Pre-application protocol for major developments

This page sets out our approach to pre-application discussions on more significant development proposals. This is delivered by the use of the development team approach (DTA).

As with all pre-application discussions, their success depends on a series of commitments from both the local planning authority (LPA) and the developer. These commitments are set out in the protocol for pre-application discussions on planning applications.

The DTA involves a comprehensive and coordinated approach to major category development enquiries. This begins at the pre-application stage and is followed through into the planning application process. The DTA seeks to provide the applicant with a clear indication, at the earliest possible stage, of:

  • whether or not we, as LPA, are likely to support an application, and
  • what package of information is necessary to pursue a proposal up to a planning application submission.

We aim to provide advice in relation to policy, design quality, technical matters and the level and content of information necessary to support any planning application. It is therefore important that we involve the correct disciplines from both within the development service and from other services and organisations at the earliest stage. This involvement needs to be properly coordinated.

DTA provides a level of certainty to the applicant and should achieve quality developments in line with our policies and proposals. A coordinated and project managed approach to the more complex applications should also assist in providing timely decisions for applicants.

We are also willing to consider the use of a planning performance agreement (PPA) in dealing with such applications. For more information on this please contact a member of the development management team.

The key aim for both us and the developer to ensure there is some level of consistency in advice so that application submissions can be provided with some certainty regarding the outcome of that process. This certainty is provided by attempting to align both applicant and the community aspirations through the pre-application process. However, applicants/agents must note that all pre-application advice is given without prejudice, and does not prejudge the determination of a subsequent planning application.