Pre-application advice (for householders and non-major apps)

Why get pre-application advice?

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.

Pre-application discussions can improve the efficiency and certainty of outcomes within the development management system. This is acknowledged in '10 commitments for effective pre-application engagement' (British Property Federation, Jan 2014).

Pre-application advice is given without prejudice and given on the basis of the information provided by you/the developer.

The advice given cannot provide an undertaking that planning permission will be granted. This is because pre-application advice is given prior to carrying out of full formal consultations and is an officer opinion only, and so cannot constitute a formal response or decision from us. It is to be appreciated that some applications will be determined by planning committee, and members although expected to determine applications on planning grounds, are not obliged to adopt or follow the advice given by their officers.