Pre-application advice

The local planning authority adopted a new pre-application charging schedule for all pre-application submission as of 1 December 2019. View the new schedule as a pdf (PDF, 210KB). The council has recently adopted a local validation list (LVL) which will be used in the validation of all applications from 1 June 2020 onwards.  The LVL (v1.5) is available to view as a pdf. (PDF, 658KB. For advice regarding which documents are required for the LVL, please seek pre-application advice.

Pre-application advice explained

Pre-application advice allows the council to provide an initial view on a development proposal, before you submit a planning application. The council will advise on the acceptability of a proposal in principle, as well as provide detailed comments on a development and advise on what documents are required with a planning application submission.

The council welcomes pre-application discussions, which are encouraged in national guidance as a means of dealing with any issues at the first stage of a proposed development being considered.  

Requesting pre-application advice does not guarantee that planning permission will be granted, but it can provide advice on what would be required to make your development proposal acceptable.

Benefits of seeking pre-application advice

Submitting a formal planning application can be complicated, expensive and time-consuming, especially if it is refused for reasons that could have been overcome prior to submission.

Pre-application advice allows you to:

  • avoid delays caused by invalid applications
  • save the cost of pursuing applications that are unacceptable in principle
  • avoid the application being refused, or needing to resubmit, for issues that could have been resolved prior to submission
  • reduce the time (and fees) of your professional advisors
  • understand the relevant policies that apply your development
  • identify the need for specialist input, early on such as listed buildings, trees, noise
  • understand the documents that will be required for validation, and what further supporting information could be helpful
  • work collaboratively with the planning department to overcome any problems

Request pre-application advice

Pre-application advice requests should be made via the form below. You should provide as much information about your development as possible so that we can give you accurate and relevant advice. You can upload additional documents to send to us at the end of the form, such as:

  • site location plan with the site outlined in red & other neighbouring land under the same ownership outlined in blue, at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500;
  • block plan/site plan showing the proposed layout of the site at an appropriate scale
  • full description of the nature of the development, including amount, scale and uses proposed;
  • detailed floor plans and elevations or sketch proposals
  • other information to help explain the development, for example draft design and access statement, photographs, street scenes, relevant site history 

Simply complete the form below, attaching your supporting documents, and one of our planning officers will be in touch.

Apply for pre-application advice

Once you have submitted your request above, payment can be made via the council’s online payments system below. Please use the reference number that you receive when you submit the request and input it on the 'further details' tab on the payment system. The fee schedule is set out below.

Pre-application guidance and fee schedule (PDF, 210KB)

Pay for your pre-application

What to expect from an advice request

We will register your advice request within 3 working days of submission and payment, and confirm the name of the case officer who will be providing the advice, and specify the date when the advice will be provided. 

The guidance document above sets out the timescales for providing the advice, and whether a meeting is included with your written response. In general, we will provide our advice within 6 weeks for major developments and 4 weeks for all other types of development. 

Please note that the quality of the response to any pre-application request is dependent upon the level and quality of information that is submitted. It is in your interests to provide as much information as possible to support your application. Failure to do this or introducing additional considerations at the application stage may diminish the relevance of the Council’s written response.

Further information for large scale/complex developments

For large and complex development we encourage the use of a planning performance agreement (PPA), which can involve multiple stages of pre-application advice, as well as project management through the application process.

The Council adopted a new statement of community involvement in July 2019. This highlights that “for larger-scale or potentially controversial development proposals, the Council encourages developers to engage with relevant stakeholders, including the local community, Ward Members, and Town and Parish Councils at the earliest opportunity.” Even if you choose not to seek pre-application advice, large-scale developments will be expected to show how they have engaged with the community prior to submission. We can provide guidance on who to contact through a pre-application or PPA process.

As part of the pre-submission community engagement large scale developments are encouraged to present their proposals to the development review forum.

Important disclaimer

You should be aware that any pre-application advice provided by the Local Planning Authority is made at officer level only, and does not constitute a formal decision of the Council. Any views or opinions expressed, are given without prejudice to the consideration by the Council of any formal planning application, which will be subject to wider consultation and publicity. Although the case officer may indicate the likely outcome of a formal planning application from their professional point of view, no guarantees can or will be given about the decision that will be made on any such application.

It should be noted that policies, constraints etc. change from time to time and may affect the advice given. The relevant policies referred to within any pre-application advice may therefore change over time;

The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act bind the Council, as a public authority, and therefore it should be presumed that information supplied to the Council is likely to be disclosed under the above Act. If you want information to remain confidential, you should state clearly why. Information sent to the Council "in confidence" may still be disclosed under the above Act. Before sending such information you are advised to take legal advice if there are fears that disclosure would prejudice you in some commercial way.

Planning Enquiries

Planning Enquiries contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ