Pre-Application Guidance

How to get advice before you start your development

What is pre application advice?

Pre application advice is an informal advice service provided by the planning authority on a variety of planning related topics.  These topics can include planning permission, planning permission in principle, advertisement consent, listed building consent, conservation area consent, works to protected trees and certificates of lawfulness etc. You can apply for pre-application advice online, and either submit your supporting documents online with the application, or email or post them to us after you have applied.

We also have guidance on planning permission, permitted development, listed buildings and conservation areas to provide you with information before you get in touch:

Do I need planning permission?

There is now a fee for some types of pre-application guidance - the fee table can be found below.

If you can't find what you are looking for or require assistance, you can contact us:

Contact Planning

What are the benefits in applying for pre application advice?

You are encouraged to seek advice through the pre application route for various reasons such as:

  • You will receive a clear and timely view on the merit of the proposed development;
  • Identifying the information required to accompany a formal planning application therefore reducing the likelihood of delays at the validation stage;
  • An understanding will be provided of the various planning polices and other material considerations associated with a proposed development;
  • The opportunity to meet with a planning officer to discuss the proposals if an officer feels this is of value and therefore is at the officers discretion;
  • A planning officer may also visit the site of the proposal if required and may be unaccompanied.

Fees for pre-application guidance

Type of development Charges Further information
Major developments – as defined by the Planning Hierarchy Regulations e.g. Windfarms, Housing developments of more than 50 homes, commercial development of more 10,000sqm or site areas in excess of 2Ha. £1124 Major developments
Permitted Development Enquiries and Local Developments – as defined by the Planning Hierarchy Regulations. e.g. alterations to existing homes, housing development of up to 50 units, commercial development less than 10,000sqm, domestic renewable developments

25% of planning application fee * (rounded down to the nearest £100. Minimum fee = £53. Maximum fee = £899.

* Please note the fee calculator is currently aligned with Statutory fees payable prior to 1st April 2022 and will remain so until further notice. 

Fee Calculator (national ePlanning portal)

Argyll and Bute Planning Fee Guidance

What am I required to submit as part of my pre application?

To process an application more efficiently and effectively it is important that you provide as much information as possible.  If the relevant information is not provided at the time of submission or an officer requires further documentation then the response time may take longer than advised below.

Essential requirements

  • A completed pre application advice form which should include a clear description of the proposed development
  • A location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 which outlines the land in question in red
  • Basic indicative details of the site access, drainage arrangements etc

It would be beneficial (but not essential) to submit the following:

  • Sketches and/or elevations of the proposal
  • Photographs of the site
  • Site layout and sections (preferably at a scale of 1:500 or 1:200)

What can I expect in my response?

The service will provide the following feedback from your pre application submission:

  • A list of the relevant polices under the Local Development Plan, Supplementary Guidance Policies, and other relevant material considerations;
  • A planning history of the site;
  • Any known constraints such as conservation area, area of panoramic quality, archaeological sites etc;
  • An assessment from an officer of the proposal;
  • A list of consultees should an application be submitted.

On receipt of a pre application enquiry we will issue an acknowledgement letter and contact details for the officer assigned to the case.

It is our aim to issue a pre-application enquiry report containing the information detailed above within 30 working days from receipt of a valid pre-application enquiry. in circumstances where we are unable to meet this target then we will advise you of the reason for this and let you know when a response can be expected. Updates on the status of the Pre-application Enquiry Service is available at Planning Service Status.

Please note that pre application advice provided by the planning authority cannot pre-empt the democratic decision making process or a particular outcome, in the event of a formal planning application being submitted.

If you are unhappy with the pre application service provided and feel that the planning department has fallen below expectations you may wish to raise the matter directly with the planning authority and if necessary through the formal complaints procedure.

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