Planning pre-application advice

Pre-application discussions are useful in identifying planning issues early on in the development process.

Often this leads to reduced costs later on by avoiding unacceptable planning submissions.

If a planning application is submitted without the benefit of pre-application advice, we will not normally negotiate amendments before reaching a decision.

What planning pre-application advice can you get?

We offer different types of advice depending upon the nature of your planning proposal.

If you are a householder looking to extend your home or a small business looking to carry out small scale works to your premises (up to 99 square metres in floor area) and would like to talk to somebody about your plans you can meet our Duty Planner Officer by appointment in the Public Advice and Service Centre. This appointment lasts for 20 minutes and costs £55. The Duty Planner will talk your proposals through with you and give you verbal advice as to their acceptability, which will be followed up by a short written note of what was discussed, a copy of which will be provided to you.

To get the most out of this time, you are strongly encouraged to bring some plans/drawings of your proposal and photographs of your property along to the appointment. To make an appointment, please telephone 01708 433100. Payment will be taken over the telephone.

The fee is non-refundable. In the event that you cannot attend the appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice to arrange another date and time. If we receive less than 24 hours notice, then a further fee will be applicable.

Further information about householder proposals is available online via our Residential Extensions and Alterations Supplementary Planning Document.

Request planning pre-application advice

Our Schedule of fees shows the fee for each type of advice we provide.

Tel: 01708 433100.

If you are a householder looking to extend your home or a small business looking to carry out small scale works to your existing premises (up to 99 square metres in floor area) and would prefer to have a written response from us instead of a meeting we will provide a letter which gives an opinion as to the acceptability of your proposals and suggestions for amendment for a fee of £85.50. The scope of advice we are able to offer depends upon the information you supply to us. Therefore, please provide as much detail as possible about your proposals, including plans/drawings and photographs. This information should be sent to Development and Building Control at the address shown below.

Your request for advice will be acknowledged on receipt.

Information on whether permission is needed is available via the Planning Portal. If you are still unclear, you are invited to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness. This will give you a binding decision from the Council as to whether permission is needed or not. The current fee for this application is £86. The application can be made online via the Planning Portal.

Request planning pre-application advice

Download and complete the pre-application form 

Our Schedule of fees shows the fee for each type of advice we provide.

Please email your completed pre-application form to planning@havering.gov.uk or send it to:

Development and Building Control,
London Borough of Havering,
c/o Town Hall,
Main Road,
Romford RM1 3BD,
Tel: 01708 433100.

If you are intending to build between one and three new dwellings, including a detached annexe, we are able to provide you with written advice on your proposal. Please see the pre and post planning advice charges.

Please provide as much detail as possible about your proposals, including drawings. This information should be sent to Development and Building Control at the address shown.

Your request for advice will be acknowledged on receipt.

We are currently unable to meet our published timescales for pre-application advice where a face to face meeting and/or a written response will be sent. This does not affect face to face meetings with our duty planner. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. If you still wish to obtain our advice on your project, please email planning@havering.gov.uk with the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • The site address
  • A description of the proposals so that we can understand the nature of the development
Upon receipt, the Planning Officer allocated to deal with your enquiry will contact you and agree upfront a timeframe for response. If you are happy with this timescale, you will be asked to pay the fee and submit full details of the proposals, including drawings, within 5 working days. The agreed timeframe for response will begin once the fee has been paid and the drawings received. Where the fee is paid and the drawings submitted after 5 working days, we reserve the right to review our time frame for response.

Request planning pre-application advice

Download and complete the pre-application form 

Our Schedule of fees shows the fee for each type of advice we provide.

Please email your completed pre-application form to planning@havering.gov.uk or send it to:

Development and Building Control,
London Borough of Havering,
c/o Town Hall,
Main Road,
Romford RM1 3BD,
Tel: 01708 433100.

If you are intending to build four to twenty-four dwellings or 500 to 1999 square metres of new floor space, then we can offer a meeting service.

Following a site visit, we will arrange a face-to-face meeting with you and follow this up with a written record of the points discussed. Please see the pre and post planning advice charges.

Please provide as much detail as possible about your proposals, including drawings. This information should be sent to Development and Building Control at the address shown.

Your request for advice will be acknowledged on receipt.

We are currently unable to meet our published timescales for pre-application advice where a face to face meeting and/or a written response will be sent. This does not affect face to face meetings with our duty planner. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. If you still wish to obtain our advice on your project, please email planning@havering.gov.uk with the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • The site address
  • A description of the proposals so that we can understand the nature of the development

Upon receipt, the Planning Officer allocated to deal with your enquiry will contact you and agree upfront a timeframe for response. If you are happy with this timescale, you will be asked to pay the fee and submit full details of the proposals, including drawings, within 5 working days. The agreed timeframe for response will begin once the fee has been paid and the drawings received. Where the fee is paid and the drawings submitted after 5 working days, we reserve the right to review our time frame for response.

Request planning pre-application advice

Download and complete the pre-application form 

Our Schedule of fees shows the fee for each type of advice we provide.

Please email your completed pre-application form to planning@havering.gov.uk or send it to:

Development and Building Control,
London Borough of Havering,
c/o Town Hall,
Main Road,
Romford RM1 3BD,
Tel: 01708 433100.

The Development Team Service (DTS) service is a bespoke service for large schemes that are likely to raise complex issues that will need to be worked through in a logical manner.

The opportunity to obtain good quality advice that will carry weight in the decision-making process is a particularly worthwhile investment.

This is a comprehensive and personalised service including engaging with consultees at the pre-application stage and providing detailed written advice.

This service is designed to be a transparent approach to decision making, involving, elected representatives, developers and the local community early.

This is to help developers appreciate the wider community benefits that their developments can achieve, whilst positively promoting sustainable growth and increasing the certainty around planning decisions.

The schemes that are likely to be suited to such a service are those that generally have an impact beyond their immediately adjoining sites (in view of their scale and/or strategic significance). They will tend to include the following development types:

  • Provision of 25 or more dwellings
  • Provision of over 2,000 metres2 of commercial space
  • Change of use of over 2,000 metres2 of floorspace
  • Development of tall buildings that exceed the London Mayoral referral threshold

Notwithstanding the above, it can sometimes be appropriate or necessary to elevate other types of development to a DTS process if complex and/or controversial planning issues, involving a variety of disciplines, are required to be discussed and resolved.

What is the service?

Once we have validated your request, your case will be allocated to a senior planning officer. We will make initial contact with you to arrange the Initiation Meeting within 5 working days of validation. We will aim to arrange that meeting within 10 working days of making contact, although it is recognised that the scheduling will need to align with the applicant’s team and officers’ diaries.

The planning officer will assemble the project team to engage in the DTS process. We will manage the proposal as a project, with the planning officer coordinating the process and ensuring that all relevant issues are addressed at the appropriate times.

The service consists of an initiation meeting, followed by a series of further meetings aligned to an agreed project plan. It also includes opportunities to present your emerging scheme to Havering’s Strategic Planning Committee (additional cost for smaller developments). Get advice on preparing for the meeting.

Unlike other pre-application advice services, where the more information you can give us the more assistance we can give you, for this service we strongly encourage you to contact us to discuss your scheme before carrying out significant design or feasibility work. Therefore, you should contact us at the initial appraisal stage (RIBA Work Stage 0 Strategic Definition) so that you gain the most out of this service and the scheme’s evolution is informed by the input of the local planning authority.

Full details about how the DTS service operates are set out in our DTS advice note.

What does it cost?

 

What you get for the fee

Not included in the fee

Fee

In all cases

Initiation meeting

Planning Statement

Project Plan

Planning Performance Agreement

Detailed planning response to proposal

£5000 plus VAT

Type of development

25-49 dwellings

 

Up to 3000 square metres non-residential

2 x pre-submission meetings

Written response to proposal

1 x post-submission meeting

Review of submission documentation

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

£20,000 plus VAT

50-100 dwellings

 

Up to 3001 - 5000 square metres non-residential

 

Mineral extraction up to 10 hectares

2 x pre-submission meetings

Written response to proposal

1 x post-submission meeting

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee x 2

Review of submission documentation

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

£30,000 plus VAT

101-150 dwellings

 

5001-10000 square metres non-residential

 

Mineral extraction 10.1- 20 hectares

4 x pre-submission meetings

Written response to proposal

1 x post-submission meeting

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee x 2

Review of submission documentation

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

£40,000 plus VAT

151-300 dwellings

 

Up to 20,000 square metres non-residential

 

Mineral extraction 20.1 – 30 hectares

6 x pre-submission PPA meetings

Written responses to proposal

2 x post-submission PPA meetings

 

Attendance at meetings with GLA

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee x 2

Review of submission documentation

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

£50,000 plus VAT

301-600 dwellings

 

Mineral extraction more than 30 hectares

8 x pre-submission PPA meetings

Written response to proposal

3 x post-submission PPA meetings

 

Attendance at meetings with GLA

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee x 2

Review of submission documentation

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

£70,000 plus VAT

601-900 dwellings

10 x pre-submission PPA meetings

Written response to proposal

3 x post-submission PPA meetings

 

Attendance at meetings with GLA

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee x 2

Review of submission documentation

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

£90,000 plus VAT

901+ dwellings

TBA x pre-submission PPA meetings

Written responses to proposal

TBA x post-submission PPA meetings

 

Attendance at meetings with GLA

Presentation to Strategic Planning Committee x 2

Review of submission documentation

Quality Review Panel

Design Workshops

Additional PPA Meetings

External consultants

(charged separately)

 

From £100,000 plus VAT

As with other pre-application services, the DTS requires up-front fee payment arrangements.

With the DTS service, the Council will require prior payment of a fee covering the initiation meeting.

Following this meeting and the preparation of a planning statement and project plan, the full cost of the service will be confirmed and set out in a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA).

The Council will then require payment of 50 per cent of these fees before any further meetings take place. No further meetings following the mid-point of the pre-application process (as determined by the project plan) will take place until the balance of the fees specified in the PPA have been paid.

How do I apply?

If this is the service you need, you should request it by completing the form (coming soon)

We will check that your proposals are suitable for this level of service, and inform you if they are not.

We aim to provide a service that caters for all stages of a scheme, but proposals that are well developed, without input from us, may be ill-conceived and difficult for us to advise on. If you present us with a scheme that is developed to an advanced stage, we may recommend that the scheme is not suitable for DTS.

We may be able to offer some form of paid-for feedback service, but the scope for negotiation or dealing with any major issues identified would be limited.

We cannot progress the pre-application service request until the fee has been paid.

Request planning pre-application advice

Our Schedule of fees shows the fee for each type of advice we provide.

Tel: 01708 433100.

Pre-application fees explained

Fees received in connection with planning applications do not cover the cost of professional advice provided to applicants and/or their agents.

Recognising this, in 2005, the Council decided that the cost of providing such advice should be covered by the applicant, rather than the Council taxpayer.

Since then, using powers from the Local Government Act 2003, the Planning Service has charged for giving professional advice on certain development proposals.

Following a review, we have introduced a scale of new charges which are more reflective of the amount and nature of work which goes into providing the advice.

You can pay by cheque or debit card. Cheques should be made payable to ‘London Borough of Havering’.

Card payments can be accepted in person within our reception area located in the Public Advice and Service Centre in the Liberty Shopping Centre,  Romford (9am to 11am Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, excluding the last Wednesday of the month) or by calling 01708 433100.

Follow up fees 

We appreciate that development proposals can change during the feasibility and planning stages.

To enable on-going discussion with the Case Officer following receipt of our written comments, we charge a proportionate follow up fee for requests for further comments and discussion, where appropriate.

Follow up fees are also applicable to further post-application work, for example requests to vary legal agreements. These will be charged in line with the costs set out in the table below for follow up work.

Site visits

Site visits are an important part of pre-application discussions. Where a site visit is offered, it would be helpful in submitting your pre-application request if you could confirm whether the site is viewable from public vantage points or whether specific arrangements for access need to made in advance.

The purpose of the Case Officer's visit is to inspect the site and its surroundings rather than to discuss the proposal in detail. The opportunity for detailed discussion comes as part of a follow up meeting, where a meeting is offered.

Building control 

We offer a competitive Building Control Service and as part of this can offer pre-application advice as part of the Planning pre-app service. Building control advice can often be invaluable in identifying issues at an early stage, minimising the likelihood of changes to the project being required post planning decision, which can cause delays and extra cost.

If you would like building control advice, we ask that you commit to using the Council's building control service. The first hour is free of charge, with extra time charged at £70 per hour - however this will be deducted from the building control application fee, when your building control application is submitted.

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