Planning pre-application advice

What is pre-application advice?
What are the benefits of pre-application advice?
What services are provided?
How long does it take?
How do I apply?

What is pre-application advice?

Preparing to carry out a development can be expensive. To help you minimise the cost of this process, we provide a pre-application service.

Pre-application advice is provided by planning officers employed by the council, which outlines how we are likely to determine any subsequent planning application, and any changes that are likely to be needed, if any, to give your scheme the best chance of being granted a planning permission.

It’s important to note that the guidance given is informal advice and does not bind the council in any future decision it makes. However, in our experience where pre-application advice is obtained and incorporated into any scheme, developments are more likely to be granted planning permission and decisions are made significantly faster.

What are the benefits of pre-application advice?

  • Getting advice before you make an application can save you time and money.
  • You will normally get a quicker decision once the application is submitted.
  • There are likely to be fewer conditions attached to any permission.

Seeking our advice, and following it, does not guarantee that planning permission will be granted. Sometimes other factors, particularly concerning the impact on neighbouring properties, can result in additional issues. However, it will mean that you have the best possible opportunity to negotiate a positive outcome.

Before applying for pre-application advice

  • Take time to look at applications that we have approved or refused around your property. You can do this by searching planning records by street name or postcode.
  • Look at planning policies in the Local Plan.
  • Think about who might be affected by what you want to do and talk to them about your plans; and
  • Decide exactly what information you want to get from us. This will determine what service you choose.

What services are provided?

Householder and small-scale proposals

For householder proposals, including extensions and alterations to houses and flats, we offer the following options, please note proposals involving basements will require a meeting with a planning officer.

Pre-planning advice fees for householder and small-scale proposals

Service

Fee

Householder written advice

£350

Householder meeting with planning officer

£500

Householder including basement – meeting with planning officer

£900

Meeting with planning officer to discuss other small-scale proposal including local community groups, advertisements, telecommunications, details and internal changes to listed buildings not requiring planning consent

£500

Please note, for householder pre application advice involving more than one property the fee will be doubled or increased accordingly.  

Residential schemes

A meeting with a planning officer and other specialists as required, to discuss a residential scheme including House in Multiple Occupation, change of use and care homes.

Pre-planning advice fees for residential schemes

Number of new units

Fee

1 unit

£1,650

2-10 units

£3,500

11-24 units

£6,500

For a proposal involving 25 or more new units, please email us at planning@lbhf.gov.uk to discuss the proposal.

Non-residential schemes

A meeting with a planning officer and other specialists as required, to discuss a non-residential scheme including change of use, offices, hotels, industry and retail.

Pre-planning advice fees for non-residential schemes

Floor space

Fee

No new floor space/up to 99sqm

£850

100-999sqm new floor space

£4,800

1,000-4,999sqm new floor space

£12,000

For a proposal involving new floor space of 5,000sqm or more, please email us at planning@lbhf.gov.uk to discuss the proposal.

Mixed residential and non-residential schemes

A meeting to discuss mixed use residential and non-residential schemes including change of use, care homes, offices, hotels, industry and retail.

Pre-planning advice fees for mixed residential and non-residential schemes

Floor space

Fee

No new floor space (up to 99sqm) or 1 unit 

£1,650

100-999sqm new floor space

£4,800

1,000-4,999sqm new floor space

£12,000

For a proposal involving new floor space of 5,000sqm or more, please email us at planning@lbhf.gov.uk to discuss the proposal.

How long does it take?

For householder written advice, we will aim to respond to within 10 working days. For householder and small-scale proposal meetings, we aim to respond within 20 working days.

For residential schemes, non-residential schemes and mixed schemes we will aim to respond within 40 working days.

Sometimes it may be necessary to obtain the advice of other departments within the council and external consultees, which can take time depending on their commitments. Where we need more time, we will contact you and confirm our intended timescales to respond.

How do I apply?