The pre-application meeting with the Council's planning office has become an important part of the modern planning process but requires careful consideration at the outset to be effective.
Authorities are permitted to charge for pre-application advice and although this is not universal, in some cases the cost can run into thousands of pounds.
We recommend formal pre-application meetings should only take place when a clear draft proposal has been formulated, so as to avoid unnecessary delay or inconsequential discussions. The planning officer will need to have a clear idea of your proposals and vague outlines or uncoordinated thinking will weaken your position. You should have a reasonably certain understanding of the likely planning position and be able to demonstrate that you have identified the key issues and how you propose tackling them.
The Pre-App is a good time to ensure all the relevant Validation Requirements have been considered and to check there are no unexpected local issues that need to be taken into account. The planning application timetable can be established and the application fee confirmed.
Even if we have not been involved in the initial stages we can still assist at this stage in supporting you at the meeting and ensuring the relevant questions and issues are addressed.