Name: Charging for pre-application advice
Description: In addition to determining applications for planning permission, advert consent, listed building consent and works to protected trees, the Development Control Section is able to provide you with advice and information on a variety of topics.
Skip to content Accessibility access to: Home page Accessibility access to: Accessibility

Charging for pre-application advice

Guidance Note

In addition to determining applications for planning permission, advert consent, listed building consent and works to protected trees, the Development Management team is able to provide you with advice and information on a variety of topics.

In order for us to be able to sustain and improve our current levels of service, the Council charges for planning pre-application advice, in addition to the fees payable for the submission of applications.

Charges are made for pre-application advice, compliance checks and researching planning histories for permitted development restrictions.

This guidance note deals solely with the arrangements for handling pre-application advice.

Why Seek Advice?

The Section encourages and welcomes the opportunity to provide advice before an application is made. There are considerable benefits in seeking advice before making an application as

  • It gives you an opportunity to understand how our policies will be applied to your development.
  • It can identify at an early stage where there is a need for specialist input, for example about listed buildings, trees, landscape, noise, transport, contaminated land, ecology or archaeology.
  • It will assist you in preparing proposals for formal submission which, providing you have taken our advice fully into account, will be handled more quickly.
  • It may lead to a reduction in time spent by your professional advisors in working up proposals.
  • It may indicate that a proposal is completely unacceptable, saving you the cost of pursuing a formal application.

You may find it helpful to do some research into previous planning decisions at your site, or look at the Local Plan Policy and supplementary planning document (SPD) relevant to the proposal

What Are the Charges?

Free advice will continue to be provided only for advice prior to an application for

  • Works to a Listed Building.
  • Works to Trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders or located in Conservation Areas.
  • Advice on how to submit an application to establish whether planning permission is required.
  • Works to facilitate access to public buildings for disabled persons.
  • Advice to Parish Councils, housing associations, residents associations, charities, voluntary / community groups and other local authorities.

For all major applications, the Section will provide a service centred on meetings and discussion of the many and complex issues that large applications entail. There will be a charge which should be made prior to each meeting. Other enquiries may be dealt with in writing and a set charge will apply.

The scale of fees is based on the scale of the proposal and therefore the complexity of the advice.

Service

Charge

2018/19

Follow up meetings/

written advice

Notes

Pre-application advice - meetings (charged per hour or part thereof)

Large major

£2472

(£2060 + VAT) *

£1236

(£1030 +VAT)

Large major: over 50 dwellings or 1 hectare. Commercial over 5,000m2 or 1 hectare.

Where a series of discussions are proposed, the Council will consider a one off payment up front based on the likely charge.

Additional premium for sites not identified in the adopted Local Plan: £1200 (£1000 + VAT)

Major

£1848

(£1540 + VAT) *

£924

(£770 +VAT)

Major: 10 - 49 dwellings or 0.5 - 1 hectare.   Commercial 1,000m2 – 4,999m2 or 0.5 - 1 hectare.

Additional premium for sites not identified in the adopted Local Plan: £600 (£500 + VAT)

Minor

£618

(£515 + VAT)

£312

(£260 +VAT)

Minor: 1 - 9 dwellings or less than 0.5 hectares. Commercial less than 1,000m2 or 1 hectare.

Other

£336

(£280 + VAT)

£174

(£145 +VAT)

Anything not covered by the above.

Householder

£216

(£180 + VAT)

N/AAll applications relating to householder proposals
* includes letter after meeting confirming advice given

Pre application advice - letters (charged per letter)

Major

£1236

(£1030+ VAT)

£618

(£515 +VAT)

Major: 10 - 49 dwellings or 0.5 - 1 hectare.   Commercial 1,000m2 – 4,999m2 or 0.5 - 1 hectare.

Additional premium for sites not identified in the adopted Local Plan: £600 (£500 + VAT)

Minor

£312

(£260 + VAT)

£126

(£105 +VAT)

Minor: 1 - 9 dwellings or less than 0.5 hectares. Commercial less than 1,000m2 or 1 hectare.

Householder

£102

(£85 + VAT)

N/AAll applications relating to householder proposals

Other

£210

(£175 + VAT)

£102

(£85 +VAT)

Anything not covered by the above.

If the meeting is on site then travelling time will be included in the assessment for the above charge. If further meetings are sought then a further fee will be levied at the above rate.

These fees cover administration costs and Officers' time for research, assessment, a meeting as necessary and a written response.

All pre-enquiries must be accompanied by the relevant fee otherwise advice will not be provided. Each project or separate site referred to in an enquiry will be charged at the appropriate rate.

Payment can be made by debit or credit card over the phone by calling 01322 343203 or via the automated payments kiosk in the Civic Centre reception area, where payment by cash or debit/credit card is accepted.  Payment by cheque can also be made at reception.

What You Will Need to Do

If your enquiry is very straightforward, and is one where free advice is provided you may telephone the team for advice (telephone 01322 343203), write to us, or you may be able to find the information you need on the planning pages of our website.

For all enquiries you will need to write to us including the following as a minimum:

  • Description of the nature and scale of development proposed and the uses to which land and buildings are to be put.
  • Full site address and location plan (1:1250 scale) with the site outlined in red.
  • Site history ie: occupancy of the site.
  • Photographs of the site.
  • Sketch drawings providing details of the proposal. Floor plans for each floor of the proposed building together with at least sketch elevations that are sufficient to indicate the initial architectural approach and the materials proposed. Drawings should also show any adjacent buildings to identify the context of the scheme and
  • The appropriate fee.

They may also need to be accompanied by an initial design and access statement, ecological, landscape, contamination, flood and transport assessments depending upon the location, nature and complexity of the development.

What We Will Do

On receipt of your initial enquiry, we will decide whether it is a minor or major enquiry. If it is a minor matter, we will then check that the appropriate fee has been paid. If it has not, we will write to you confirming that we will not progress your enquiry until the appropriate fee has been paid.

If the fee has been paid or the proposal is a major one, then your enquiry will be allocated to an appropriate officer. The senior officers of the Section will decide who is the most appropriate officer to deal with it.

An acknowledgement will be sent within 3 working days of a valid enquiry being received in the Section and it will include a receipt for any fee paid, confirmation of the officer handling it and the date you may expect to receive a written reply to a minor enquiry (normally 15 working days from receipt).

This written reply setting out our advice will comprise the service for the standard charge. Further enquiries will be charged another fee.

If we do not have enough information to answer your enquiry then we will write to you by letter or email, setting out what information we need.

If the enquiry relates to a Major proposal, then you will be contacted by the officer allocated to your enquiry, who will confirm whether there is sufficient information to provide advice and, if not, will ask for additional information.

They will arrange a suitable date for a meeting and request confirmation in writing, if not already received, that you agree to pay the appropriate charge at the relevant hourly rate prior to the meeting

The timing of the meeting will depend upon the complexity of the scheme and the amount of work that will be needed prior to a meeting including any time necessary to obtain initial views of other interested parties.

Attendance of other officers at the meeting, including specialist advisors, will be at the case officer's discretion

At the end of the meeting, the appropriate fee will be agreed and this agreement will be formally recorded in writing. Following the meeting, we will write to you confirming the advice given.

This will usually be within 15 working days unless an alternative timescale is agreed at the end of the meeting.

Advice is provided by an individual planning officer in liaison with appropriate colleagues, but it is agreed by a more senior officer before being issued.

The Council also encouraged Planning Performance Agreements (PPA) to provide a project management framework for handling a major planning application or complex applications.  It may be more appropriate for the pre-application process to be included as part of the PPA

The Development Manager has the right to decline a request for pre-application advice where it is not considered either appropriate or necessary.

Important Notes

Any advice given by Council officers for pre-application enquiries does not indicate any formal decision by the Council as Local Planning Authority. Any views or opinions are given in good faith, and to the best of ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application.

The final decision on any application that you may then make can only be taken after the Council has consulted local people, statutory consultees and any other interested parties. Some consultees have their own charges for pre-application advice and developers will need to make their own arrangements with them.  The final decision on an application will then be made by senior officers or by the Council's Development Control Board and will be based on all of the information available at that time.

You should therefore be aware that officers cannot guarantee the final formal decision that will be made on your application(s).

Any pre-application advice that has been provided will be carefully considered in reaching a decision or recommendation on an application; subject to the proviso that circumstances and information may change or come to light that could alter that position.

It should be noted that the weight given to pre-application advice will decline over time.

Last Updated: 04th December 2018 Print Link

Share Facebook Share Twitter