Pre-application advice service

Our advice service

We run a pre-application service, which can help you from the first design stages of your project to construction and completion. This is a paid-for service for residents and businesses. 

Pre-application discussions include:

  • informal views on schemes before they are formally lodged with the Council - useful for larger more complex schemes
  • a summary of site constraints and planning history
  • a summary of applicable national, regional, and local planning policies and guidance
  • information needed for any subsequent application
  • standard comments on land use, policy, design, transport and residential amenity considerations
  • specialist advice covering sustainability aspects, environmental considerations, trees and landscaping, housing etc
  • indicative heads of terms for any planning obligations (where applicable and specifically requested)
  • whether engaging in community consultation is appropriate and who to consult and indicative timeframes for the processing of any subsequent planning application

You will receive formal written advice, prepared by the appointed planning case officer, with input from other specialist officers (where necessary) such as Neighbourhood, Traffic Engineering, Energy and Sustainability, Landscape, Housing and Environmental Health.

We sometimes meet with you or your agents, before preparing the formal advice, to discuss the application. If the application is for a major development we may arrange discussions with Councillors. Any feedback or comments provided by officers at a meeting (apart from proposals relating to house extensions) are subject to further review. Our formal written advice gives you the final pre-application views of the Council. 

Planning pre-application advice service

Any discussions about enforcement/breaches of planning control or advice to any local resident affected by a proposed development are provided free of charge.

You can use VU.CITY as part of the Pre-Application process.


Your charge for pre-application advice depends on the category of application. There are ten categories, A to J.  

Response Times

We will aim to respond within 4-6 weeks of the submission. Please note if the information submitted is incomplete or lacks key details this timeframe might be extended. 

Pre-Application Confidentiality

Please be aware that any pre-application advice given might, on request, be made publicly available. If you consider that any information contained in your pre-application submission, or any of the advice you received, should not be made available to the public the Council will need to be notified of this in advance of a full application, and the reasons why you consider this information should be exempt. Please highlight the relevant exemptions in; 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004


Last Modified: 10/03/2022 11:29:28