Pre-application advice and general queries

We offer various services to help you get the information or assistance you need. The best service for you depends on how complex your needs are, the size of your development, and how quickly you need help.

General queries

Our paid general query service lets you work with a Business Support Officer or Planning Officer to get the information you need within three working days. This service is great for potential buyers or anyone preparing development proposals, such as pre-application queries or planning applications.

Please note: this service cannot tell you whether you need planning permission. The only formal way to find out is to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.

When to use this service

This service is designed so that a Council Officer can do the leg work for you in a range of scenarios. For example:

  • Confirm whether a site is within a Conservation Area or has a Tree Preservation Order on it
  • Provide a full list of site constraints (for example, Green Belt, Area of Archaeological Significance)
  • Provide a full site history breakdown
  • Provide a full list of conditions attached to a planning permission
  • Confirm whether a garage is conditioned to remain as a garage (and therefore planning permission would be required for a garage conversion)
  • Confirm whether a road is a classified road (and therefore planning permission would be required for a dropped kerb)
  • Confirm what type of planning application is required
  • Confirm whether there is any live enforcement investigation on a site
  • Check enforcement records, provide details of compliance or case closure emails or request an enforcement notice withdrawal.

For Completion Certificates and other queries relating to Building Control, please email

What does it cost?

Cost of paid general query
Type of propertyPre-application serviceCost
AnyPaid general query£80
Planning Pre-application service costs for enforcement notice withdrawal and record checking
Request an enforcement notice withdrawal£250
Check records and provide details of compliance check and case closure via email£300

If you have specific proposals or plans to discuss, please use our pre-application service (below).

How to apply

To make a general query, please fill in our online form:

Apply now

Pre-application advice

Our pre-application advice service lets you have an informal discussion with a Planning Officer before submitting an application. This can help reduce the chances of submitting an invalid application, save time and money, and speed up decisions. To apply, you will need to complete our online form and submit a fee (see below).

When to use this service

This service is designed to be flexible so that there are options for written-only responses for the smallest schemes, as well as opportunities to provide us with an ‘idea’, which you can then develop into drawings during pre-application discussions. As part of this service, we will also provide clear instructions on next steps/validation requirements. For full details, please see the our  Pre-application advice pack (PDF 307KB).

This service is suited for looking at specific development proposals, such as:

  • Would I get planning permission for this proposal / development?
  • How could I develop this piece of land?
  • Would it be possible to build...?
  • Would it be possible to change the use of...?
  • What is the best way to proceed in making changes to an existing permission?

Please note: this service is not designed for large-scale developments. Such proposals would need to use our Planning Performance Agreement service, which provides greater ongoing support throughout the lifetime of the planning application, as well as greater certainty over decision timescales.

Summary of key features

Summary of key features for our pre-application service
FeaturePaid General Query Pre-Application Advice
How quickly will I get a response? Within three working days Within 20 or 30 working days
What will be provided?
  • The information / facts you need.
  • Advice on next steps.
  • The assessment / opinions you need.
  • Clear instructions on next steps / validation requirements.
How much Officer time will I get?Up to 30 minutes of Officer research timeSeveral hours/days (depends on service used)

What does it cost?

Prices for planning pre-application service
Type of propertyPre-application serviceCost (inclusive of VAT)
HouseholderExtensions, outbuildings, and so on - written advice only£225
HouseholderExtensions, outbuildings, and so on - non-listed building£450
HouseholderExtensions, outbuildings and so on -  listed building£550
New dwellingsNew single dwelling - written advice only£400
New dwellingsNew single dwelling£800
New dwellingsTwo to nine dwellings (new or converted)£1,250
New dwellings10 to 24 dwellings£2,000
New dwellings25 to 50 dwellings£3,400
New dwellingsMore than 50 dwellingsQuote
Commercial/non residentialUp to 100 metres square£450
Commercial/non residentialOver 100 metres square - up to 300 metres square£750
Commercial/non residentialOver 300 metres square up to 1,000 metres square£2,500
Commercial/non residential1,000 metres square to 5,000 metres square£3,400
Commercial/non residentialOver 5,000 metres squareQuote

Prices are correct at time of publishing and inclusive of VAT at 20 per cent 

How to apply

To apply for pre-application advice, please fill in our online form:

Apply now

Planning performance agreements

A planning performance agreement is a project management tool which ourselves and applicants can use to agree timescales, actions and resources for handling particular applications. It should cover the pre-application and application stages but may also extend through to the post-application stage. 

Planning performance agreements can be particularly useful in setting out an efficient and transparent process for determining large and/or complex planning applications. Find out more about planning performance agreements.

Digital 3D modelling

We require all applicants to submit digital models of proposed major developments as part of any pre-application discussions. Digital 3D modelling will be required for major developments and any application considered to have a significant impact on the townscape. Find out more about digital 3D modelling.

Advice from other departments / external organisations

There are other external statutory bodies which you may wish to consult with about your proposal, some of which may have their own pre-application charges. Click on the links below for more information.

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Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 June 2024 at 09:41 AM