Our pre-application advice service is available to you if you are considering any development, and would like advice before you make a planning application.

We aim to encourage pre-application conversations, and let you know whether it's likely that your planning application will be approved.

If we believe that your application will be refused, we will provide reasons for our opinion. Please note that pre-application advice given is informal opinion only and we cannot predict every issue that may arise once an application starts to progress.

Advice is available:

  • in writing
  • over the phone (or video call)
  • in person, onsite

The fee we charge will depend on the size of your proposed development works.

Our pre-application advice service also includes heritage advice (for advice about proposed works to listed buildings) and consultee advice.


The fees that you pay will depend on the type of enquiry you are making.

Our pre-application advice fees

Apply for pre-application advice

Before you apply, please check which documents you need to include with your pre-application enquiry.

Make a pre-application enquiry

If you have previously received pre-application advice and now need to seek more, please use our separate follow-up online form:

Request follow-up pre-application advice

Expectations and timescales

Alongside other authorities in Suffolk, we have developed a Design Management Process Map. The map details the usual steps a development will take. We will expect to discuss with you how you will bring your project forward, in accordance with the steps listed.

Once we have received your pre-application enquiry, we aim to respond within a set amount of time. The length of time we take will depend on the size of your development, and how you have requested to receive your advice (in person, or otherwise).

Please refer to our pre-application timescales for more information.

We have a quick and easy to use online payment form, for use when you have submitted your pre-application enquiry. It can also be used to make further 'top-up' payments - or to pay for requests for planning histories.

Pre-application payment form

Please make sure to quote your pre-application enquiry reference. This will help us to record your new payment against your current enquiry.