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Pre-application advice and Development Team

Not sure where to start with your planning application? We can help you get it right, first time. Our Pre-application advice and Development Team services offer you the opportunity to save time, money and hassle by consulting us about your potential development, before you make a formal planning application. Our team's expertise covers not just planning, but also ecology, drainage and flood risk, trees and arboriculture, highways and roads.

Advantages for service users

All services offer these benefits:

  • A qualified opinion on whether your scheme is likely to receive permission
  • Early identification of any issues or risks, and what to do to overcome them
  • Information about other considerations, such as financial contributions or community consultations
  • Support to submit a good quality application, which is more likely to be quick and easy to process

Development Team service users also receive the following additional benefits:

  • A one-to-one relationship with a dedicated and experienced Planning Officer, who will lead and support you through the process
  • A multi-disciplinary team approach, with input from planning, technical and environmental specialists within the council
  • A collaborative approach, which seeks to identify and resolve any conflicts with our local Development Plan through engagement and discussion
  • Feedback from local members who will help identify any local issues relevant to your proposal
  • A springboard for continued engagement with officers and specialists throughout the pre-application and application stages
  • A chance to deliver a presentation and explain your proposals directly to officers and specialists in a collective forum
  • A mechanism for setting up a Planning Performance Agreement and discussion of your potential planning strategy

Which service is right for me?

The Pre-application Advice Service covers proposals across the full spectrum of planning

There is a scale of five levels of service and fees (see below), dependent on the size and complexity of the development you are proposing. We include the following features in the price:

  • Allocated specialist officer to manage your pre-app
  • A site visit
  • Consultations with other council departments relevant to your proposal (for example, our Ecology, Drainage and Flood Risk or Highway Development teams)
  • A full report, with a considered view on your proposal
  • For service level 1, you can request a face-to-face meeting with your pre-app officer at an additional cost
  • For service levels 2 - 5, a meeting is included in the service fee

If you have multiple or complex enquiries

A single pre-application advice enquiry can include works that could reasonably form part of a single planning application. Where your enquiry relates to different alternatives (for example, several options for a rear extension), we'll treat these as separate proposals, and will charge a separate pre-application advice fee for each one. If a development contains more than one construction element from the lists of project types below, the higher fee will be payable.

 The Development Team Service is for large or complex projects

Our service offers you the following features:

  • Access to a dedicated Planning Officer
  • Where appropriate a pre meeting to explain the process and give an early steer on the likely main issues
  • A multi-disciplinary meeting with B&NES planning, technical and environmental specialists
  • The meeting will give you time to deliver a presentation direct to officers and give our team a chance to ask questions and seek clarification from you
  • A full and comprehensive written response from the Planning Officer, combining the views of all the consulted staff, within 14 days of the meeting
  • Early engagement briefing with members
  • A 2-hour follow-up meeting, with the Planning Officer and appropriate specialist officers, to discuss the report, any issues arising and next steps for pre-app or submission 

To find out more about fees and the different projects suited to each service level, please explore the details below (fees from 1 April 2020).

To optimise the design of your development, in addition to our pre-application advice, we also recommend submitting your proposal to the Design West panel of experts for a design review.

Pre-app level 1

Fee: £127.30 (+£50, if you would like a meeting to discuss your project with your pre-app officer)

Processing time: 20 working days

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Loft conversions, conservatories and extensions to your own home
  • Domestic garages and outbuildings
  • Small scale alterations or changes to commercial premises, such as awnings, solar panels, windows
  • Solar panels or secondary glazing for listed buildings
  • Driveways
  • Adverts
  • Works to trees
  • HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) eligibility test check
  • S106 agreement compliance check (confirmation of compliance with 1-3 planning obligations)
  • Written confirmation of compliance with the requirements of an enforcement notice, or request to have an enforcement notice withdrawn, following compliance

Pre-app level 2

Fee: £349.60

Processing time: 20 working days

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of one dwelling
  • Change of use to one dwelling or HMO (with HMO considerations beyond eligibility test check)
  • Business changes of use up to 250 sq m
  • Erection or works to agricultural buildings or land, including barn conversions
  • Erection or creation of ancillary or domestic small-scale sports and recreation facilities, such as stables, bike tracks, sheds, fences (but not including floodlights)
  • Telecoms and small scale freestanding renewable energy proposals under one hectare
  • Ongoing (annual) utilities or corporate projects on multiple sites, initial charge (plus each site advised during the year will be charged at an appropriate service level per site)
  • Listed buildings - one premises, minor extension, simple change of use, alterations including simple changes to plan form, stone cleaning, boilers and flues 
  • Listed buildings - basic advice on minor changes associated with sale or purchase of property
  • Advice on discharging conditions
  • S106 agreement compliance check (confirmation of compliance with 4 to 9 obligations)

Pre-app level 3

Fee: £711.60

Processing time: 25 working days

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of two to four dwellings
  • Change of use to two to four dwellings or HMOs
  • Business changes of use 251 to 500 sq m
  • Erection or extensions of commercial or community building or facilities up to 500 sq m
  • Parish council Neighbourhood Plan review
  • Listed buildings - two to four premises, general alterations
  • Listed buildings - one premises,extension and / or multiple alterations
  • S106 agreement compliance check (confirmation of compliance with 10 or more obligations)

Pre-app level 4

Fee: £1248.50

Processing time: 25 working days

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of five to nine dwellings         
  • Changes of use to five to nine dwellings or HMOs         
  • Business changes of use, 501 to 999 sq m         
  • Erection or extensions of commercial or community building or facilities 501 to 999 sq m         
  • Listed buildings - five to ten premises, general alterations  
  • Listed buildings - one premises, major extensions and / or multiple alterations

Pre-app level 5

Fee: £2996.40

Processing time: 25 working days

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of 10 to 20 dwellings         
  • Changes of use to 10 to 20 dwellings or HMOs         
  • Business changes of use from 1000 to 2500 sq m         
  • Large development from 1000 to 2499 sq m         
  • Renewable energy proposals over 1 hectare         
  • New sports facilities, such as new floodlights, pitches, stands, parking  
  • Student accommodation and extra care facilities up to 100 beds         
  • Listed buildings - extensive and major works for extensions and alterations involving fundamental change to structure, form or fabric, including major historic sites

Development Team Service

We offer the Development Team Process as an extension to our pre-application advice service, especially for major or more complex schemes. The fee for the service will depend on the scale or complexity of the proposals.

Development Team charges

The service fee is £4162 per hectare or part hectare covered by your development, with a minimum fee of £6242.

  • Developments of four or more storeys will pay a supplement of £3121
  • There will be an overall maximum fee of £15,606
  • Our fees don't include VAT
  • A follow up meeting is included in the price
  • B&NES Planning reserve the right to waive the minimum and maximum fee under certain circumstances, for example, highly contentious or very large or small applications

Before you apply

The more information you can give us about your proposal, the more detailed our advice can be.

 For Pre-application Advice
You will need to prepare the following draft documents:

 

  • A description of the proposal; give as much detail as possible on what the site is being used for now and what it would be used for in future
  • Full site address
  • Your contact details
  • A sketch plan showing the extent of the site
  • Existing and proposed sketches or plans (which do not have to be professionally drawn)
  • Photographs of the site
  • Any other relevant information about the site such as planning history or ownership
 For the Development Team
You will need to supply the following draft documents: 

 

  • A clearly marked location plan at 1:1250 or 1:2500 scale, based on an extract from the Ordnance Survey
  • An existing site plan, illustrating the siting of any existing buildings and trees (including canopy spreads), both on the site and on adjoining land
  • Supporting plans (to scale), sketches and / or drawings which clearly indicate the nature and scale of the development envisaged. The more information you can provide at this stage, the more complete our response can be
  • Supporting documentation which fully explains the nature and context of the development, such as a Planning Statement, a Design and Access Statement, a Transport Statement. a Tree report
  • The full service fee, a minimum of two weeks before the date of your meeting with us

If we think that your Development Team submission is more appropriate for our Pre-application Advice Service, we'll let you know.

How to apply

Please use our online application process (below). If you are unsure which service to apply for, email us at development_management@bathnes.gov.uk, or call us on 01225 39 40 41 for advice. For Development Team submissions, we may ask you to send us a full paper copy of your proposals to B&NES Planning Services, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG.

Important notes about Pre application and Development Team advice

  • Using these services does not guarantee that your planning application will be successful
  • We reserve the right not to accept submissions
  • We do not publish pre-application advice on the Planning Register. However, we will release details, if we receive a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Any planning applications approved after 6 April 2015 may be subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) tariff. View CIL information and guidance.

We strongly advise using a planning agent to assist you with your planning application.

Get pre-application planning advice