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Pre-Application Service


The Council offers a chargeable pre-application service.  The service principally covers the development types and charges set out in the table below.  Users of this service should expect to receive advice from the Council within 42 days of receipt of request/payment of service fee. 


Schedule of Charges for Pre-Application Advice (inc. VAT) 





Major Development Service (A)




  • Over 9,999 square metres of commercial floorspace;
  • Over 49 dwellings;
  • 1,000 – 2,500 square metres retail floorspace;
  • Major infrastructure projects;
  • Sites in excess of 1.5 hectares; and,
  • Drilling operations and wind turbines.




Major Development Service (B)




  • 1,000 – 9,999 square metres of commercial floorspace;
  • 100 – 999 square metres retail floorspace;
  • 10 – 49 dwellings; and,
  • Sites between 1 – 1.5 hectares.




Minor Advice Service




  • 100 – 999 square metres of commercial floorspace;
  • Up to 100 square metres of retail floorspace;
  • 1 – 9 dwellings;
  • Telecommunications developments;
  • s73 – Variation of conditions (excluding retail with floorspace over 1000 square metres);
  • Public realm / engineering works;
  • Minerals, waste and energy projects (on sites up to 1 hectare); and,
  • Small scale proposals not within above categories.





Advice you’ll receive

  • The information required to be submitted in association with any forthcoming/subsequent application to the planning department. 
  • Overview of the relevant planning policies/guidance in relation to your proposal. 
  • Discussion of planning merits and initial assessment as to whether your proposal complies with the relevant planning policy/guidance.
  • Main constraints on the site/in relation to the proposal as presented. 
  • Relevant financial contributions/planning obligations.
  • Whether third-party consultations/advice is required. 

Please note that there will be occasions where the advice of statutory consultees, outside the Council, will need to be sought to establish whether the principle of development is acceptable and inform the layout/design of schemes.  A number of these consultees have their own charging structure and keep their pre-application process separate.  Examples of such consultees include Historic England, Natural England, United Utilities, the Coal Authority and the Environment Agency. We will be able to advise you which of these consultees may be relevant to your proposal when we respond to your enquiry however you will need to seek their advice before progressing a planning application. 


How Long it Will Take 

  • Once you have submitted your request and payment of the service fee has been received, we will let you know that we’ve allocated your pre-application advice request to a planning officer within 5 working days. 
  • You can expect to receive advice from us within 42 days.  


Submit a Request

If you wish to submit a request for one of our chargeable pre-application services, please complete the request for pre-application advice form.  Please understand that advice provided by Council Officers through the pre-application service is based upon the level of information you decide to submit.  Therefore it is recommended you provide as much information as possible at the point of submission to ensure you receive an appropriate level of advice.  Please email the completed form to, remembering to attach all associated documentation you wish for us to consider as part of your pre-application request.  Upon receipt of your request, we will check the associated fee payable and will contact you to outline payment options.  This will typically take place within a maximum of 1-2 working days. 


Advice Regarding Other Proposed Development (Not Covered Above)

Should you wish to gain informal advice regarding development types not covered under the above charging schedule (including householder extensions/alterations, advertisements, listed building work etc), please refer to the Council’s Duty Planning Officer Service in the first instance. 


Planning Performance Agreements

Central Government encourages planning performance agreements (PPA’s) for large or complex planning proposals.  If you are interested in progressing a PPA with the Council, please email in the first instance with your requirements.  The Council will require a fee for such an agreement, which will be arranged on a bespoke basis.