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.
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, any issues to be raised and potential solutions identified.
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:
- Better customer understanding of how an application will be judged against relevant planning policy and guidance
- Potential to avoid the cost of a planning application where a proposal is unacceptable
- Early identification of the need for specialist advice
- Opportunity to amend a proposal to potentially make it acceptable
- Time-saving for both the customer and the council
- An improvement in the quality of development
- A reduction in confrontation and frustration
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 very general level of planning advice to members of the public without charging a fee. The relevant contact details are below:
General planning advice could include:
- 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
Please note that the council will not provide informal advice on the need for planning permission in respect of a specific development proposal, as this is a legal determination.
What do we charge?
We will charge for both written advice and for meetings (see schedule of charges below). Please note that meetings will only be held for significant major and major development proposals.
‘Significant Major' development schemes include:
- Residential schemes, including change of use, of more than 50 units or, where the number of dwellings is not specified, a site area greater than 2 hectare
- Retail, commercial, industrial, educational, hospital, leisure and recreational schemes with a floorspace greater than 2000 sq .m. or on sites of more than 2 hectare
- Schemes relating to the change of use of land on a site greater than 2 hectare
- Changes of use of building(s) with a gross floor area of more than 2,000 sq. m. in area
£1350 inc. VAT for an initial meeting (£675 inc VAT for a subsequent meeting)
'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
£820 inc. VAT for a meeting and written advice (£410 inc. VAT for a subsequent meeting)
Minor scale development
'Minor' development schemes include:
- Residential schemes, including change of use, of less than 10 units or, where the number of dwellings is not specified, a site area less than 1 hectare
- Retail, commercial, industrial, educational, hospital, leisure and recreational schemes with a floorspace less than 1000 sq .m. or on sites of less than 1 hectare
- Schemes relating to the change of use of land on a site less than 1 hectare
- Changes of use of building(s) with a gross floor area of less than 1,000 sq. m. in area
£320 inc. VAT for written advice
Listed buildings/Conservation areas
£120 inc VAT for written advice
Works to trees
£72 inc VAT for written advice
£120 inc VAT for written advice
£60 inc VAT
£55 inc. VAT for written advice (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. Depending upon the amount of time that elapses between the pre-application advice request and the submission of a planning application, relevant planning policy or guidance might also have changed
For further information in regard to pre application discussions, you may contact us by:
Telephone: 01253 476193