Introduction

This document provides guidance in respect of the council’s charges and procedures for pre-application advice. The council’s development management team deals with planning applications and appeals in relation to the use and development of land and buildings within the town. On average the team deals with around 800 planning applications and 15 appeals a year.

The team currently devotes considerable time and effort to offering pre-application advice, seeing it as a key part of delivering a good planning service, even though it is not a statutory duty. Many requests for advice however, are of a speculative nature and do not lead to the submission of an application.

Charging for pre-application advice allows the council to recover at least some of the costs incurred through this service.

Why make a pre-application enquiry?

We want to promote the use of early discussions about a proposal to enable, as far as possible, the issues associated with the proposal to be identified and if possible for those issues to be resolved.

There may be cases where it is not possible to resolve the issues and this process could therefore save further abortive work.

The key benefits of pre-application discussion are seen as:

  • The customer will have a better understanding of how their application will be judged against the policies in the council’s local plan and other planning considerations eg. guidance
  • The process should enable early identification of the need for specialist advice
  • The process could give the opportunity to modify a proposal to make it potentially acceptable
  • The process could save time for both the customer and the council
  • The process should raise the quality of development
  • The process could reduce confrontation and frustration
  • The process should enable poorly thought out proposals to be identified and prevent the cost of submitting an application

If you follow the pre-application process regarding a proposal the council will expect the advice given by its officers to have been taken into account as part of any subsequent planning application.

If it is evident that the advice of the council’s officers has not been taken into account the council may determine the application as submitted without any further discussion/negotiation.

What if I am only looking for very general advice - do I need to go through this process?

The council will continue to provide a general level of advice to members of the public about the planning application process without the need to pay a fee. 

Examples of this are listed below:

  • How to submit a planning application : what plans are needed; how much the fee would be; what other supporting information is required
  • What happens once the application has been submitted
  • What issues can be taken into account in considering the application
  • Whether the application would be likely to be determined by officers or the council’s planning committee

What do we charge?

We will charge for both written advice and for meetings (see schedule of charges below)

Major applications

'Major' development schemes include:

  • Residential schemes, including change of use, of more than 10 units or, where the number of dwellings is not specified, a site area greater than 1 hectare
  • Retail, commercial, industrial, educational, hospital, leisure and recreational schemes with a floorspace greater than 1000 sq .m. or on sites of more than 1 hectare
  • Schemes relating to the change of use of land on a site greater than 1 hectare
  • Changes of use of building(s) with a gross floor area of more than 1,000 sq. m. in area

£540 for a meeting (£270 for a subsequent meeting)

Small scale development

(less than 10 houses/sites of less than 1 hectare / floorspace of less than 1000 square metres/ changes of use not listed above)

£240 where a meeting is required (£120 where no meeting is required)

Listed buildings/Conservation areas

£120 where site visit/and or meeting required (£60 where not)

Works to trees

£72 where site visit and or meeting required or £36 where not

Telecommunications

£120 where site visit and or meeting required or £60 where not

Advertisements

£60 where site visit and or meeting required or £30 where not

Vehicle crossings

£36

Householder proposals

£50 (please note this service does NOT provide advice on whether or not planning permission is required.

How should the fee be paid?

Payment for your application can be made by one following methods

  • Pay it on-line through the council’s website
  • by phone calling 01253 476206 using a debit/credit card or
  • by cheque (payable to ‘ Blackpool Council’).

What do I need to submit?

To enable a detailed response and/ or for the discussion to be constructive the council needs you to provide the information set out below. This information should be submitted with the council’s downloadable pre-application advice request form [PDF 1.03MB].

  • Site Location Plan at an appropriate scale (usually 1:1250 or 1:2500)
  • Details of current use(s)
  • Details of proposed use or development
  • Photographs and/or sketch drawings of site and surroundings
  • Draft/sketch drawings showing layout,  height and scale of development
  • Freedom of Information statement (if applicable)
  • Supporting statement

How does the process work?

If you have requested a meeting you will be contacted by the case officer to arrange this meeting. Where possible, the meeting date will,  be set within 28 days of the receipt of the request.

Meetings will be held at the council offices in a private meeting room. Any request for specialist advice should be confirmed at the time the meeting is arranged. 

The necessary officers will be asked to attend but this may not always be possible. 

The head of development management will normally attend initial meetings relating to major scale proposals. 

The council will aim to issue written advice within 14 days of the date of a meeting. 

Where no meeting is required, the council will aim to issue written advice with 28 days of the receipt of the request.

The advice that officers will give you is given in good faith but it is not binding on the council. This is because there may be new information that comes to light during the consideration of a subsequent application or as part of the notification/consultation undertaken on the application.

Contact details

For further information in regard to pre application discussions, you may contact us by:

Telephone: 01253 476193
Email: planning@blackpool.gov.uk