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Pre-application advice

Our pre-application advice service offers you the chance to meet a Planning Officer for an informal discussion before you submit an application. This can help reduce the likelihood of submitting an invalid application, saving time and money, and enable speedier decisions to be made. To apply, you will need to complete our online form and submit a fee (see below).

Request advice

To apply for pre-application advice, please fill in our online form:

Apply now

What does it cost?

Pre-application planning advice costs
  1. Pre-application service 2. Additional pre-application meeting  3. Post-application service 

Planning performance agreements

Please contact the Planning Department to discuss your requirements.
Category A: Significant Major Developments  £3,000  + £250  £250
Category B: Very Large Major Developments  £2,000  + £250  £200
Category C: Major Developments  £1,000  + £150  £100
Category D: Minor Developments  £300  + £100  £100
Category E: Minor Housing/ Commercial Developments  £150  + £50  £50
Category F: Householder applications  £65  + £50  £25

What's included in each category?

Category A: Significant Major Developments - Where the number of residential units to be built is 75 or more or, where the number of residential units to be built is not given in the application, a site area of two hectares or more. For all other uses, a significant major development is one where the floor space to be built is 7,500 square metres or more, or where the site area is two hectares or more.

Category B: Very Large Major Developments - Proposals of 25 to 74 residential units or more, and other uses at 2,000 to 7,499 square metres, and any proposals on land between one hectare and 1.99 hectares in size.

Category C: Major Developments - Proposals of 10 to 24 residential units, or other uses at 1,000 to 1,999 square metres and any proposals on land between 0.5 and 0.99 hectares in size.

Category D: Minor Developments - Proposals of two to nine residential units, and proposals not coming within any other category.

Category E: Minor Housing / Commercial Developments - Proposals of one residential unit (or replacement), erection of stables / agricultural buildings and any change of use, including proposals to convert buildings to residential. This category should also be used for queries about the lawfulness of a development. For example, “Do I / Did I require planning permission / listed building consent for…?”.

Category F: Householder applications - Developments within the plot of a domestic property including extensions, alterations, and other buildings to be used in connection with the property such as garages, games rooms and summer houses.

What's included in the fees?

Planning advice from a qualified Planning Officer and a written report. For full details of the service provided, please refer to the relevant category of development. Please note that, as stated in the ‘Category of Charges’ there are extra charges for additional follow-up meetings (for example, should you wish to discuss amendments made in light of the Officer’s original pre-application advice), and for post-decision advice following the grant or refusal of a planning application that requires a meeting or a written response.

For more information on pre-application advice time frames, please view out protocol for charging document at the bottom of the page.

What information do I need to provide?

The more information you give us about what you want to do, the more valuable and precise our advice will be. To get the best out of the service, and in particular for developments falling within Categories A, B and C, we suggest you also send us more detailed information where you can, such as:
  • Sketched / scaled plan showing where your proposal would be on the site.
  • Plans of what you want to do, no bigger than A3. These can be provided in sketch form, although plans drawn to metric scale with a scale bar on each page are helpful.
  • Photographs showing the key features of the site.
  • A list of any key issues which you require a specific response.

Planning performance agreements

A planning performance agreement is a project management tool which ourselves and applicants can use to agree timescales, actions and resources for handling particular applications. It should cover the pre-application and application stages but may also extend through to the post-application stage. 

Planning performance agreements can be particularly useful in setting out an efficient and transparent process for determining large and/or complex planning applications. Please contact the Planning Department to discuss your requirements or to raise any questions you have regarding this service.

Advice from other departments / external organisations

There are other external statutory bodies which you may wish to consult with about your proposal, some of which may have their own pre-application charges. Click on the links below for more information.

Hertfordshire County Council Highways

Environment Agency

Lead Local Flood Authority

Herts Environmental Records Centre

Hertfordshire Design Review Panel

Further information

For more detailed information on pre-application advice, please see our  Protocol for charging for planning advice (PDF 192KB).