Pre-Application Advice

    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?

    We will give you the best advice possible based on the information we have, however any advice that we give at the pre-application stage can’t pre-empt the democratic decision making process or a particular outcome should a planning application be made at a later date.  The advice we do give will try to highlight any obvious issues with a proposal, such as a conflict with policy, but for a formal decision you would need to make a planning application.

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

    The advice that we give at the pre-application stage does not include whether a proposal benefits from Permitted Development Rights (doesn’t need Planning Permission).  If you think that your proposal might benefit from Permitted Development Rights and would like written confirmation of this you can make an application for a certificate of lawful use or development.  The application form can be found on the Planning Portal.

    Will my pre-application enquiry be publicised?

    No, we won’t publish pre-application advice or forms on our website.  Sometimes we get Freedom of Information requests about pre-application advice but we wouldn’t share any personal information.  If you think that the information you are giving to us as part of a pre-application request is particularly sensitive, please give us some details of this on the application form.

    Should a planning application be made later, pre-application advice can become part of the public record. 


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