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Obtain advice on planning matters

How to find out if planning permission (or another similar consent) is required, and how to get advice on the acceptability of a proposed development before submitting an application (pre-application advice).

Due to an unprecedented workload, the duty officer will be available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9am to 12.30pm only, from May 30th, 2017. This is a temporary measure and will be reviewed in the future.


Find out if planning permission, or another similar consent, is required

Establishing whether planning permission is required for a proposed development can be complex. Planning Legislation allows certain works to be undertaken without planning permission (this is referred to as 'permitted development'). However, there are lots of different criteria to check to establish whether permission is required or not. The Planning Service can undertake this check for you and provide you with an informal opinion on the need for planning permission. A fee of £25 is payable to use this service. Download the forms available on this page to access this service and obtain further guidance on the process. Use the Householder Form for extensions and alterations to residential dwellings, and the General Form for all other proposals

If you do not wish to use this service there are a variety of free sources of advice available to help establish whether planning permission is required. The Planning Portal is the National Governments gateway to planning information throughout the UK. It includes lots of helpful information including an interactive house that can be used to help establish whether planning permission is required. Alternatively your architect, or whoever is drawing your plans, may be able to provide you with advice on the need for planning permission.

It is also possible to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate from the Council to obtain a formal decision on the need for planning permission. The process requires the submission of plans, completion of application forms and the payment of a fee. The main benefit of obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness is that you have formal proof that works are lawful which can be of significant benefit when it comes to selling a property.

Advice on the acceptability of a proposed development (pre-application advice)

The Council welcomes and encourage early discussions with those considering making a planning application for development. Providing pre-application advice is however a non-statutory service and therefore the planning authority have decided to use its discretionary power to charge for certain types of pre-application advice in order to recover at least some of the costs incurred. The income raised is used to improve the pre-application advice service and also helps to reduce the cost burden of providing the advice for the council tax payers of the district.

Advice for householders and other smaller scale development continues to be available without charge from the on-duty planning officer service. The advice given is an informal officer opinion only and is not formally binding.  The guidance note 'Obtaining Pre-Application Planning Advice' provides details on the pre-application advice service available, how to obtain pre-application advice, and guidance on when a charge will be made for using this service.

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