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Craven District Council

Obtaining pre-application advice

Pre-application advice is part of the positive and proactive planning service provided by Craven District Council.

Although pre application advice is a non-statutory service, the Council welcomes and encourage early discussions with those considering development. Providing pre-application advice is time consuming and costly and can only be provided within the resources that the Council has available. Under the Local Government Act 2003 the planning authority has decided to use its discretionary power to charge for giving pre-application advice in order to recover at least some of the costs incurred.

The income raised can be channeled to target and improve the service that is provided and also ensure that some of the cost of providing advice does not fall as a cost burden to the council tax payers of the district.

Pre-Application Planning Advice Fee Charges 

A fee will be charged for pre application advice on the merits of development proposals as set out in the schedule below. The fee must be paid before any work on answering the request is undertaken. Any exemptions or reductions will be at the discretion of the Strategic Manager for Planning and Regeneration.

Threshold Charge

Category 1

Minor residential developments of 1–4 dwellings.

Other development (including changes of use) where the floor space is no greater than 500m² or where the site area is no greater than 0.5 hectares.

Listed building enquiries - written only advice. 

£289.41 + VAT for written advice only.

£144.98 + VAT for follow up requests.

Category 2

Residential developments between 5-50 dwellings.

Other development (including changes of use) where the floor space is between 500m² and 5000m² or where the site area is between 0.5 ha and 1ha.

£578.81 + VAT for initial meeting and written advice.

£289.41 + VAT for all subsequent meetings and written advice.

Category 3

Residential developments of 51 dwellings or more.

Other development (including changes of use) where the floor area is greater than 5000 m² or where the site area is greater than 1ha.

£1,157.63 + VAT for initial meeting and written advice

£578.81 + VAT for all subsequent meetings and written advice

In addition the developer must agree to cover the costs of any independent technical advice not available in-house.

Preparation of Planning Performance Agreements

For a limited number of large scale major developments, the Council will consider entering into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) to take a project management approach to large or complex developments.

 £1,157.63 + VAT for initial meeting and written advice

£578.81 + VAT for all subsequent meetings and written advice.

In addition the developer must agree to cover the costs of any independent technical advice not available in-house.

Please Note: The charges exclude specialist advice such as legal services, conservation officer, agricultural appraisals, highways, arboricultural matters, contaminated land, and archaeology etc.

Tree Applications.

Pre-application meeting with tree officer.

£57.88 + VAT - 30 min on site meeting inclusive of mileage.

Procedure for Handling a Request

The information expected to accompany a request is:

  • A completed request form.
  • A site location plan.
  • A description of the proposal, including details of the proposed uses, floor areas/ number of units and site area in hectares.
  • An indicative layout plan showing how the proposal would be located on the site and how access would be obtained.
  • The relevant fee.
  • Any other information that you consider it relevant to provide

In response to a valid request for pre application advice we will:

  • Allocate the request to an appropriately experienced officer and inform you of the name of the officer dealing with your enquiry.
  • Inform you of any additional information required before a meeting is offered (where applicable).
  • Advise you of the date of the meeting (where applicable).

We will normally seek to set up a meeting (where applicable) within 21 working days. However, we have a limited number of planning officers, and the time taken to respond will depend upon the availability of officers and the complexity of the case.

At the meeting, we will aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of the proposal. This may involve officers from other disciplines being present at meetings or providing input in any written advice.

We will use our best endeavors to ensure that comprehensive advice is provided, but we rely on outside agencies for professional guidance on matters not available in house. Input from such parties is not guaranteed as part of the service.

Following the meeting we will provide you with written advice. We will aim to do this within 14 days of the meeting. Where this is not possible, for example due to the issues being more complex, a specific time scale will be agreed at the meeting.

For cases where a meeting is not part of the pre-application advice service, we will aim to provide you with written advice within 21 days of the receipt of a valid request.

The precise nature of the advice will vary depending upon the nature of the proposal, but will typically include: 

  • Identification of key planning policies and constraints which may affect the proposed development.
  • A broad assessment of whether the principle of the proposed scheme and its detailed layout/design is acceptable or not
  • An indication of factors which require further investigation or could lead to the scheme being refused planning permission.
  • An indication of matters which may need to be addressed by a Section 106 legal agreement and/or planning conditions
  • Any recommendations relating to pre-application community involvement

The final written advice will be considered by an experienced Officer who has the delegated authority to determine planning applications, but please be aware the advice will be an informal officer opinion only that is not formally binding on the Council. The final decision on applications may be made by Council Members and will only be taken after consultations with neighbours, statutory consultees, and other interested parties. You should therefore be aware that pre-application advice cannot give any guarantees about the decision that will be made on any subsequent application(s).

If you have a request for pre-application advice that is subject to a charge you should send the fee and a completed request form to Planning Services. A copy of the request form together with details of where to send it are included at the end of this document.

Please note that the Strategic Manager for Planning and Regeneration may decline a request for pre application advice where it is not considered either appropriate or necessary.