Pre-application advice and general queries

We offer a range of services to provide you with the information or assistance you need. The service best suited to your needs will depend on the complexity of the information or assistance you require, the scale of the development, and how quickly you require a response.

General queries

Our paid general query service gives you the opportunity to use a Business Support Officer or Planning Officer to provide you with the information you need in a three-working-day turnaround. This service is particularly useful for prospective purchasers or those gathering information in preparation for development proposals, such as pre-application queries or planning applications.

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  • When should I use the general query 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.

    Please note: this service cannot tell you whether planning permission is required. The only formal way to answer this question is to submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate.

    For Completion Certificates and other queries relating to Building Control, please email building.control@hertfordshirebc.co.uk.

Pre-application advice

Our pre-application advice service offers you the chance to meet a Planning Officer for an informal discussion before you submit an application. This can help reduce the likelihood of submitting an invalid application, saving time and money, and enable speedier decisions to be made. To apply, you will need to complete our online form and submit a fee (see below).

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  • When should I use the pre-application 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 1MB).

    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

Pre-application advice summary of key features
Feature Paid 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 time Several hours/days (depends on service used)

Request advice

To make a general query or to apply for pre-application advice, please fill in our online form:

Apply now

What does it cost?

Pre-application planning advice costs
Type of property Pre-application service Cost (inclusive of VAT)
Any Paid general query £60
Householder Extensions, outbuildings, and so on - written advice only £200
Householder
Extensions, outbuildings, and so on - non-listed building £400
Householder Extensions, outbuildings and so on -  listed building
£500
New dwellings New single dwelling - written advice only £350
New dwellings New single dwelling £700
New dwellings Two to nine dwellings (new or converted) £1,100
New dwellings
10 to 24 dwellings £1,800
New dwellings
25 to 50 dwellings £3,000
New dwellings
More than 50 dwellings Quote
Commercial Up to 100 metres square £400
Commercial
Over 100 metres square - up to 300 metres square £650
Commercial
Over 300 metres square up to 1,000 metres square £2,200
Commercial
1,000 metres square to 5,000 metres square £3,000
Commercial
Over 5,000 metres square Quote

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

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.