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Pre-application guidance

If you need planning permission, from an extension to a new shopping or commercial development, we recommend you consider using our pre-app service - this can save you time and money in the long-run.

We also recommend you double check you need planning permission first, as some projects, such as internal building alterations (unless you are in a listed building), may only require building regulations, which are handled by our building control service. But it's best to check first.

Find out how to get pre-app advice from us using the links below:

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Why do a pre-app?

Here are just a few good reasons:

  • Clear and complete applications are easier to process through the planning system.
  • Good quality information at an early stage helps to address problems sooner, rather than later.
  • Getting the right advice can avoid the need to change the plans later which can be costly.

It's also important to remember that if your application is successful and you are granted planning permission, the documents you submit (plans and written) become legal documents. People may have seen your plans and will have an expectation of what is to be built. Ultimately, what is built should be the same as what is shown on the plans that were approved - so you need to get it right at the planning stage.

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How to submit a pre-app

Here's a list of items you will need to send us, so we can check you are on the right lines:

  • A formal written request which you can either email to, or send to: Development Control, Lichfield District Council, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6YZ.
  • A location plan of the site (preferably to scale).
  • A site/block plan (preferably to scale).
  • A description of the development. Details of any features or buildings within the site including trees or water courses
  • The relevant planning fee.

It will also help if you can provide additional information such as:

  • Plans of the existing site/land use
  • Plans of the proposed land-use/development
  • Photographs of the site , showing the relationship to neighbouring premises/uses.

For further information please see the protocol for pre-application discussion on planning applications.

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How much does a pre-app cost?

Find out about our pre-app charges

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Are there any exemptions from charges?

The following pre-application discussions do not incur a charge:

  • Planning discussions following enforcement investigation
  • Where the enquiry is made by a local authority or county council
  • Where the enquiry is made by a parish or town council
  • Where the development is for the direct benefit of a disabled person/s (and as such there would be no fee incurred to make a planning application)
  • Works in respect of tree preservation orders
  • Works to a listed building or in a conservation area, where no planning application fee would be required.
  • Advice about how to submit a planning application or a fee enquiry.
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How long will it take to get feedback on my pre-app?

Our aim is to process most pre-apps and give you feedback within three weeks. For further information please see the protocol for pre-application discussion on planning applications.

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Will I get approval if I submit a pre-app?

Once we've reviewed your pre-app you will need to formally apply for planning permission. Once your planning application has been submitted and registered, it is then processed. Officers will carry out necessary consultations and assess it, making a recommendation as to whether or not it meets relevant planning policies and guidance. If you submit a pre-app, it is more likely your planning application will contain all the right information however, there is no guarantee it will be approved.

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Our pre-app protocol

Please view the protocol for pre-application discussion, which sets out our commitments. We aim to provide advice at an appropriate level i.e. major schemes applicants should be able to discuss their proposal with more senior officers who will ultimately handle any submitted application. Depending on the size of your application, a pre-app meeting may be necessary. You may find it helpful to seek professional advice to help prepare draft drawings to support your pre-app. Check out your local business directory and search for architects or architectural services or refer to the RTPI list of consultants

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How to book a pre-app

To book a pre-app, contact our development control team.

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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.