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Get pre-application advice

We offer a pre-application advice service to anyone wanting guidance prior to the submission of a planning application for a type of development for which Devon County Council is responsible (minerals development, waste development or development by the County Council). Pre-application enquiries for other types of development should be directed to the relevant district council.

By using this service you will be able to find out whether your proposal is acceptable in planning terms, as well as improve the quality of the proposal and highlight the key issues that should be addressed in your application.

The advice will help to ensure your submission contains all information required, which can prevent delays in the planning process – potentially saving you time and money.

The more information you give us during pre-application discussions, the more comprehensive the advice we can give you.

Below is a list of required information, however, if you have and can provide further information, this will allow for more in-depth and informed advice.

Development scale Fee 
Request for whether planning permission is required £50 + VAT (£60 incl. VAT)
Minor applications* £500 + VAT (£600 incl. VAT)
Major applications* £1,000 + VAT (£1,200 incl. VAT)

*Further details of the pre-application advice service we offer including what we will do, the timescales for the provision of advice, what the advice will contain and the scale of fees is available in our pre-application advice document.

In addition, a specialist pre-application advice service is available to aid the preparation of your application’s environmental information for landscape, ecology, the historic environment and sustainable drainage and flood risk. This enhanced service offers more detailed and specialist advice on these topics and, in most cases, can be offered in a bespoke manner to suit your particular requirements.  Details of this enhanced service.

Supplementary guidance on landscape, highways, ecology, the historic environment and sustainable drainage to aid the preparation of applications can be found here.

What do I need to do?

When completing the pre-application advice request form, please make it clear whether you require full pre-application advice or confirmation as to whether planning permission is required.

Complete our pre-application advice request form >

You will also need to provide us with the following:

Required information

  1. The site boundary clearly marked on a location plan of not less than 1:1250 scale.
  2. The layout of the site shown on a plan of not less than 1:500 scale.
  3. Drawings/plans/sketches, such as elevations, floor plans, access arrangements and materials, showing the nature and scale of the development.
  4. Drawings/plans/sketches showing features such as trees, other vegetation, landscape features, utilities, listed buildings and adjacent buildings and uses.
  5. A full and accurate description of the proposal.
  6. Photographs of the existing site.
  7. A completed Wildlife and Geology Trigger Table which will indicate whether a wildlife, geology or invasive species report is required.
  8. The correct fee.

Desirable information

  1. Results of any preliminary consultation with neighbours, other authorities or statutory undertakers.
  2. Other supporting information, for example, draft environmental statement, transport assessment, ecological survey.

What will be discussed?

While every application will be different, each request will involve an accompanied site visit/meeting and following the visit the provision of a written report. The report will cover the following minimum information:

  1. Provision of advice regarding procedures, consultation arrangements and the estimated timescale for determining the submitted application.
  2. The key issues that should be addressed in the application.
  3. Whether you should seek a screening opinion from the County Council as to whether an environmental impact assessment is required.
  4. Possible requirements for legal agreements, covering matters such as contributions to infrastructure improvements necessary to support the proposed development (for example, green infrastructure, highway improvements, additional landscaping).
  5. Statutory designations for the site and surrounding area and any constraints to development.
  6. Relevant planning policies.
  7. Any relevant planning history held for the site.
  8. The application form and supporting information required to meet national and local validation requirements.

More information on the detailed requirements are at Validation requirements.

Additional matters

Prospective applicants requesting a pre-application discussion should note the following:

  • Any advice given by council officers does not constitute a formal decision of the County Council in respect of any future planning application(s). No guarantee of a particular decision or even recommendation can be given as any application will have to undergo a process of consultation which may raise new issues.
  • Any advice given about the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response under the provisions of the Local Land Charges Act 1975.
  • Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith, based on existing planning policies and standards, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any future planning application which will be the subject of public consultation and ultimately decided by the County Council.
  • You should always check that the advice is still current. There may have been a material change in national, regional or local policy if there has been a significant delay in submitting your application after the pre-application advice was given.
  • The results of the pre-application meeting will not be available for public inspection. However, the Council may be required to supply results to any party making a freedom of information request.