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Pre-application planning advice

Drop-in service for pre-application planning advice

A free drop-in planning advice service is available at Customer and Local Services, La Motte Street from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Advice is provided by a duty planning officer on a first come, first served basis. It’s a first point of contact for householders or other individuals undertaking smaller scale changes or developments, such as:

  • house extensions and loft conversions
  • conservatories, garages, sheds
  • windows and doors
  • fences and decking
  • parking and driveways
  • removal of boundary walls and structures
  • advertisement and signage
  • solar panels and wind turbines

When using the drop-in service you need to bring the following information with you:

  • address details
  • photographs of the building or site you want to change or develop
  • photographs showing the location of the building or site in relation to neighbouring buildings
  • catalogues or images showing the materials or products they want to use (for example a conservatory manufacturer’s catalogue)
  • basic sketches showing the proposed alterations or development

Written pre-application planning advice

If you want pre-application planning advice in writing, complete our pre-application form and post it or email Planning. The form details the minimum level of information we need to give your advice.

Submit a pre-application form

You should include the following information:

  • site and location maps showing existing buildings and features
  • information on existing and proposed uses, floor spaces and occupation
  • photographs of the proposed site, any existing buildings and the surrounding area
  • sketch drawings showing elevations, floor plans, access, parking arrangements, architectural treatment and materials

After sending in your form, we’ll appoint a case officer to review your pre-application form. If you’d like to meet with the case officer, we’ll arrange a meeting to discuss the scheme before providing our written advice.

We aim to provide written advice or contact you to discuss your proposals within six weeks of submission. Our advice will tell you if you need to do any of the following before submitting a planning application:

  • supply additional information
  • change your proposals
  • consult other groups or organisations

Pre-application planning advice

We base pre-application advice on the planning circumstances at the time, which has its limitations. The pre-application process doesn’t involve or include:

  • public consultation
  • advice from other technical sources
  • input everyone who may make the final decision

Our advice isn’t binding on the final decision of a formal planning application. Advice is given with the best intentions, but situations change, schemes evolve, issues emerge, and proposals can’t be pre-determined outside the formal application process.

You should get advice from your own professional team. For major schemes, you may want to include planning consultancy input, architectural and design services or other specialist technical disciplines.

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