Pre-application protocol for major developments

Key parties

It is essential that both the local planning authority and developer are involved in the pre-app discussions. Since December 2013, we have adopted a protocol for member engagement in pre-application discussions, whereby more strategic major proposals (50+ dwellings or over 10,000sqm floor space), proposals where there is wide corporate involvement or in relation to locally significant or controversial schemes, members will be invited to attend initial development team meetings, where members are given the opportunity to hear about the proposals and may ask questions and seek clarification about such proposals.

Local planning authority

A corporate approach will be taken to discussions. This approach will be coordinated through a development management case officer.

The exact disciplines required will depend upon the nature of the proposal. However, it is recognised that development management, conservation & urban design, planning policy and highways teams should have an input to all proposals of a significant nature.

Dependent upon the scheme, it may also be necessary to involve some or all of the following teams, at the appropriate point: trees and countryside, legal, environmental health, housing, leisure (and the greens and open spaces manager), the county archaeologist, the Environment Agency, Highways Agency, English Heritage, Sport England etc.


The developer should mirror the corporate approach taken by us and bring relevant professional disciplines together as a project team.

This again will vary depending on the complexity of the project but project leadership, planning, design and highways input would appear to be a minimum requirement for a coordinated approach from a developer.

This will avoid any situations where one consultant may offer a technical solution to us only for another consultant to rule it out.