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Pre-application Advice

Why Seek Advice? 

Whether you are a developer of a large scheme or a householder wishing to improve your home, it is advisable to seek advice before submitting your planning application. We can let you know whether your proposals are supported by planning policy and whether there are any issues that may prevent you from obtaining planning permission.

Basic, free or charge advice on the planning process is available by visiting a local office or over the telephone. 

If you would prefer a specific review of your proposals and detailed guidance on the application process, we recommend you to obtain formal pre-application advice. This is a charged-for service and is available to meet any scheme.

We are happy to provide advice at any time, whether it is just a discussion on some initial ideas or a review of more detailed plans. You can use the service just once or it is often beneficial to obtain advice throughout the evolution of your scheme.

Seeking our advice

  • gives you an opportunity to understand how our policies will be applied to your development 
  • can identify at an early stage where there is a need for specialist input, for example about listed buildings, trees, landscape, noise, transport, contaminated land, ecology or archaeology 
  • will assist you in preparing proposals for formal submission which, providing you have taken our advice fully into account, will be handled more smoothly 
  • may lead to a reduction in time spent by your professional advisors in working up proposals 
  • could enable you to suggest amendments or consider alternative proposals if a proposal is unlikely to be acceptable 

Our charges 

All householder enquiries, small scale developments of up to 5 dwellings, general advice on land-use and small commercial developments of up to 500sq metres of commercial space.

We charge £60 + VAT per hour with a minimum charge of 1 hour and then at £30 + VAT per 30 minutes or part thereof. This includes travel time to site visits if required. The Officer allocated to deal with your pre-application enquiry will be dependant on the nature and scale of the proposals and resources available.

The planning officer will advise you at the outset of the estimated cost and will not exceed this without your agreement. Advice will only be provided once the fee, in line with the estimation, has been received.

You can minimise costs by providing as much information about your scheme as possible in advance, but there is no requirement to do this. 

Listed Buildings

Proposals which involve Listed Buildings, or affect their setting, will have a minimum charge of £180 + VAT to enable specialist advice to be obtained.  This charge will be higher if the proposal also requires the involvement of a planning officer.  

All other applications 


  • £500 or 1.5% of the appropriate fee + VAT under the Application Fees Regulations, whichever is the greater, for up to an hour long meeting and written response 
  • If the Planning Officer recommends further time is spent on your proposal we will provide you with an estimate and obtain your agreement. 

We also need the following information

  • Written details of the address and proposal 
  • Description of the nature and scale of the development proposed and the uses to which land and buildings are to be put 
  • Site location plan with the site clearly marked (to a recognised scale, north point etc) 
  • Sketch drawings providing details of the proposal (to a recognised scale) 
  • Photographs of the site and surrounding area, with particular regard to any nearby houses or other development which might be affected by your proposal
  • Contact details including phone number and email address 
  • An initial design and access statement 
  • Access and parking arrangements 
  • This may also need to be accompanied by ecological, landscape, contamination, flood and transport assessments depending upon the location, nature and complexity of the development. 

What the costs cover 

These fees cover administration costs and the time spent in research, assessment, a meeting as necessary, and in making a written response. 

If you require specific highways advice, Kent County Council Highways make a charge for pre-application advice and should you wish a full response please contact them directly. 

How to Apply 

Please email 

Pre-application advice cannot guarantee the final formal decision that will be made on your application. However, any pre-application advice that has been provided will be carefully considered in reaching a decision. 


Contact Planning

Telephone: 01304 872486


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