Richmond.gov.uk
My Account

Pre-application advice

You can get accurate and objective advice on your proposed development before you apply.

Types of advice

There are two types of pre-application advice available. This page covers advice for householders, developers and businesses.

We also offer advice on Planning Performance Agreements which is a bespoke service to cover pre-application advice and the planning process. Whilst applications of all types and complexity may benefit from a PPA, they are particularly useful for larger, more complex schemes.

Included in the service

Included in the pre-application advice service:

  • Written summary of advice
  • A meeting with a planning officer where applicable – this service is not available for category 6, householder developments
  • Information on relevant policies, guidance and the planning requirements
  • Advice on estimated timescale to process applications
  • The information required to make applications valid
  • Informal officer comments on the scheme
  • Section 106/Unilateral undertaking matters, including likely heads of terms and estimated costs
  • Best practice consultation methods

Charged services

Charges are calculated based on the category of the development.

Category 1 - Large scale development

Includes:

  • Provision of 50 dwellings and above, with the proviso that officers can negotiate fees above this if the case results in significant levels of officer time
  • Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space in excess of 4000m²
  • Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space in excess of 4000m²

Charge - £8,362

Category 2 - Major development 

Includes:

  • Provision of 25 or more dwellings
  • Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space in excess of 2000m²
  • Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space in excess of 2000m²

Charge - £5,290

Category 3 - Major development

Includes:

  • Provision of 10-24 dwellings or the provision of residential on a site of 0.5 hectares or more
  • Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space between 1000m² - 1999m²
  • Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space between 1000m² - 1999m²
  • Mixed use developments
  • Large/complex change of use applications
  • Site subject of an environmental impact assessment
  • Complex listed buildings applications
  • Telecommunication equipment and masts applications for 10 or more sites (not including prior approval submissions)

Charge - £2,887

Category 4A - Medium development

Includes:

  • Provision of 1-4 dwellings
  • Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space between 100-499m²
  • Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space between 100-499m²
  • Change of use applications involving floors pace between 100-499m²
  • Individual telecommunication equipment and masts applications (not including prior approval submissions)
  • Advertisement hoardings

Charge - £1,320

Category 4B - Medium development

Includes:

  • Provision of 5-9 dwellings
  • Provision of retail, commercial and industrial floor space between 500-999m²
  • Provision of educational, hospital, leisure and recreational floor space between 500-999m²
  • Change of use applications involving floors pace between 500-999m²

Charge - £1,891

Category 5A - Concept meeting

One meeting with officers to discuss the basic principles and procedures for a proposed development, without any follow-up correspondence from the Local Planning Authority e.g. is the principle of a house on land currently being use for employment worth pursuing?

Charge - £838

Category 5B - Enforcement concept meeting

One meeting with officers to discuss principles of proposal without any follow up correspondence from the Local Planning Authority.

Charge - £843

Category 6 - Householder developments

Includes alterations and extensions to a (non-listed) dwelling only, excludes work resulting in additional units.

This service does not offer or include a meeting with a planning officer.

Charge - £156

Category 7 - Householder developments for listed buildings

Includes:

  • Alterations and extensions to a listed building, excludes work resulting in additional units
  • Advice from a conservation officer, a site visit and a letter or agreement of minutes following the site visit

Charge - £612

Category 8 - Minor listed building developments

This is likely to cover all minor applications, excluding householder applications relating to listed buildings.

Charge - £1,320

Category 9 - Listed building consent

Includes:

  • Internal alterations to listed buildings where planning permission is not required
  • Listed building repairs and advice on restoration/conservation works
  • Advice from a conservation officer, a site visit and a letter or agreement of minutes following the site visit

Charge - £521

No charge categories

Applications involving improvements to access for disabled people or ones specifically related to promoting sustainable development, would not incur a charge. Other developments, which may incorporate some of these measures in their design, but are not the main purpose of the development would not benefit from this exemption.

There is also no charge for pre-application advice to small local businesses proposing the development (including change of use) of premises for their business use. This does not apply for larger developments and change of use (over 100 sqm floorspace).

It is only to provide basic informal advice on small schemes for local businesses, who may have limited planning knowledge and are not professionally represented. It does not provide for site visits, meetings or formal responses on schemes or for discussions on revisions post pre-application, planning application or appeal.

Additional charges

Following the meeting with officers or issuing of the pre-application response letter (depending on the pre-application category), the case will be deemed closed.

Any further advice sought from officers will either be charged at the rates outlined in the table below, or at the full pre-application fee.

Role Charge per hour (inclusive of VAT)
Assistant Director/Director £294
Head of Service £173
Section Manager £147
Area Team Leader/Richmond Strategic Development Lead £130
Principal Planning Officer £114
Senior Planning Officers £99
Planning Officer £77
Senior Administrative Officer £64
Administrative Officer/Technical Support Officer £53

Timescales

Targets are not guaranteed and may be subject to delay depending on other workload and the complexity of advice required.

You will be contacted if targets will not be achieved.

All categories

Within 5 working days of receipt of your request:

  • We will send you a letter to confirm receipt, the name of the case officer assigned to you and requests for additional information we might need.
  • We will decide whether you need pre-application advice and if so identify any specialist advice or information required.
  • We will allocate an appropriate planning officer. All requests are overseen by at least Principal Planner level, Senior Planner for category 6 to 9.
  • A senior administration officer will record and monitor for audit and review purposes.

Category 1-4 developments

Within 10 working days of the receipt of your request:

  • The case officer will assess the proposal in relation to relevant policies and planning requirements and seek any specialist advice received.
  • The case officer will then contact you to arrange a convenient meeting date where applicable.
  • Where specialist advice is needed, a minimum of 20 working days following the receipt of your request will be needed before a meeting is held.

Within 10 working days of your meeting with a case officer:

  • The case officer will prepare the written advice to be cleared by a Principal Planner, Team Manager or Section Manager.

Within 21 working days of your meeting with a case officer:

  • You will need to agree and settle any outstanding invoices with a Principal Planner, Team Manager or Section Manager.

The same procedures apply for further investigations, advice or meetings.

Category 5 developments

Within 10 working days of the receipt of your request:

  • The case officer will assess the proposal in relation to relevant policies and planning requirements and seek any specialist advice received.
  • The case officer will then contact you to arrange a convenient meeting date.

The case officer will aim to hold the meeting within 20 working days of the receipt of your request.

Category 6-9 developments

Within 10 working days of the receipt of your request:

  • The case officer will assess the proposal in relation to relevant policies and planning requirements and seek any specialist advice received.

Within 20 working days of the receipt of your request:

  • The case officer will prepare the written advice to be cleared by a Senior Planner, Principal Planner, Team Manager or Section Manager. Where specialist advice is needed, up to an additional 10 working days may be required.

Request advice

If you are requesting one of our chargeable services, then you must provide:

  • Full written contact details
  • A site location plan
  • Appropriate fixed pre-application fee
  • Description of proposed development and schedule of proposed uses and floor space
  • Relevant planning history and any background information
  • Photographs of site and surroundings, including schedule of existing buildings and uses
  • Sketch proposals of layout/elevations at appropriate scale i.e. 1:100, 1:200
  • Any supporting statements i.e. Design and Access Statement, Sustainability Appraisal, tree surveys, ecology surveys

Request pre-application advice

Confidentiality

If requested by a third party, any pre-application advice given is likely to be made publicly available as part of the online documents if we receive a related planning application.

If you consider that any information contained in your pre-application submission, or any of the advice you received, should not be made available to the public upon receipt of a related planning application, we will need to be notified of this in advance of a full application, and the reasons why you consider this information should be exempt.

Disclaimer

Any advice given by Council officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal response or decision of the Council with regard to future planning consents. Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of ability but without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, which is subject to public consultation and ultimately decided by the Council. You should therefore be aware that officers cannot give guarantees about the final form or decision that will be made on your planning or related applications.

Although the advice note will be brought to the attention of the Planning Committee or an officer acting under delegated powers, it cannot be guaranteed that it will be followed in the determination of future related planning applications and in any event circumstances may change or come to light that could alter the position. It should be noted that if there has been a material change in circumstances or new information has come to light after the date of the advice being issued then less weight may be given to the content of the Council’s pre-application advice of schemes.

Updated: 05 July 2024

Stay up to date! Make sure you subscribe to our email updates.