Pre-application advice for Planning
- What are the advantages for customers?
- How do I get pre-application advice?
- What are the costs?
- What information do I need to send you?
- How long will it take?
- What advice can I expect?
- You can also download this advice as a PDF document here. (535kb)
Pre-planning application advice service
The City Council will provide an efficient, effective and customer focused planning service. It helps Developers through the planning process, to make sure that high quality developments can be delivered.
We provide a positive climate for pre-application discussions, offering a development team approach with impartial and professional advice within an agreed timeframe. The service provides an "in principle" feedback on your proposal, as well as more detailed discussions and negotiations on a scheme before you submit a formal planning application,
The service is not compulsory, and might not be appropriate for all situations. However, the Council actively encourages pre-application discussions for all development and particularly more detailed and complex major development proposals before submission for formal consideration.
- There may be occasions when you don’t want formal pre-application discussions, but just want a bit of broad advice and guidance. In these cases, for a payment of £250, we can offer a one-off face to face meeting where you will be able to talk about your proposals with a planning officer informally. You will not receive a formal view of the Local Planning Authority, just general advice based upon local site knowledge.
- This one-off face to face meeting process will not be appropriate for detailed discussions on major or more complex development proposals, or where it will require specialist input, such as development affecting listed buildings, flood management and transportation issues. Pre-application advice relating to domestic extensions is also best sought through the Householder Pre-application process.
- To request a meeting please complete the Meeting Request Form.
There are many benefits for customers in having these discussions with the city council, including:
- Confirmation if Planning or related permissions such as Listed Building Consent are needed;
- Getting information about the planning history of the site;
- Getting a clearer understanding of planning policies and other issues such as transportation, landscaping, noise or odour nuisances.
- Possible cost saving by not making a application if the Council advises that there are problems which could mean a high risk of it being refused;
- Improved quality of the planning application as a result of officer advice, which may suggest improvements or alterations;
- Information on which other bodies to consult - for example the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority in areas subject to flooding;
- A better understanding of timescales, administrative and committee processes; as well as guidance on the validation information required.
- An increased chance of a quicker decision on the application, and reduced risk of lengthy Committee and appeal processes;
- Detailed talks can mean the correct details are sent in at the planning application stage, and so avoiding the need for some conditions;
- A validation meeting with planning officers and administration staff would be offered, to help in the submission and validation of planning applications;
- In the case of major or clearly contentious proposals, advice on how to involve the community and the possibility of a Planning Performance Agreement, which means Legal Agreements and other issues that can delay decisions are resolved before you submit a formal application.
Newcastle City Council as the designated Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) are a statutory consultee in relation to surface water management on all major planning applications, and any development that may affect flooding, a watercourse or waterbody.
You can now apply for LLFA pre-application advice jointly as part of the planning advice service by ticking question 2 on the pre-planning application form available on our website.
The benefits of this pre-application service include:
- Early advice on flood management issues that could affect a site's options;
- Advice on the scope of a flood risk assessment that you need to provide with an application;
- Advice about surface water management measures appropriate for the development, so you're clearer about the costs involved.
- Advice on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) adoption and other long term management and maintenance;
- The early involvement of the Lead Local Flood Authority will save the Developer time and money during the planning process.
- If the application might have an impact on surface water runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses, you are strongly advised to get advice from the Council’s Flood Management Team.
There is a charge involved, in order to recover the costs of providing the service.
It is a two stage charging structure. Stage one provides an initial assessment and advice on a proposal, including a single meeting either on site or in the office with the case officer, and a written response on the enquiry. Limited internal consultation will be carried out but we will not normally involve external consultees at this stage. The response will provide advice on the principle of the proposal and will identify key issues that have to be addressed, as far as these can be identified at this early stage. No detailed advice will be given on the detail of the scheme at this stage.
Following on from stage one, developers will have the option of moving to stage two. This will allow for more detailed discussions and may involve external consultees, where necessary. It will also cover such matters as Heads of Terms of legal agreements and scoping the content of various studies such as Transport Assessments necessary to support a planning application. Stage two may involve a series of meetings to discuss and resolve issues prior to the submission of the application. Developers may choose not to opt for stage one but to have a single comprehensive response. In this case the flat rate fee applies. Advice from the city council acting as lead local flood authority can be obtained under a separate pre-application process (see end of this section).
The fee will be need to be paid before a request for pre application advice can be looked at.
- There are exemptions to the charging scheme. See the table below for the full list of fees .
Calculating the fee payable
Example 1: A minor stage 2 pre‐planning enquiry including works to a listed building would cost £595 (£420 + £175)
Example 2: A Major stage 1 pre‐planning enquiry where listed buildings and LLFA advice is required would cost £1,500 (£600 + £300 +£600)
The council needs certain information with your pre-application to ensure that proper evaluation and feedback can be given. The pre-application enquiry form provides a checklist of the information that you should send.
The level of information that should be given depends on the scale of the development that you are proposing. Plans and information about the existing site, as well as specific details of your proposal are required so as to enable a desktop analysis to be carried out by officers. The more comprehensive the information supplied, the more detailed our response will be.
- Please read our Privacy Notice which sets out how we use information as a Planning Department.
Within 5 working days of receipt of the pre-application enquiry form, fee and supporting information, you will receive an acknowledgement which confirms the receipt of the request and the contact details of the case officer who will be dealing with it.
On most minor developments we will aim to send you a letter with our pre-application advice within 28 working days of receipt of all information.
We will aim to respond to stage 1 medium and major projects within 35 working days of receipt of all information.
On all stage 2 projects and for strategic and complex developments, a timetable for processing the pre-application enquiry will be agreed in writing. This will allow us to tailor the service to your requirements. The applicant can also enter into a Planning Performance Agreement to set out timescales for the submission and determination of an application.
You will receive a written response to your proposal which will provide clear guidance on the principle of development. The level of detail in the reply will depend on whether you have requested a stage 1 or a stage 2 response. The response may include the following information:
- Local, regional, and national policies that are relevant; whether the scheme complies in principle or not; how policies would be applied;
- Land Designations: which are relevant to the site, for example Conservation Area, Listed Buildings, Green Belt,
- Residential development: acceptability of mix of units; standard of accommodation; affordable housing;
- Design: comments on form, scale, massing, views, street scene, patterns, historic context;
- Crime prevention: comments relating to 'Secure by Design' principles;
- Amenity: which properties may be affected and what further assessment may be needed in terms of daylight/sunlight studies, noise studies, tree surveys;
- Transport and highways: advice and comments on servicing, access, parking standards, cycle parking, disabled parking, requirements for transport impact assessment;
- Environmental Health: Requirements for Waste and Recycling Collection and Storage facilities;
- Public consultations: whether engaging in community consultation is appropriate and who to consult;
- Financial contributions: possible heads of terms or planning obligations that may be necessary;
- Documentation or information required: what you will need to submit with your formal planning application; for example possible timescales for processing, Committee dates.
- Validation meeting: a meeting with the planning case officer and administration team will be offered to check that the application meets the validation checklist.
The Council will make every effort to ensure that the advice given in the pre-application process is as accurate as possible. However, any advice given by council officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal response or decision of the Council with regards to any future planning applications and, whilst it may be a material consideration, cannot be held to bind the council in its validation or formal determination of a subsequent application.
If an application is subsequently submitted which fails to take on board advice given by officers, then the council may refuse it without further discussion with the applicant or their agent.
Building Regulations pre-application advice
Our colleagues in Building Control can offer advice on Building Regulation as part of the pre-application planning process.
The early involvement of Building Control as part of the pre-application planning process can be particularly beneficial on complex or large scale projects or where there may be difficult design considerations to be overcome to make sure you comply with both planning and building regulation requirements.
We aim to reduce the need for late design changes, and to speed up the process when you submit formal Building Regulations applications. This should save clients time and unnecessary expense.
The Building Regulations pre-application advice service is currently provided free of charge.
Building Control contact details
Phone: 0191 278 7878 and ask for Building Control
Newcastle Building Control Services
Newcastle upon Tyne
Planning contact details
Phone: 0191 2787878 and ask for Planning.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Did you know?
Our colleagues in Building Control can offer advice on Building Regulation matters as part of the pre-application planning process. This can be beneficial on complex or large scale projects or where there may be difficult design considerations to be overcome to make sure you comply with both planning and building regulation requirements.
Need more information?
If you cannot find the information you need on our website, please email email@example.com
or phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for 'Planning'.