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Planning advice and guidance

Please be aware that there will be some delays in our response times which is unavoidable at the moment.  We are experiencing an increase in Covid-related staff absence and many of our staff are working hard to balance work and home schooling.  The Council is committed to supporting our staff to work flexibly to enable a balance to be reached which means our officers may be working different hours.   

Please bear with us at this difficult time.  We are mindful of the personal pressures that a third lockdown places on us all and we respectfully ask that you are considerate when communicating with our staff.

For more details on our revised processes, please see our FAQs Covid-19 impact on planning processes. Thank you for your understanding.

Whatever you are proposing, we can help you to cut through the red tape. We offer services for developers, applicants and agents seeking advice. This can be:

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  • before making an application or
  • a support service during the application process.

Do I need planning consent?

  • We can review your proposal and advise whether permission is required.

Validation checking service:

  • We can check your application before submission. This is to make sure it contains all the information we need to process the proposal.

Pre-application advice:

This will help to:

  • save you time and money
  • reduce the number of unsuccessful planning applications
  • ensure you provide enough information to support your final application.

Additional services:

  • Post decision compliance checks. Full details of services are listed in the Fees and Charges document.

We will

  • Research the history of the site and do a site visit if required.
  • Look at the application against Council policies and standards.
  • We will provide feedback on design options and impacts.
  • Arrange to attend a meeting with the applicant, if needed. This could be a telephone discussion.
  • Look at the need for further investigations or key groups that need to be spoken to.
  • Write to you and let you know whether we think you should continue with your planning application.

Pre-application Community Engagement Forum

We can provide a meeting held in public, where a developer is able to explain proposals directly to:

  • Members
  • the Local Council and
  • local residents

at an early stage about a development site.

Planning Performance Agreement

Planning Performance Agreement (PPA ) are used to agree:

  • timescales
  • actions and
  • resources

for handling particular applications at the following stages:

  • pre­ application
  • planning application
  • post decision

There are clear advantages for using PPAs including:

  • Identification of key issues and consultees at an early stage
  • Provides a guarantee of Council resources with realistic timescales
  • Better management from pre-application through to post-application stages
  • Greater accountability, transparency and communication.
  • Improved partnership working
  • Continuity and consistency from Local Planning Authority (LPA) officers
  • Bespoke advice from key consultees (eg building control, environment, highways etc).

Design Review

We offer a design review service.  A group of design specialists can suggest improvements to the design of a proposal.

Planning Aid is part of the Royal Town Planning Institute.  It provides free advice on town planning matters to:

  • community groups
  • individuals who cannot afford professional advice.

Planning Aid can help individuals and communities with:

  • advice
  • training
  • support on planning applications.

Contact tel: 020 7929 8338 or email

Use the links below and in the navigation menu to find out about:

  • planning procedures
  • planning permission
  • building regulations
  • building control
  • tree applications
  • renewable energy planning
  • and more

The Planning Portal provides help, guidance and information to anyone involved in the planning process. Find out about planning and building regulations, see if you need permission to carry out your building work and browse the interactive guides.

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