Pre-application advice

It is often a good idea for a developer to meet with a planning officer for an informal discussion before they submit an application. This should enable any queries or issues with the application to be dealt with before they become problems. This saves both the developer and the planning authority time and therefore money in the long run.

Most planning authorities in Greater Lincolnshire operate a pre-application advice service but each authority is different in the service they provide or how much it costs. Some planning authorities only offer this service for large scale developments.

Biodiversity is one of the areas it is beneficial to consider at the pre-application stage. For example a developer may not know where to go to get ecological information and this could be signposted. Alternatively it may be highlighted that there may be an impact on a species and that species can only be surveyed at a particular time of year.

Pre-application advice helps with a number of areas and can put the development in context, including:

  • Verifying the list of local requirements each planning authority requires;
  • Reducing the likelihood of submitting invalid applications;
  • Helping you to understand how planning policies affect your proposals;
  • If you have a plan prepared, asking for an assessment of whether there seems a reasonable chance of getting permission;
  • If you have a plan prepared, discussing site problems such as roads, footpaths, power cables, watercourses, sewers and telephone lines;
  • If you have a plan prepared, asking about potential problems such as noise and traffic and whether the authority might impose conditions to overcome these problems rather than refuse planning permission.

For applications that will impact on designated sites, designated landscapes or protected species Natural England operates a Discretionary Advice Service.

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