It is often a good idea to get advice from a planning officer before you submit an application. Depending on the nature of your proposal and the particular Local Planning Authority (LPA), the advice could be provided at a meeting or may just be in writing.
Pre-application advice can really help in preparing your proposal for formal submission and may highlight issues with it at an early stage (including what you need to submit with your application) saving you time and money in the long run.
Most LPAs charge for this service so it’s a good idea to check first. Information about the costs of advice can be found on the relevant LPA's website.
Such pre-application advice can provide an opportunity for you to understand:
- the national and local planning policies that apply to your proposal
- whether there will be a need for specialist input (for example, you may impact on listed buildings, trees, ecology or archaeology)
- what documents the LPA may need to make the application valid
- whether any sitespecific matters need to be addressed (such as design, noise and traffic) as part of the application or if they could be dealt with by conditions imposed on any planning permission granted
- whether there seems a reasonable chance of getting permission
It is helpful if you can provide some photographs of the site and neighbouring properties. The level of preparation required will depend on the complexity of your proposal but the more detailed the information provided the more specific the planning officer's advice can be.