Pre-Application Assistance

The purpose of pre-application advice is to ensure that customers enter the planning process as fully informed as possible. Pre-application discussions can identify need for specialist input and can identify any issues that may be raised at application stage. It can also speed up the planning process should an application be submitted after the pre application discussions are concluded.

Note: Our pre-application service is designed for specific development proposals. We are not able to give speculative advice on sites.

How much does a pre-application enquiry cost?

We do not currently charge for pre-application advice.

What information is required?

Required for all Application Types:-

  • Location or site plan, preferably to a recognised scale (1:50, 1:100 or 1:200 for site plan; 1:1250 or 1:2500 for location plan)
  • Description of the development proposal
  • Details of any features or buildings within the site (trees/watercourses)

Desirable Requirements for Non-Householder and Larger Schemes:-

  • Photographs of the site
  • Plans of the existing site/use preferably to a recognised scale of 1:50, 1:100 or 1:200
  • Plans of the proposed site/ use preferably to a recognised scale of 1:50, 1:100 or 1:200
  • Relevant planning history

How do I submit my pre-application advice?

All requests for pre-application advice should be submitted using the relevant form or requested by telephoning our Contact Centre on 01785 619337. Applications for pre-application advice can be sent in by email to or by post or hand to Economic Development and Planning, Stafford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford, ST16 3AQ.

How long will it take for a response?

All pre-application requests will be acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt. This will confirm the request has been registered and has been forwarded on to a nominated planning officer for comment. We will respond in writing to your enquiry within 21 days from acknowledgement. For larger or more complex enquiries this may be an initial response only.

I have been advised that my pre-application is acceptable. Will my application definitely be approved?

Pre-application advice provided by the local planning authority cannot pre-empt the democratic decision making process or a particular outcome, in the event that a formal planning application is made. We will give you the best advice possible based on the information provided. This advice will be offered in good faith and to the best of our ability, without prejudice to consideration of a formally submitted planning application which may generate previously unknown issues either through responses to statutory consultations or evaluation of the more detailed information submitted with the application. The decision on the formal application may also be made by the planning applications committee which, democratically, is entitled to arrive at a different conclusion to the planning officers provided that decision is based on reasonable planning grounds.

What if I just want to know if I require planning permission?

The pre-application process does not give written confirmation on whether a proposal is permitted development. If you believe your proposal is permitted development and would like written confirmation you can submit an application for a certificate of lawful use or development. Links to these forms can be found Here. Alternatively the Planning Portal website can provide information regarding permitted development rights.

Will my pre-application enquiry be publicised?

Information provided at pre-application will not be published on the council’s website. However, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, third parties can ask to see pre-application information and the council has to decide whether the information is exempt from disclosure. If you consider the information you are submitting is sensitive and wish the pre-application to remain confidential please specify the reasons on your pre-application form. This will allow the Council to assess whether the limited exemptions available under the Act will apply to your information.

Even if confidentiality is maintained at pre-application stage, when an application is submitted the pre-application enquiry will become part of the public record for that application.

Tel: 01785 619337
Fax: 01785 619473
Related documents
Pre-Application Assistance Form (pdf 10kb)
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