Duty planning advice service

Updated: 30.07.21

Coronavirus/COVID-19 update

Please note: Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, there will be no officer present on duty at the reception counter until further notice. Queries can still be made via the telephone or email as detailed below.

A duty planner advice service is available at Blackburn Town Hall. The service deals informally with general planning process issues relating to several defined areas. It is unlikely to be suitable for anyone seeking advice on the acceptability of a proposed scheme.

This service is not suitable for project specific advice e.g.the likelihood of your development scheme gaining planning permission. If you require project specific advice, consider our pre-application service or bespoke planning performance agreement service.

A duty planning officer can give general planning advice and is available:

  • Monday (13:00-16:00)
  • Wednesday (13:00-16:00)

You can speak to the duty planning officer by calling 01254 585960 or you can visit the Blackburn Town Hall, King William Street, Blackburn BB1 7DY.

You can also email planning queries to planning@blackburn.gov.uk.

The duty planning officer cannot give advice about proposals: please use the Council’s pre-application service for this.

The duty planning officer will:

  • explain in broad terms how planning policy and design guidance will apply to alterations and extensions to domestic dwellings
  • explain in broad terms how planning policy and design guidance will apply to small scale residential developments and small scale retail, business, industrial and other commercial developments
  • explain planning policy and requirements in relation to consent for signs and advertisements under the advertisement regulations
  • advise on alterations and extensions to existing retail, business, industrial and other commercial premises
  • explain listed buildings and conservation/heritage requirements
  • advise on permitted development rights
  • advise on requirements in respect of proposals for changes of use
  • explain planning procedures, including consultation, publicity and decision making processes once an application is submitted
  • advise on referral to other specialist Council services.

Most site specific enquiries cannot be addressed without the benefit of thorough research, consultation and a site visit. Therefore, the duty planning officer is unable to advise on the likelihood of a particular proposal obtaining planning permission. If you require such advice, submit a pre-application enquiry (where relevant).

The duty planning officer will not:

  • provide views on the acceptability of proposals (you will need to submit a request for pre application advice)
  • provide a definitive answer as to whether planning permission is required (this will only be provided after submission of a Certificate of Lawfulness application)
  • discuss enquiries relating to current applications and appeals (you will need to contact the case officer)
  • discuss enquiries relating to reasons for refusal or conditions imposed on determined applications (you will need to make an appointment with the case officer)
  • discuss enquiries relating to current enforcement investigations (you will need to contact the planning enforcement team)
  • determine requests for specific non-material amendments (you will need to submit a request for a non-material amendment)
  • respond to requests for written pre-application advice (you will need to submit request for pre-application advice)
  • provide advice on major development proposals (you will need to submit a request for major pre-application advice)
  • provide assistance with the completion of forms and validation enquiries.
  • provide advice on party wall issues/boundary issues/disputes.

The advice given is from the opinion of an informal officer, based on the information supplied to the Council, and is without prejudice to the formal consideration of any enquiry or application that is subsequently submitted.


Any planning advice given by officers, either orally or in writing in the course of their duties, is offered in good faith and is based on the information and evidence given to them.

However, such advice is offered without the benefit of a site visit, without the involvement of a broader range of officers in dealing with an actual planning application, and with no input from consultees, neighbours or other interested parties. Such views are therefore the personal opinion of that officer (or officers) and are not a formal decision of, nor binding on, the Council. The Council will only be bound where a formal application is submitted and a formal decision is issued in writing.

Much information on submitting an application is already available on this website: please consider this before you contact the Council.