Pre-application advice

We offer an advice service to anyone who is thinking about submitting a planning application.

The pre-application advice service is solely for proposals that require planning permission. 


It does not deal with the question of whether planning permission is required – for this see find out if you need planning permission

Pre-application advice can help speed up the planning process as any potential problems can be highlighted before you submit an application. These are confidential and will not appear online.

There may be a fee for this service.


Fees - including 20% VAT

From 1 June 2024 the Pre-Application Advice fees have been increased.




Fee from 1 June 2024

Per Consultee




Listed Building



Minor Residential (1 -9)



Small Residential (10 – 99)



Major Residential (100 – 199)



Large Major Residential (+200)



Food Retail under 500sqm



Food Retail over 500sqm



Alterations to Commercial Building



Commercial up to 999 sqm



Commercial 1,000 – 4,999 sqm



Additional information on fees is as follows:

  • a fee is payable for each proposal, so if you require advice on more than one scenario a fee is payable for each one
  • where a change of use is involved, it will be charged based on either the number of residential units created or the amount of floor space involved if it is commercial and/or retail
  • in cases where your proposal falls within more than one category, the higher fee will apply
  • if your proposal does not fall within any of the categories, you will need to contact us for a bespoke fee
  • if you require internal consultees such as engineers, environmental health, parks or the conservation officer to be consulted you must request this and an additional fee will be charged per consultee as indicated in the table per consultee
  • a meeting can be arranged following a written response, if you request that other staff attend the meeting, this may be possible but it will be subject to an additional fee of £60 per additional person


There are no charges for:

  • charitable organisations
  • local parish and town councils
  • the carrying out of works solely to provide access for disabled persons into/within a building to which members of the public are admitted

Apply for pre-application advice

  1. Complete the form below. You should include drawings of the proposal and provide as much information as possible. The more detail provided, the more specific the advice will be.  Once the form is submitted you’ll be given your application reference which will begin with OWPRE. 

    Apply for pre-application advice

  2. Pay the correct fee using the button below.

    Pay for pre-application advice

What happens next

On receipt of both your enquiry and the correct fee we aim to provide a written response within 40 working days. This is not guaranteed so please apply for pre-application advice as far in advance as possible.

For further information see our detailed guidance notes.


For help with making a pre-application enquiry please contact the Technical Support Unit on 01903 737711.


Please note that the advice given cannot provide any guarantees that any subsequently submitted application, or any application amended in line with advice, will be granted.



If we receive a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) to disclose information relating to pre-application enquiries we are obliged to do so unless the information is deemed exempt under the Act.

We can only withhold information under FOI or EIR if the information falls under one of the exemptions (FOI) or exceptions (EIR) set out in legislation.

If you consider that your advice request is confidential you should first seek legal advice. You must inform us of any legal advice you have received at the time of submitting the pre-application advice application where confidentiality is an issue. However, whilst we’ll take account of this information, the final decision on whether the information should be withheld rests with us.