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Planning advice for businesses and commercial developments

Check if you need planning permission

Use the Planning Portal to see if planning permission is needed for the work you want to do.

You may also need Building Regulations approval for proposed alterations and development.

Go to the planning portal

Our pre-application enquiry service covers all other commercial and other business developments including:

  • new housing
  • commercial development
  • changes of use
  • advertisements
  • telecommunications development

We offer advice to let you know if planning permission would be required. 

Pre-application advice is a way of finding out whether a specific development would be likely to be acceptable. It will highlight any key issues before the submission of a formal application.

Our pre-application advice service has many benefits. Some of these include:

  • saving time and money
  • reducing the number of unsuccessful planning applications
  • making sure you provide enough information to support your final application

Planning permission advice for minor, major or strategic developments

Find out if you need planning permission and get advice before applying for minor, major or strategic developments.

Definitions of minor, major and strategic enquiries.

Submit an enquiry

Types of enquiry and charges

We do not have to provide pre-application advice. For this service to continue, we charge a proportionate fee. The fee depends on the type of enquiry and the scale of development proposed.

Types of development - definitions of minor, major and strategic enquiries.

Type of developmentResponse time - working daysFee including VAT
Non-Householders (Do I require permission?)15£55
Minor Development Enquiry25£250
Major Development25£1250
Strategic Development25£2500

A second pre-application enquiry with a revised scheme that is submitted within three months of the initial enquiry would only be charged at half the original pre-application fee.

Please note, the option to progress discussions through a bespoke pre-app will only be available once a standard pre-application enquiry has been submitted, considered in full and a response provided. 

 Further pre-app discussions through the bespoke add on, will be subject to an additional fee.

 MinorMajorStrategicBespoke pre-app with option a PPA
*Majors and strategic only
Fee£250£1250£2500Additional fee as agreed
Presentation of scheme to officersNoYesYes 
Site visitOfficer discretionOfficer discretionOfficer discretion 
Views of internal consulteesYesYesYesFurther views as agreed
Written comments from planning officer on acceptability of proposal  Yes - one planning officer response per submissionYes - one planning officer response per submissionYes - one planning officer response per submissionAdditional Planning Officer responses as agreed
Comments on scoping notesSeparate fee  Initial comments provided if scoping notes are submittedInitial comments provided if scoping notes are submittedFurther comments as agreed
Meetings with officers and consulteesOfficers discretion(Guaranteed  one meeting. Further meetings at officers discretion)(Guaranteed  one meeting. Further meetings at officers discretion)As agreed
Advice on validationYesYesYes 

Site feasibility review (major and strategic sites only) 

If you would like a review of a site layout at the feasibility stage visit Site feasibility review for more details.


There will be no charge if you are:

  • disabled and seeking advice to adapt your property to meet your needs due to your disability
  • registered charitable organisations 
  • internal council projects funded by the council

Externally funded projects will be charged.

How to pay

The quickest and easiest way to pay is online.

However if you wish to make payment by BACS transfer you can email for the bank details.

Points to note

We can identify issues and provide comments on your proposals. We cannot help draw up the plans or recommend companies to you.

The information given is the informal advice of the officer only and not binding to any formal decision taken on any formal planning application you may submit. The informal advice is not binding on any decision taken by Members of the Planning and Development Committee  should your formal application have to be reported to that Committee.

It may invalidate your application if the relevant and necessary information is not provided with a formal application.
Planning applications usually need consultation with consultees and notification to neighbouring owners and occupiers.

Our pre-application advice relates only to issues relating to planning. Your development may need consent under other legislation such as:

Your land may also have separate legal covenants on it. These will need to be dealt with as a civil matter by you with any interested party.