Duty planning advice service

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, project specific advice or proposals. You will need to refer to the pre-application service or planning performance agreement service.

If you require general planning advice, you can contact the planning team online.

Planning general enquiry

A 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 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.