Pre-application planning advice
The introduction of a charging regime for pre-application advice provides a clear and time-bound process for both customers and officers, so adding certainty to the procedure and improving the accountability of the advice.
While councils are not obliged to enter into pre-application discussions there are recognisable and tangible benefits from well-managed engagement that ensures applications are complete, comprehensive and presented to a satisfactory standard helping to avoid any unnecessary delays.
The pre-application process helps identify the documentation that will be required to support an application and consideration of any amendments that would need to be carried out for the proposal to receive a more favourable response. It identifies where there is a need for specialist input from a range of technical specialists and helps the applicant to understand the material planning issues that could arise from the development proposal and how an application will be judged against applicable policies and other relevant legislation.
The list of exemptions from the charging regime is set out in Appendix B of the Pre-application Planning Advice Service Guidance Note. These include Town / Parish / District Council enquiries in connection to their statutory functions, discussions in relation to enforcement investigations and advice on how to submit a planning application.
Any advice given by council officers for pre-application enquiries would not indicate any formal decision by the council. Any views or opinions would be given in good faith, and to the best of ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any future planning application. However, the written advice provided by the planning case officer would be considered by the council as a material consideration in the determination of any subsequent planning application, subject to the proviso that circumstances and information may change or come to light that could alter the position. The weight given to the pre-application advice may decrease over time.
The operation of the pre-application advice service will be reviewed on an annual basis. Any comments on the scheme are welcomed and should be sent to:
Planning Development Management, Gloucestershire County Council, Strategic Infrastructure, Shire Hall, Gloucester, GL1 2TH.
Gloucestershire County Council reserve the right to change their pre-application fees, protocols, timescales and level of service delivery with three months' notice.
GCC Pre-app Guidance Note 01.01.2016 View the procedure and charges in the pre-application planning advice guidance document.
Pre-application advice request form Apply for pre-application advice by completing our online pre-planning application advice request form.