The council's pre-application advice service which can be used before making a formal planning application.

Advice is provided by an individual planning officer, but it is agreed by a more senior colleague before being issued, and advice provided through this service cannot prejudice the council's formal decision if you make an application.

We can provide different levels of advice depending on how much detail and support you want. Due to levels of workloads priority will be given to determining planning applications.  However, we will still aim where possible to provide advice within the timescales provided below.

Our pre-application enquiry levels are changing from 1 April 2021 as follows:

Levels of service

General Written Advice

This gives the simplest level of advice and is appropriate only where you want very general advice about the principle of a proposal.  It will suit you if you wish to avoid the time and expense of getting detailed plans drawn and do not want detailed advice.  We will not visit the site.  We will aim to provide a written summary of our advice within 30 working days.

We will advise only whether the principle of the development you want to do is acceptable.  Examples might be asking us about the principle of extending the roof of your house or the principle of converting a building into flats, or if a housing development is acceptable in principle on a piece of land.

If you would like a meeting, this would be an additional cost as detailed in the table of fees.

Detailed Written Advice

This will provide you with much more detailed written advice than the general written advice, including on the detail of your proposal, and we aim to provide this within 30 working days of your request.  To provide advice accurately we will visit the site before we advise you.  

If you would like a meeting, this would be an additional cost as detailed in the table of fees.

Further Written Advice

Once you have our initial advice you may wish to amend your proposals and want updated advice.

The fee for this is lower than the initial advice. 

If you would like a meeting, this would be an additional cost as detailed in the table of fees.


This provides us the opportunity to meet to discuss your proposals.  Usually this will be a meeting held in the office or over Teams.  The meeting will explain our advice and explore improvements and alternatives with you.

Your planning officer will advise whether the meeting will be best held on site at the time of the visit, or later in our office or over Teams.  The meeting length will be as specified in the table of fees. 

It is rarely necessary for anyone other than your architect or planning agent to attend the site visit.  Once you have requested advice, your planning officer will advise if anyone else should attend.


Our pre-application enquiry fees are increasing from 1 April 2021 and any enquiry submitted after this date will be subject to the new fees. Check the cost