It is often a good idea to meet a planning officer for an informal discussion before you submit an application. Some local planning authorities charge for this service so it’s a good idea to check first. It is also a question you have to answer in the application form and can assist the local authority in dealing with your application.
Pre-application advice is encouraged as it can:
- Verify the list of local requirements each planning authority can require, read more about local and national requirements
- Reduce the likelihood of submitting invalid applications
- Help you understand how planning policies and other requirements affect your proposals.
If you are meeting a planning officer you should be fully prepared to describe your proposals and show plans. You can:
- Ask for an assessment of whether there seems a reasonable chance of getting permission
- Discuss site problems such as roads, footpaths, power cables, watercourses, sewers and telephone lines
- Ask about potential problems such as noise and traffic and whether the council might impose conditions to overcome these problems rather than refuse planning permission.
The level of preparation required depends on what you propose to do. In simple cases it should be sufficient to look at the main issues governing the grant of permission and decide which of these are relevant to your application.
It is important that you say why you think your proposed development should be allowed to go ahead. Please bear in mind that planning applications will normally be decided in accordance with the development plan, therefore you will need to justify any proposals which would constitute an exception to the plan.