Pre-application advice for businesses


Important announcement

Changes to development management advice

Charges for preliminary application (pre-app) advice will be changing from 1 July 2016.

In order for us to be able to sustain and improve our current levels of service a new range of charges have been agreed and will be coming into effect on 1 July 2016. We have gone through a cost recovery exercise with our accountants to arrive at these new charge rates. This is to ensure that the cost of providing the service is recovered directly and does not fall as a general cost to the council tax payer.

The current duty officer slots will no longer be available for commercial or domestic proposals and a fee will be applied to all preliminary applications.

Advice for developers

If you are a developer or a professional adviser, you should make an appointment with a planning officer to discuss your proposals. The following guides give basic information and we recommend you contact us to be sure of the most up-to-date advice:

Pre-application advice for planning proposals

It is our policy to encourage and provide pre-application planning advice. This is beneficial to both customers and us in enabling planning applications to be submitted with a good chance of approval within government target dates.

However the cost of providing this service is not covered by planning application fees and is met by Council Tax payers. We have decided to charge for pre-application advice.

The charges are based on the scale of proposals and the level of response required by the developer. Our ability to respond to requests for pre-application advice will depend on the level of information provided by the developer. This varies between submitting a site plan with a request for in-principle advice as to whether development of a particular type would be acceptable, to schemes which have progressed to a reasonable level of detail.

Prospective applicants for planning permission should consider carefully what advice to seek at pre-application stage as a planning application may be refused if relevant matters have not been addressed in the application.

Internal consultations will be undertaken on key issues. We may carry out external consultation maybe undertaken but a response from external consultees cannot be guaranteed.

Our response could consist of:

  • an indication of whether the proposal is likely to be acceptable in policy terms
  • detailed comment on any amenity or design constraints
  • detailed comment on other constraints
  • advice following response to consultations
  • worked-up information on Section 106 planning obligations
  • detailed validation requirements.

Typical service standards

We will process request for pre-application advice in order of receiving them, and will respond when consultee comments are available.

Follow-up advice

After the initial meeting and response the developer might seek additional comments and further meetings. Additional charges for such follow-up advice will apply.

Pre-application submission

Fill in the ‌Pre-application Form and return it with payment and any information or plans you wish to submit at the outset for us to consider. We will not progress your request for advice, until we have received payment.

We recommend the following is submitted with any pre-application:

  • Pre-application form
  • Supporting statement (outlining development proposal)
  • Site location plan
  • Any proposal plans (site layout, floor plans, elevations, sections)
  • Any relevant surveys/reports carried out

'Without prejudice' advice

Our planning officers will try to ensure that any pre-application advice is robust. However, any advice given is without prejudice and not binding on any future decision we might make and cannot pre-empt consideration of a formal application. Also, we might change our views on the merits of a proposal if there is a change in circumstances after we have given pre-application advice, such as a change in government policy or case law.

We are required to make decisions on valid applications within timescales set by government. You risk refusal if you have not submitted all the information we require at the outset.

How we deal with planning applications

Details of new pre-app charges (from 1 July 2016)

Proposal criteria  Initial pre-app enquiry  Additional meetings  
200+ dwellings/more than 4Ha

Offices/industry/retail 10,000+sqm/more than 4 Ha

Other uses: 10,000+ Sqm/more than 2 Ha


Written response

£2500 £300 per hour
10-199 dwellings/0.5 – 4 Ha

Other uses: 1,000 – 9,999 Sqm/1-2 Ha (outline 0.5-4 Ha)


Written response

£2000 £250 per hour
0-9 dwellings/0-0.5 ha

Other uses: 0-1000 Sqm

Site visit/meeting

Written response

£1000 £200 per hour
Works to Listed Buildings


Written response

Change of use (not incl. major developments/engineering work) Written response £100  

Householder proposals (per site)

Minor commercial extensions (per site)

Advertisement proposals (per site)

Written response

No site visit

Duty Officer appointments (not for agents/professionals) 30 minute appointment £20  


• Mixed schemes: Proposals involving both residential and non–residential development will be banded according to the residential standard, by treating 100 Sqm of non-residential floor space as equivalent to one residential unit.
• All pre-application charges include VAT at the current rate (20%).

Useful forms

Contact details

Post address:
Development Control
Communities and Place
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 640795
Development Control
Communities and Place
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street