Pre-application Advice

What is pre-application advice, how much is it, where does it apply ?


The Pre-application Guidance Note explains how beneficial this service is to you and to us!

We've introduced a pre-application service which ensures that your application will be dealt with by a dedicated planning officer, who will be able to guide you through the pre-application process and provide support when you need it.

A charge is applicable for pre-application advice for certain types of development, these are detailed below: (exemptions do apply).  The Council recognises the importance of support to businesses wishing to relocate or expand in the District. Where a planning proposal creates employment opportunities then no fee will be required. This arrangement, originally put in place in 2012 for one year, has been extended to at least the end of March 2017.

In addition to our charges, Worcestershire County Council - Highways also have a separate Fee charge criteria for pre-application advice . Their contact is Karen Hanchett on 01905 765765 or 763673 or Email: khanchett@worcestershire.gov.uk

 

How to access this service

You can access this service by filling out and returning a Pre-application Advice Form - Please complete this form as this will help the planning officer make a comprehensive response to your enquiry.

 

The fee criteria is below:

Proposed Development Type

Fee  

(inc VAT)    

Fee for additional meetings (each)

(inc VAT)

Residential Development*

Development Site Area

Proposed Gross Floor Area**

 

 

1 - 4 dwellings

Less than 0.5ha

Less than 500 m2

£310

£125

5 - 9 dwellings

0.6 - 0.99ha

499 – 999m2

£620

£125

10 - 49 dwellings

1.0 - 1.25ha

1000 - 2499m2

£1230

£620

50 - 199 dwellings

1.26 – 2.0ha

2,500 - 9,999m2

£2460

£930

200+ dwellings

2ha or more

10,000m2+

£3690

£1235

 

Proposed Development Type

Fee

(inc VAT)       

Fee for additional meetings (each)

(inc VAT)

Advertisements

£65

£35

Change of Use

£185

£95

Telecommunications

£185

£95

Glasshouses/Poly Tunnels

£245

£125

Other***

£125

£65

Householder Development £45 N/A
 

* includes one-for-one replacements and conversions/subdivisions.
** measured externally.
*** includes all other development proposals not falling within any of the above categories such as variation or removal of conditions, car parks & roads and certificates for lawfulness.

The initial costs noted in the table above include up to three meetings. The charge for additional meetings will occur after the initial three meetings.  Please note:  It is up to the discretion of the Planning Officer as to whether a meeting is considered to be necessary, the Planning Officer may be able provide comprehensive advice from the information given without the need for a meeting.
 

Exemptions

There is no fee for the following:

  • Where the enquiry is made by a Local Authority or County Council.
  • Where the enquiry is made by a Parish or Town Council.
  • Where the enquiry is made by a Housing Association, Registered Social Landlord, or an equivalent Affordable Housing Provider or an architect/agent acting directly on their behalf including.
  • 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).
  • Conservation advice e.g. works to listed buildings and Conservation Area consents.
  • Works to trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order or trees located within a Conservation Area.
  • Advice on how to submit a planning application or a fee enquiry.
  • Planning discussions in relation to enforcement investigations.

When completed please either return to planning@wychavon.gov.uk or Planning Services, Wychavon District Council, Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, Worcs WR10 1PT.

Is it always necessary?

We always welcome and indeed encourage pre-application discussion because it can:

  1. Help to get things right first time
  2. Identify some potential problems at an early stage
  3. Identify those schemes which have little or no realistic chance of success
  4. Save time and money
  5. Speed up the decision making process
  6. Provide a better quality development

What happens then?

When we have all of the relevant information your enquiry will be passed onto a case officer. They will check the planning history of the site, consult with appropriate colleagues (for instance Conservation, Highway, Drainage Officers), assess the proposals against the adopted policies of the Wychavon District Local Plan, the Worcestershire County Structure Plan, the West Midland Regional Spatial Strategy and any relevant Government Guidance. If necessary they may also visit the site.

The case officer will also inform the Local Ward Member of the approach for pre-application advice on the more significant proposals.

In some instances officers will wish to meet with potential applicants to discuss proposed schemes. You should note that this will not be considered necessary in all cases and particularly when proposals are for minor or straightforward development proposals or where the level of information being provided is very limited.

On completion of the above we will write advising you if planning permission for your scheme is likely to be granted and in some cases we may suggest improvements. However, this officer advice is not binding upon the Council.

How quickly will I receive a reply?

We recognise that a quick answer may be important to you, but it is essential that our advice is as accurate and complete as possible. We will try to provide a full written response within 15 working days for smaller schemes, 20 working days for larger schemes.  For more details please see the guidance note under "what service we will provide".

Is the advice binding upon the Council?

Whilst we always try to give advice you should be aware that planning applications are subject to extensive public consultation and publicity which can not be carried out before the formal application is submitted. Therefore the pre-application advice given is informal and cannot commit the Council to a particular decision on any subsequent planning application.

What if my proposal is for a larger development or covers issues dealt with by a number of Council Services?

In order to assist applicants with proposals for larger-scale and more sensitive schemes the Council operates a Development Team Approach. In relevant cases the planning officer may convene this team. More information on the Development Team Approach can be found in our planning advisory leaflet number 8.

Freedom of Information Act

From 1 January 2005, under the Freedom of Information Act, we may receive a request to provide information regarding enquiries for Pre-Application advice. Sections 41 & 43 of the Act exempts information whose disclosure could result in substantial financial loss, or likely to prejudice the commercial interests of a person. You are therefore asked, if you believe the enquiry to be confidential, to supply a covering letter setting out the reasons why and for what period. The decision as to whether to release information however lies with the Local Authority.

Planning advice for businesses installing micro renewable energy schemes

The Council recognises the importance of support to businesses wishing to relocate or expand in the District. Where a planning proposal creates employment opportunities then no fee will be required. This arrangement, originally put in place in 2012 for one year, has been extended until the end of March 2015.

Using renewable energy sources can offer a wide range of benefits, including cost savings for your business.

We want to encourage the generation of energy from renewable sources and support the delivery of appropriate schemes across Wychavon. New permitted development rights mean that businesses can make some alterations to their premises without requiring planning permission. Further information can be found in the advice note below:

Advice for Wychavon businesses on installing micro renewable energy schemes


Guidance on planning policies

Your or your agent may require additional information about planning policies that could affect your application.
 

Useful Documents


Further Information

If you would like more information about a planning application contact:

Planning Services
Wychavon District Council
Civic Centre
Queen Elizabeth Drive
Pershore
WR10 1PT
Telephone: 01386 565565 - between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday
Email: planning@wychavon.gov.uk