Pre-application Planning Advice for Commercial and Business

Pre-application Planning Advice for Commercial and Business

All Pre-applications must be submitted via our online form on this page.  Please do not submit pre-applications via email or post, as they will not be processed.

  • Quick Link:  How do I submit a pre-application?   Please read this before you submit your application.  Remember you will need to register on our pre-application system before you start.


Our pre-application enquiry service covers all other commercial and other business developments including:

  • new housing
  • commercial development
  • changes of use
  • advertisements
  • telecommunications development

We offer advice to let you know if planning permission would be required.

Pre-application advice is a way of finding out whether a specific development would be likely to be acceptable. It will highlight any key issues before the submission of a formal application.


Quick links:

Why apply for pre-application advice? 

Pre-application advice helps applicants through the planning process, to make sure that high quality developments can be delivered.

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.

Please note, the pre-application advice you will receive doesn't guarantee planning permission will be approved.


What are the benefits of getting pre-application advice?

  • A better understanding of timescales, administrative and committee processes; as well as guidance on the validation information required.
  • Getting a clearer understanding of planning policies and other issues that may have an impact on your ability to get planning permission
  • An increased chance of a quicker decision on the application, and reduced risk of lengthy Committee and appeal processes;
  • Ensure the correct details are sent in at the planning application stage, potentially avoiding the need for some conditions;
  • Possible cost saving by not making an application if the Council advises that there are problems which could mean a high risk of it being refused;
  • Improved quality of a subsequent planning application;
  • Advice on who to consult separately - for example the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority in areas subject to flooding;
  • Confirmation if Planning or related permissions such as Listed Building Consent are needed;
  • In the case of major or proposals which may attract public interest, advice on community involvement.


Types of pre-application advice

There are a number of different types of pre-application advice for commercial and business developments. 

The fee for pre application advice depends on the size of the proposed development. See definitions here of minor, medium, major and strategic development enquiries.  


Would you benefit from a one-off meeting to discuss your thoughts and proposal? 

If so, 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


Do you need advice on the principle of the proposal that will highlight key issues? 

If so, we can offer you advice as part of a Stage One application. A Stage One enquiry gives you:

  • An initial assessment and advice on a proposal 
  • A single meeting either on site or in the office with the case officer 
  • A written response on the enquiry from the case officer. 
  • No discussion will be carried out with any Council or external consultees at this stage.
  • Advice on the principle of the proposal that will highlight key issues 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.


Would you benefit from detailed review and consultee feedback? 

If so, we can offer you advice as part of Stage Two enquiry, which gives you all of the benefits of Stage One, plus:

  • Discussions on matters such as design, ecology, landscape, transport, heads of terms of legal agreements and scoping the content of various studies, to support the planning submission,
  • A maximum of 2 meetings to discuss matters in greater detail and resolve issues before you submit the application.  Any further meetings will require costs to be determined later.

For major developments you are advised to select a Stage Two enquiry together with Lead Local Flood Authority advice, to get a single comprehensive response.


Complex Proposals

Would you like to discuss your complex proposal with a Planning Officer, and determine the timescales for submission and determination of an application? 

If so, it may be more appropriate to enter into a Planning Performance Agreement.  For further information you can find out more here. To submit a request for a Planning Performance Agreement, please complete this form and a Planning Manager will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

  • Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure

If you are seeking to install telecommunication equipment or digital infrastructure, you get specific pre-application advice. You may also be interested in reading our Process Note available here.

  • Advertisements

If you would like to install advertisements across the city, we strongly recommend seeking pre-application advice.  You may also be interested in reading our Advice Note available here.

  • Listed Building Consent

If you are seeking to make changes to a building that has listed building consent, we strongly recommend seeking pre-application advice. You may also be interested in reading our Advice Note available here.


How long will it take to get pre-application advice? 

Within 5 working days of receipt of the pre-application enquiry form, fee and supporting information you will receive an acknowledgement confirming receipt of the request and the contact details of the Planner dealing with your enquiry. 

How long the enquiry will take depends on the development proposed and the level of detail required.  

  • For a one-off meeting to get broad advice or guidance, it will take up to 7 days to organise the meeting.  
  • For most minor and medium level developments, it will take 35 days (from when we have all the information we need) for us to complete the review and we will provide you with a written response at the end of the process.
  • For stage 1 medium and major projects it will take 42 days (from when we have all the information we need) for us to complete the review.
  • 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.


What do I need to submit when getting pre-application advice? 

We require: 

  • A payment of the required fee   - please see the fees schedule at the bottom of this page
  • Clear, concise description of the works your propose (for example, the number of dwellings created, floor space created)
  • A Location Plan, which identifies the site clearly, and marks the boundary in red  (ideally at 1:1250 scale).  You can submit this as an attached file on the form.


To help us provide clear advice, we recommend you provide the following.  You will need to email these files us after you have submitted the form:

  • Existing and proposed floor plans, elevations and sections to scale or with building heights marked.
  • Existing and proposed site layout (preferably 1:50 or 1:100 scale)
  • Photographs of the site and immediate surroundings (useful but not compulsory) 
  • Any other relevant information to support your application.

Please ensure that each document is no larger than 8mb in size.


Flood Risk advice

Newcastle City Council is the designated Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and statutory consultee to the Local Planning Authority for flood risk and surface water management on all major planning applications, and any other development that may have an impact on flood risk.

If an application has the potential to impact upon surface water runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses you are strongly advised to seek advice from the Council’s Flood Management Team. 

 The benefits of undertaking this pre-application service include:  

  • Early advice on flood management issues that could affect a site's development options;  
  • Advice on the scope of a flood risk assessment to accompany an application;  
  • Advice regarding SuDS measures appropriate for the development, reducing the likelihood of retrofitting or redesign.
  • Advice on SuDS adoption and other long term management and maintenance issues;  
  • The early involvement of the LLFA will save the developer time and money over the length of the planning process. 

Please note, Newcastle City Council is the designated Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and 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, so there may be comments on this during the application stage.  

You can apply for LLFA advice when requesting pre-application advice.   This can be selected as an option when completing the form.  

Further details on the service offered by the LLFA, with details on how to apply, are available  here.  



Will my application be confidential?

If you believe your proposal should remain confidential you will need set out reasons why and for how long it should remain so. Without this it will be assumed that the information will not need to be treated confidentially. 

You may also want to talk to your neighbours before you apply for pre-application advice.

We will not normally make this information public.  However we may be obliged to reveal details under a Freedom of Information request.  Each request is assessed on its own merits.

Please read our Privacy Notice which sets out how we use information as a Planning Department. 


How much is it and how do I pay? 

See the table below for our charging schedule at the bottom of this page, which details the costs of each type of development.

To process your application quickly, we would recommend that you pay the fee when you are submitting your pre-application. Your pre-application request won't be processed until payment has been made.   

If you are submitting this pre-application on behalf of someone else, and they are paying the fee, they can make the payment here - Select 'Pre-application fees' from the list . 

If paying by phone, please ring our Payment Line on 0191 277 7208.  Please give the reference number you receive when submitting the pre-application online form.

If you are unable to make a card payment, and require a BACS transfer,  this will take longer for your pre-application to be accepted.  

  • For BACS payments, our payment details are: Lloyds Bank, Account Name: Newcastle City Council Account, Sort Code: 30-93-71, Account: 63352060


What is the process for submitting the request? 

The request needs to be submitted on Newcastle's pre-application system.  You must become a registered user to complete this.   (This login is separate to what you have already set up on the planning portal.)  This shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.   You can register your details here

  • Please note you will receive an email to confirm your registration.  Please check your junk/spam folder if you do not see this appear in your inbox.

Once you are a registered user, you are ready to submit the form.  You can include any plans and supporting documents at this stage, and pay the fee.  The whole process shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to complete. 


Click here to start your pre-application.

You need to be registered and logged in before you start the form.

if you need any technical help using the application form system you can contact us here.


Charging Schedule

  • There are exemptions to the charging scheme. See the table below for the full list of fees .
  • You can find the definitions for the different types of Developments here.


Charging Stage 1

All include VAT

Charging Stage 2.

All include VAT

1. Minor Developments:

• 1-4 dwellings,
• Commercial development with no new floorspace (e.g shopfronts)
• Creation or change of use of up to 499 sqm floor space

£207 for each site. 

A further fee of £276 as a follow on from stage 1,         

Or  flat rate of £483

If your proposals include works to a listed building an additional charge of £202 is payable.



2. Medium Developments:

• 5 - 9 dwellings or creation or
• change of use of 500-999sqm floor space

£483 for each site

A further fee of £897 as a follow on from stage 1,        

Or flat rate of £1,380

If your proposals include works to a listed building an additional charge of £259 is payable.



3. Major Developments:

• 10 - 99 dwellings
• creation or change of use of 1,000-9,999sqm floor space
• Applications likely to need EIA

£690 for each site

A further fee of £2070 as a follow on from stage 1,        

Or flat rate of £2,760

If your proposals include works to a listed building an additional charge of £345 is payable.



4. Large Strategic Developments:

• 100 or more dwellings,
• creation or change of use of 10,000 sqm or more floor space
• All minerals developments.
• Outline / hybrid applications over 5ha


From £3,450


From £4,460


6. Works to a listed building without separate planning advice (non household)





 7. Display of adverts





 8. Telecommunications development





 9. Face to face meeting (maximum 2 hours)





Exemptions:  Works to trees / Household Listed Building Advice





Schedule of Pre-application Fees for Flood Management



Stage 1 All include VAT

Stage 2 All include VAT

11. Major Developments

Threshold as per 3 above  




12. Large Strategic Developments

Threshold as per 4 above







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.


Customer Feedback

If you have recently applied for pre-application advice, you may wish to give us comments and feedback about the service. We're keen to consult all planning applicants about whether they are satisfied with the service provided, and so we'd like to hear your views.

Please complete a short questionnaire if you would like to take part in this survey.


Did you know?

Building Regulations consent is completely separate from Planning Permission and you should always check both before starting any work.

Internal and external work to your property might still need consent from Building Regulations even if you do not need Planning Permission, and vice versa.

Our colleagues in Building Control can offer advice 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 contact us.