Planning advice from the council

We operate a free Duty Officer advisory service at its offices for basic pre-application advice and general planning enquiries. Other pre-application advice is charged for and full details can be found below.

 

Planning pre-application advice service

The Planning Service is currently under-going a major review relating to the way it delivers its services.  As a consequence of this, resources are being focussed on specific areas of the service in the short term meaning that we can not currently offer householder advice for non-listed buildings. However, we hope to be able to offer a pre-application service for all applications soon and will advise our customers when we are able to do so.  We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

 

Planning duty officer

The Duty Officer is available to see at the district council's Saffron Walden offices or by calling UConnect on 01799 510510. It operates Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 12.30pm.

This service is, however, for basic general enquiries such as whether planning permission or listed building consent required.

The duty officer can only give general verbal advice. If you are seeking an opinion on a planning application, you should use the pre-application advice service. If you need a written confirmation that a proposal does, or does not require planning permission please use the Certificate of Lawful Development procedure.
 

Certificate of Lawful Development

If you require a formal decision as to whether an existing or proposed development is lawful, then you can submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness. There are two kinds of certificate that you can be apply for:

  • Certificates of Lawful Existing Use or Development
  • Certificates of Lawful Proposed Use or Development

Section 10 of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 established a procedure that enables anyone who wishes to do so, to apply to the local planning authority to determine whether a proposed use or operation, or an existing operational development or an existing use of land, or any other matter constituting a failure to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted, is lawful, and if so, be granted a certificate to that effect.

A certificate granted for a proposed, or an existing use, operation or activity will specify (by reference to a plan or drawing) the area of land included in the certificate and describe the precise nature of the use, operation or activity which is lawful. The certificate will give the reason for determining the use or operation to be lawful and specify the date of the application for the certificate.

Guidance notes, checklists and application forms for Lawful Development Certificates can be found on our Planning application forms and checklists page. Further advice is available on the Planning Portal.
 

Planning Performance Agreements

Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs) are voluntary agreements between a Local Planning Authority (LPA) and an applicant. Their purpose is to deliver high quality sustainable development that is based on a clear vision and development objectives. They provide a structured way for giving advice to applicants before applications are made, developing supplementary planning documents and processing planning applications, to an agreed project plan and work programme.

Pre-application advice charges

The council charges for other pre-application advice as set out below. To apply for this advice please use the form below and send with it with the appropriate fee to The Council Offices, London Road Saffron Walden Essex CB11 4ER.

Charges for pre-application advice (from 1 April 2019)

*Please note that we will have a new way of charging for pre-application advice from 1 April 2019. 

Householder2019/20
charge
£
Does the charge include VAT?
Householder - written advice onlyNot currently offeredYes
- Meeting 1 hr and written adviceNot currently offeredYes
- Follow up adviceNot currently offeredYes
Householder/heritage/listed building consent  
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice300.00Yes
- Follow up advice150.00Yes

 

Minor development2019/20
charge
£
Does the charge include VAT?
MINOR development  
- Written Advice only150.00Yes
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice350.00Yes
- Follow up advice150.00Yes
MINOR development and heritage advice  
- Written advice only250.00Yes
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice450.00Yes
- Follow up advice200.00Yes

 

Strategic major development2019/20
charge
£
Does the charge include VAT?
Strategic MAJOR (Residential development of 100+ and commercial developments of 5,000+ square metres of floor space or on sites over 3 hectares)  
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice2400.00Yes
- Follow up advice865.00Yes
Strategic MAJOR (Residential development of 100+ and commercial developments of 5,000+ square metres of floor space or on sites over 3 hectares) including heritage advice  
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice2700.00Yes
- Follow up advice1015.00Yes

 

Large scale major development  2019/20
charge
£
Does the charge include VAT?
Large scale MAJOR (Residential development of 50-99 dwellings and commercial developments of 2,000-4,999 square metres of floor space or on sites of 2-3 hectares)  
- Written Advice only860.00Yes
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice1360.00Yes
- Follow up advice680.00Yes
Large Scale MAJOR (Residential development of 50-99 dwellings and commercial developments of 2,000-4,999 square metres of floor space or on sites of 2-3 hectares) including heritage advice  
- Written Advice only1010.00Yes
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice1660.00Yes
- Follow up advice830.00Yes

 

Small scale major development2019/20
charge
£
Does the charge include VAT?
Small scale MAJOR (Residential development of 10 - 49 dwellings and commercial developments of 1,000-1,999 square metres of floor space or on sites of 1 - 2 hectares)  
- Written Advice only540.00Yes
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice990.00Yes
- Follow up advice495.00Yes
Small scale MAJOR (Residential development of 10 - 49 dwellings and commercial developments of 1,000-1,999 square metres of floor space or on sites of 1 - 2 hectares) and heritage advice  
- Written Advice only690.00Yes
- Meeting 1 hr and written advice1290.00Yes
- Follow up advice645.00Yes
Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)POA 
High Hedge complaints500.00Yes

 

Other planning pre-application advice2018/19
charge
£
2019/20
charge
£
Does the charge include VAT?
Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)POAPOA 
High Hedge complaints265.00500.00Yes

All charges include VAT at 20%

The council will no longer provide an advisory service in respect of trees. General advice on tree matters can be obtained from an arboriculturist.
 

Procedures/notes

On receipt of a completed application form, fee and plans we will check the information submitted and allocate this to an Officer. If we need more information we will notify you by post or email and your enquiry will remain unallocated until the additional information is received.

Exemptions

  • Development of Exception Sites by Housing Associations: this will be for new houses to be constructed on exception sites only, and not for affordable housing schemes as part of larger general-market housing schemes.
  • Development by Town and Parish Councils
  • Development by Community Groups: this will include for example, village hall groups, scout groups, sports groups and other non-profit making community groups. This however only applies to projects for that group, and if part of a wider development scheme would be subject to the standard fee.

Meeting

At that stage you will be contacted and an appointment will be made. Meetings will be held at Council Offices, Saffron Walden unless officers consider a site visit is required. Following the meeting, Officers will confirm their advice to you in writing. This will normally be within 35 days of receipt of the enquiry, in a formal letter or e-mail, depending on what is agreed at the meeting.

Written response

The response will normally be sent within 35 days of receipt of the enquiry.