal decision will take the results of that consultation into account.

The Council pre-application advice service is provided in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Request Advice

To request advice, please complete our online Pre-Application form.

If you are having trouble filling in our form, please see our Pre-Application Guidance Note - February 2019 documents for more alternative details

If you would like to defer a pre-application and proceed straight to a full application, please make a planning application online