Pre-application advice is an optional service offered before full planning permission that allows you to understand how the development policies will apply, gain advice from a planning officer, identify any potential problems and rectify them before a full planning permission application is submitted.
They usually take the form of a site meeting with a conservation/planning officer and constitute a non-binding view. You will then receive a letter or email pinpointing the policies and issues that are affected.
Here are the pros and cons of the pre-app process:
- Saves considerable amounts of time and money.
- Instant feedback and advice from site meetings.
- Improves customer satisfaction and care.
- Early identification and specialist advice about listed buildings, neighbours, trees, highways, flood risks.
- Guides development and suggests alternatives that solve any problems before the final designs are submitted in the planning permission application.
- Increases the chance of ultimate success, as planners highly regard the pre-app process.
- It allows you to meet the conservation officer and encourages a mutual understanding of the plans before they form their view and advice.
- Allows for the conservation officer to advise you on any other documents that may need to be submitted alongside the formal application
- They help gauge how the local authority will react to the proposal, as they can change their minds in the time between the meeting to the confirmation letter/email.
- It enables you to get to know the planning department and show your willingness to produce and complete a scheme, which can result in them being more supportive of your proposals.
- Delays the full planning permission application and potentially the work start date.
- There is a fee for pre-applications services.
- Individual councils determine their own pre-app processes, which could be a positive or a negative depending on the differences.
- If you are committed to a design but the pre-app consultation officer wants to make changes, this could prove a hindrance.
- You may have a different planning officer for the formal application, who may not have the same views as the other.
- There is no guarantee that discussions will lead to planning applications getting the go-ahead.
- Other specialists may be required for advice on certain matters.
To conclude, the support and advice from the planning officer in the pre-app meeting will ensure the key components on the proposed design have been fully considered and will be presented in the best light. It’s a way of testing the waters before committing to the full planning application.
Our team of expert architects and architectural technicians often prepare and coordinate pre-application enquiries for our clients, and we would be delighted to discuss your project.
Contact James Clague Architects to find out how we can help.
T: 01227 860 460
Discover what home improvement styles can be built without full planning permission.
You may need listed building consent for any changes you want to make to your listed property.