Our planning pre-application advice service lets us review your development proposal before it’s formally submitted. 

Using this service will help identify any issues that could lead to your application being rejected. The service we offer increases the likelihood of your application being successful. If planning applications are refused, it can cost you time and money if you want to reapply.

The available advice

We will tell you if your application is likely to be accepted and suggest how to change your development proposal if there are any issues. We offer advice specific to the details provided in your development proposal. 

Who we offer advice to

  • Householders - Proposals involving extensions and alterations to existing residential houses and flats. Please note we are unable to offer telephone advice for properties that are in a conservation area, greenbelt, Gidea Park conservation area exhibition estate or listed buildings. You can however use our written advice service.
  • Small Businesses - Proposals for small scale works to existing business premises, or minor alterations, such as shopfronts, adverts and change of business use up to 99m2.
  • New Residential Developments - Proposals for new residential properties (houses, flats, annexes), including new builds and conversion of existing buildings to residential use up to 24 new dwellings.
  • Non-Residential Developments and Large Businesses - Proposals for new developments, extensions and alterations to existing non-residential units and businesses up to 1999m2. 
  • The Development Team Service - Proposals for new residential developments with 25 or more dwellings, non-residential developments and businesses greater than 2000m2, change of use for unit over 2,000m2 and development of tall buildings that exceed the London Mayoral referral threshold.

What is not covered by the planning pre-application advice service?

We cannot tell you if a development proposal requires planning permission. Check if your development proposal requires permission on The Planning Portal website.

If you are still unclear whether you need planning permission or not, you could apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness. A Certificate of Lawfulness will give you a binding decision from us.

We do not discuss complaints about previous planning decisions.

We cannot overturn previous planning decisions.

Site visits

As part of our Planning Pre-application Advice Service, site visits are only carried out in exceptional circumstances.

A Planning Officer will advise if it will be necessary to inspect your site and its surroundings.

Building control

Building control advice can often be invaluable in identifying issues with a development proposal. It can minimise the likelihood of changes required after the planning decision, which can cause delays and extra costs.

We offer a competitive Building Control Service as part of the Planning Pre-application Advice Service.


Apply for planning pre-application advice