West Berkshire Council

Planning Pre-Application Advice Service

Using our advice service before making a planning application can help things go more smoothly

Please note that this service is NOT a substitute for a planning application.

This is a formal advice service available for a pdf icon fee [60kb]. For general planning enquiries, please contact the Duty Planning Officer.

Pre Application Advice is offered in two stages:

  • Stage 1 is a written exchange of information and advice in response to your request
  • Stage 2 is optional, requiring an additional payment

Stage 2 would involve a meeting to discuss your proposal and explore the outcome of the written response from Stage 1 further. This meeting can include council specialists on key issues identified at stage one at your request (note an additional flat rate-fee will be required for this).

You can request both Stage 1 and Stage 2 advice from the outset.

The pre-application guidance we give will be based on a planning case officer's professional judgement and is overseen by a senior officer. Giving our advice doesn't mean we've agreed to the proposal, or made a decision on it ahead of a planning application being made. Applications still need to go through the full process of assessment.  

You don't have to follow these pre-application processes, but doing so could help your application. We also encourage you to take advantage of opportunities to involve the statutory consultees and the local community prior to submission.

Stage 1

 

The first step is to complete an application form. You can do this and pay online using our Pre-Application Advice Request Form. Please see below for other documentation you can include with your submission.

Alternatively, you can use thepdf icon West Berkshire Council Planning Pre-Application Advice Request Form [32kb] to submit by email or post. In this case, please supply the appropriate fee (plus VAT) as set out in the pdf icon pre-application advice fees document [60kb].

When you send anything to us, please quote 'PREAPP' and the site address, and provide your contact details.

 

Ways to Pay

  • Name of Account:  West Berkshire District Council
  • Bank Name and Address: National Westminster Bank, 30 Market Place, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5AG
  • Sort Code:    60-15-07
  • Bank Account Number:   65453441
 Once we receive your completed form along with your payment, we'll check it and give it to a case officer to manage. Where possible the same officer will deal with any subsequent planning application.
 We'll send you an acknowledgement, along with a unique reference number, within five working days.
 The Planning Case Officer will then
 
  • Carry out research, and identify any key issues likely to be raised by your proposal
  • Consult with relevant West Berkshire Council specialists
  • Advise you of any amendments or alterations that could be made to improve your proposals and overcome planning concerns
  • Advise you on the possible outcome of a future planning application
  • Advise you on the possible 'Heads of Terms' that may apply to any necessary legal agreement
 We will send a written response to you within 30 working days. Sometimes the process takes longer than this to allow for the return of consultation responses. We'll let you know if this is the case and agree a revised target date.

Stage 2

Once you have received advice at Stage 1, you may wish to request a meeting, requiring an additional payment. If council specialists are required to attend, you'd also need to pay a further flat-rate fee at this point.

To arrange a meeting, you should contact the case officer who gave the advice at Stage 1.

We'll try to offer a date for a meeting, or to advise you if we feel a meeting would have no benefit, within 10 working days of receiving a Stage 2 request.  If we think that such a meeting wouldn't be of any benefit, we'll refund any Stage 2 fee already paid.

You are welcome to submit your notes or minutes of the meeting within 10 working days following the meeting date. We will confirm or otherwise that they are an accurate reflection of the discussion within 5 working days of having received them.

Plans, supporting documents and information to provide

There may be further supporting material required than mentioned here, and your Planning Case Officer may request this during Pre-Application Advice discussions.

Required:

  • Pre-Application Advice Request Form - complete and submit either the online form or the printable version - this states the location and includes an accurate, detailed written description of your proposal
  • A Site Location Plan clearly identifying the site or building in question

You may also include these other types of supporting document:

  • Block plan
  • Elevation Sketch Plan
  • Photographs

Commercially sensitive applications

If your application is commercially sensitive, you may want to optionally include a completed doc icon Commercially Sensitive Material Checklist [42kb], and you will also need to consider the pdf icon Planning Pre-Application Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and Freedom of Information (FOI) guidance [3kb].

Who To Contact