Many queries can actually be quickly resolved without writing in. The Government's Planning Portal Website and Householder Technical Guidance offer up to date advice on a range of planning matters, for example when is an application required? You can also have a short informal discussion (10 minutes) about planning matters with our Duty Planner or at one of our regular planning surgeries - find out available times and dates.
You have a range of options for obtaining informal written pre-application advice.
For queries by and on behalf of householders about alterations, extensions and garden structures where you are looking to find out if planning permission is required, or to understand the issues which are likely to be relevant to a proposal. We provide one written response to your questions.
For non-householder queries looking to find out if planning permission is required, or to understand the issues which are likely to be relevant to a proposal. We provide one written response to your questions.
For non-householder queries looking to understand the issues which are likely to be relevant to a proposal. We provide one meeting or accompanied site visit and one written response to your questions.
For projects that would benefit from structured pre-application dialogue to an agreed timetable, with jointly agreed actions. Includes up to three meetings or site visits, action notes by email following meetings, and a written summary of our planning advice (covering content and process).
For projects that need detailed advice or working arrangements that do not warrant a fully managed PPA process, but are beyond the scope of Timeline. These projects are usually commercial. Examples include: projects with well established project management where the developer knows specifically what they want from us and when, or projects with several sites where the customer need a very quick turnaround. Includes bespoke working arrangements and advice by agreement.
A fully managed process for significant casework that is large in scale or complex in planning terms. Includes a named PPA team, jointly agreed timetable covering pre-application, application and implementation as appropriate, written summary of our planning advice, review meetings as required, and a validation meeting.
You submit and pay for your enquiry online using our web form (available for card payments only).
All Householder, Advice, Advice+ and Timeline requests must include:
For Timeline+ or Planning Performance Agreement please contact us to discuss your needs.
You can also download the enquiry submission form pdf (172.1 KB).
From 1 August 2018 we're changing the way we deal with enquiries. We will be allocating a fixed amount of service time to dealing with written advice requests. When we've received your request (with all required information and payment) we will programme your enquiry into a Case Planner's workload, taking into account existing commitments. We'll let you know who your Case Planner is and when you can expect a response by. We are working to deal with enquiries received before charges come in on 1 August 2018, but will be prioritising paid for enquiries as required.
We have a fixed staff resource, so response times will vary depending on service demand. We'll let you know when you can expect a response by shortly after we've received your enquiry. If you subsequently choose to obtain planning advice elsewhere (e.g. from a planning consultant) please let us know as soon as possible so your slot can be reassigned.
Please use our online payment system when you submit your enquiry here. If you cannot pay online call our Contact Centre to pay by card (01539 72455), or contact us to discuss other options.
If you do not send the minimum information required we will not be able to deal with your query.
If you would like us to comment on the design of a proposal, or offer a view about whether proposed alterations require a planning application, you will need to provide existing and proposed scale plans with your enquiry.
Our planning advice is based on the information we receive from you. Please tell us anything about the site or your proposal which will help us to answer your questions. Feel free to email us plans, photos, or other attachments with this request - our information requirements are just a minimums. The more information we have the more effectively we can respond.
If you email our Case Planners directly with queries which fall within the scope of our enquiry process, you will be asked to resubmit your query with the correct information and payment as detailed above.
Yes. We must provide copies of enquiries to the public upon request unless you have demonstrated reasons why your query is exempt information under the Freedom of Information Act. Even if parts of your enquiry are exempt information, we may have to release it in part or in a redacted form. The Information Commissioner can also direct us to release information. Although we do not normally publicise requests for planning advice, we may also share information about your enquiry where the issues raised are relevant to other schemes or applications.