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Planning Guidance

Pre application enquiries


The Development Control team offers pre-application advice both informally on the phone or face-to-face in the One Stop Shop, and also in a more formal manner through our pre-application service. It is more likely to lead to a positive outcome to applications when formally submitted, and at present there is no charge for this service.

The pre-application procedure should be used where permission is required, but preliminary assessment of the constraints relevant to the application is needed. If you need to ascertain if your proposal is Permitted Development or not, please refer to the relevant Householder Development or Business Development page.

We prefer that pre-application enquiries are submitted in writing, along with appropriate plans and information to locate the site in question, describe and detail the proposal, and further clarification of the intentions for future use of the proposal. Verbal or face-to-face enquiries may not result in a definitive answer to your query, because the nature of a pre-application is largely similar to a formal application, in that clear details of proposal are required. In this case, we may ask you to submit your query in writing, preferably by using the appropriate Pre-Application Enquiry Form.

The Written Pre-Application Procedure

Once received, a case officer will be assigned to deal with your enquiry, and you will be formally notified of this case officer. The case officer may contact you to obtain further information, or clarify detail in the information submitted. They will then, with reference to relevant guidance and policy offered both locally and nationally, make an informal assessment of the proposal, concluding whether the proposal needs permission or not, if it is acceptable, acceptable in principle but requires amendments to detail, or whether it would be unacceptable/inappropriate development in the location sought.

Where a formal application is required, they will also look to offer guidance towards what further information will be necessary to ensure a quick validation and smooth and prompt determination is made. This guidance may also suggest additional improvements (such as energy efficiency/energy generation measures or design details) to enhance the sustainability of the development, and seek inclusion of additional detail on plans to negate the need for conditions.

Whilst there is no set timescale in which to provide a reply, the case officer will look to do so promptly. However, please bear in mind their workload can vary greatly from week to week, and your query may be behind a number of earlier pre-applications.

Further Information

If you cannot find the information you are looking for, or wish to clarify detail, please contact the Planning Control team.

Last updated Wednesday, 19th April 2017

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