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Pre-Application Advice and Charges

Warning Sign TinyCoronavirus update: Temporary arrangements are in place for some of our Planning services.

The scale and type of development where a pre-application advice fee applies is set out below.

You can get free verbal advice on domestic extensions at our drop-in householder planning service held at Parkside on Tuesdays between 10.00am until 1.00pm.  You are advised to bring relevant information with you to this service to enable the Duty Officer to consider your proposals fully.

Please note: The District Council will not deal with any pre-application inquiry submitted to the Development Management function where a parallel submission to the Strategic Planning Team regarding the plan review process has been lodged.

Pre-application advice fees

Here are the fees for advice from our planning experts on your proposed development before you apply for planning permission. The fees are inclusive of VAT. The Council will only issue a VAT invoice if requested.


Householder Development

Householder Development

Fee

Extension to dwelling/works within domestic curtilage

£100


Residential Development

Number of dwellings created

Fee

1 dwelling (includes one-for-one replacements)

£216

2-4 dwellings

£324

5-9 dwellings

£649

10-49 dwellings

£1298

50-99 dwellings

£2379

100-199 dwellings

£3245

200+ dwellings

£4326


Non-Residential Development (Floor Space)

Floor Space (measured externally

Fee

Less than 500 square metres

£300

500 square metres - 999 square metres

£541

1000 square metres - 1999 square metres

£1082

2000 square metres - 4999 square metres

£2163

5000 square metres - 9999 square metres

£2704

10000 square metres or greater

£3245


Non-Residential Development (Site Area) Where No Building Operations Are Proposed

Site Area

Fee

Less than 0.5 hectares

£325

0.6 hectares - 0.99 hectares

£649

1 hectares - 1.25 hectares

£1082

1.26 hectares - 2 hectares

£2163

Greater than 2 hectares

£3245


Engineering Works

Engineering Operations

Fee

All engineering works

£200.00


Planning Conditions

Planning Conditions

Fee

Variation/removal

£200.00


External Advice

External Specialist Advice (Pre-Application Stage and Formal Application Stage)

Fee

Procured advice in connection with planning proposals

Full recovery cost

External Advice Information

The Council will seek to obtain the full cost of obtaining external specialist advice from the applicant in connection with relevant pre-application enquiries and formal planning proposals, including the variation of legal agreements.  Prior notification applications subject to the 28 day determination limitation are specifically excluded from this process.

The cost of submitting a pre- application enquiry is set locally through the Council’s annual review of Fees and Charges. This cost seeks to cover Officer time and assists in making the Planning service more cost neutral to the Council as a whole.

In February 2020, this review introduced the concept of recovering other costs associated with the Planning service.  In a limited number of cases the Council will need to obtain external specialist advice in connection with planning queries. Such advice may be needed, for example where the applicant presents a viability case to justify a development approach; where the agricultural need for a development requires consideration; specific advice as to the ecological potential of a site or the urban design credentials of a scheme. This expertise is not always available in-house and in such instances the Council uses a Framework of appointed independent advisors to critically evaluate such proposals.

As of 1 April 2020, the principle of recovering the cost of securing external advice from the applicant has been agreed through the Council's decision-making processes. The benefit of the development is seen by the applicant and thus the principle of the applicant paying these additional and unusual costs is justified. This approach is also in line with other Councils within Worcestershire.

The Council will be responsible for notifying the applicant/agent that this process applies and will seek the applicant’s agreement in principle to pay these costs. The Council will then, using the Framework, secure the relevant advice and pay the external advisor. Once the applicant has reimbursed the Council, the relevant information will be released and the merits of its contents evaluated.

If payment is not received the Council reserves the right to withhold the contents of the obtained advice.  In relation to formal applications, the scheme may be refused on the grounds that the proposal has not been appropriately adjudicated.  The Council may also need to continue to procure advice in order to inform its position. If the scheme is refused and a subsequent appeal is lodged, it may be appropriate for the Council to seek to recover those costs through an appropriate costs claim.

Costs are subject to VAT at the normal rate. Payment should be made to the Council using the invoice number provided. When making a payment it is advised that you also notify the relevant Case Officer accordingly.

Change of Use Schemes

With respect to changes of use schemes, if the development is a change to create dwellings, the charge will be for the number of dwellings created. If the change is to another use, the charge will be based on the floor area created or the site area involved if there are no building operations proposed. 

Fee Concessions

Some pre-application advice is provided free of charge. For example, where the development is for the direct benefit of a disabled person (and as such there would be no fee incurred to make the planning application) (the list of fee exemptions set out in the national fee schedule defines these as (a) the extension and/or alteration relates to a disabled person's dwelling-house to improve access, safety, comfort etc and (b) the proposal is for the provision of a means of access for disabled persons to public buildings) or where works relate to a Listed Building. 

Some pre-application advice is provided at a reduced or concessionary rate. If the proposal is being submitted by or is for the benefit of a Parish Council or other Local Authority, then the appropriate fee is reduced by 50%. If the scheme relates to a solely affordable housing scheme and the applicant is a Registered Social Landlord or a registered Housing Association, the appropriate fee is reduced by 50%.

Worcestershire County Council Pre-Application Highway Advice

In addition to our charges, Worcestershire County Council Highways have a separate fee charging schedule for pre-application advice. The document setting out the County's pre-application process and associated fees is available here.

Privacy Notice

We collect, hold and process information supplied by you in accordance with the Data Protection Act, to allow us to provide services effectively.  Information relating to Privacy Notices and the Privacy Notice for Development Management relating to pre-application advice is available here.

Get advice

You can telephone and speak to an Officer or email us details of your proposals by using our contact details

For pre-application advice, please complete and return this downloadable request form and pay the relevant pre-application fee.

Pay for your advice

  1. Via BACS electronic transfer. Use sort code 401507 and account number 91131605 and quote Fund 37 as the reference.  It is important that you telephone the planning team on 01527 881770 to confirm the transaction
  2. With a cheque with the first line of the site address on the reverse and a covering letter to this address
  3. For payments up to £1000, over the telephone with us here. If an Officer is not available when you call, please leave a message and we will call you back.

More advice and help

Here is a wealth of first class advice on a range of small scale projects on the Planning Portal for homes and businesses from the national planning advice website.

Working from home

You do not necessarily need planning permission to work from home.

The key test is whether the overall character of the dwelling will change as a result of the business.

If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, it is likely that planning permission will be required:

  • Will your home no longer be used mainly as a private residence?
  • Will your business result in a marked rise in traffic or people calling?
  • Will your business involve any activities unusual in a residential area?
  • Will your business disturb your neighbours at unreasonable hours or create other forms of nuisance such as noise or smells?

Further information on working from home is available here.

Wildlife Assessment Check

The UK Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning has released a free online pre-planning application tool – the Wildlife Assessment Check.  The tool is designed to help householders and smaller developers who are making planning applications, permitted developments or works to Listed Buildings who may be less aware of biodiversity legislation and their responsibility to consider protected and priority species, as well as statutory designated sites that may be impacted by their works.  The tool allows applicants to check whether their proposed site and works are likely to require expert ecological advice before making a planning application. 

You can find out more about the tool here.