Planning advice

The planning system can be complicated. Getting the right advice early can save you time, money and significantly improve your chances of gaining planning consent.

You can obtain planning advice from an architect, planning consultant or our planning team.

The planning advice we offer

Our Planning Advice service is aimed at shaping your ideas so they receive a positive response. We will also give advice to prevent you spending money on proposals that are unlikely to be acceptable.

Unfortunately we are currently not able to answer enquiries related to householder scale development.

The Authority encourages early dialogue on development proposals, but before you ask for planning advice please:

> read our FAQs for answers to common planning questions

> read our planning policies and guidance and familiarise yourself with policies relevant to your proposal.

Our advice service will deal with development proposals related to larger sites, commercial opportunities or changes of use.  

If you choose to use our planning advice service, we will:

  • Research the site's planning history and, if required, complete a site visit
  • Appraise the proposal against local and national planning policies and local planning guidance
  • Be available to discuss the proposal
  • Consider the need for specialist information or consultation with particular bodies (e.g. Historic England, Highways, Environmental Health etc.)
  • Provide a written response with advice on whether we think planning permission is required, the proposal has a good chance of gaining planning permission, amendments are necessary or further specialist information is required
  • Provide guidance on what will be required to accompany your application in line with the Planning Validation Guide

How to request planning advice from us

If you would like planning advice from us, you will need to:

> complete a planning advice form

> calculate the appropriate fee and pay online

> include additional information (description of development, drawings and photographs) to help us understand your proposal (please be aware that our Mailbox has a limitation of 6mb) 

The more information you provide the better our advice will be.

Once submitted, we aim to answer your enquiry within 42 days. Complex schemes will require a longer response time due to site visits and specialist involvement, you will be advised how long this will be.