Pre-application specialist advice service

This page contains information about the DCC Specialist Advice Service on matters including landscape, ecology and geology, historic environment, sustainable drainage and flood risks.

The service is designed to advise on specific environmental issues that may need to be addressed when you submit a planning application. This relates to the information referred to in the Validation Requirements document and has been prepared by the relevant specialists within the County Council.

How to obtain specialist pre-application planning advice on specific environmental issues

For details of how to pay the fee please contact the relevant specialist officer which can be found in the tabs below. For information on what the council will do (including obligations under the Freedom of Information Act and General Data Protection Regulations), please see the GDPR and FOI webpage.

Specialist Advice Service relating to landscape and visual impact

The following sets out the proposed charging scheduled for services provided by the Devon County Landscape officer to developers, contractors or consultants.

Type of advice Description Charges + VAT
Specialist Advice Service for minor and small major developments (excluding sites within an AONB) In addition to the information provided in the planners’ standard pre-application advice service, a report highlighting the key landscape and visual issues raised by the proposals, along with recommendations on how these can be addressed; further advice of how the proposals could be improved in terms of siting and design to achieve better compliance with policy, mitigation of adverse effects and opportunities for landscape enhancement; Includes site visit/meeting up to 1 hour (excluding travel time), additional time chargeable at £50/hr. £150
Specialist Advice Service – medium to large major development and all developments in AONB In addition to the information provided in the planners’ standard pre-application advice service, a report highlighting potential for proposal to result in significant adverse landscape and visual impacts that could trigger need for formal Environmental Impact Assessment; the key landscape and visual issues raised by the proposals, along with recommendations on how these can be addressed; further advice on how the proposals could be improved in terms of siting and design to achieve better compliance with policy.

Includes site visit/meeting up to 1 hour (excluding travel time), additional time chargeable at £50/hr.

£200
Additional Services Bespoke desk-based advice on detailed scope of formal or informal landscape and visual impact assessment, including comment on proposed viewpoints, radius of study area. £100
Additional Services Desk-based review of draft landscape and visual impact assessment against GLVIA3 – up to 50 pages £100
Additional Services Desk-based review of draft landscape and visual impact assessment against GLVIA3 – 50-100 pages £150
Additional Services Site visits/viewpoint visits – either in connection with tasks above or independently £48/hr
Additional Services Additional tasks requested and agreed with landscape officer Negotiable based on time charge at £48/hr

(All prices shown above exclude VAT at 20%)

A written response will be provided  within 14 days of the request or following any meeting and receipt of the appropriate fee.

What we don’t offer

  • We do not offer landscape professional services, such as Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment or landscape design. To find a landscape professional consultant visit the Landscape Institute website.
  • We do not offer specialist arboricultural advice. Please contact the tree officer of your local planning authority (see standing advice on trees and hedges) or find an arboricultural consultant.

How to obtain pre-application planning advice on landscape and visual impact matters

To find out more about what pre-application landscape advice we can offer, please contact our Landscape officer, Melanie Croll, at landscape@devon.gov.uk.

Enhanced Advice service relating to ecology and geology

The charge for ecological pre-ap advice is based on the current rate (2020/21) of £48/hour + VAT at 20%.  For ecological issues it is very difficult to set standard rates as the size of application does not necessarily relate to the complexity of the ecological issues that need assessing and the time needed.  The charge will therefore be discussed and agreed with each developer individually.

The service can include:

  • Commenting on a draft Ecology Report to ensure that all ecology issues have been dealt with effectively prior to the application being submitted.  We strongly advise that developers buy into this service as it will avoid any potential costly delays when the application is submitted. 
  • Attending a site visit to provide more detailed advice.
  • Advice on specific issues e.g. protected sites or species (including survey requirements / HRA related issues).

Specialist post-application planning advice relating to ecology and geology

  • Site monitoring visits.

A written response will be provided within 14 days of the request or following any meeting and receipt of the appropriate fee.

What we don’t offer

  • We do not offer ecology professional services, such as survey work or mitigation design. To find a qualified and suitably experienced ecological consultant you can visit the Wildlife and Geology Guidance webpage.

How to obtain pre-application planning advice on ecology and geology matters

For more information about the Specialist Pre-Application service, please contact Tom Whitlock, Ecologist, by email at tom.whitlock@devon.gov.uk or on 01392 383000.

Specialist Advice Service relating to the historic environment

Development that affects World Heritage Site, Scheduled Monument, Registered Park & Garden, Protected Wreck or non-designated archaeological site, historic building or landscape

Specialist Advice Service regarding whether a development will need Scheduled Monument or other statutory consent and/or a Heritage Statement/Heritage Impact Assessment, Desk-Based Assessment or Field Evaluation, how to undertake this work and which statutory consultees or other specialists to speak to can be obtained from the Devon County Council Historic Environment Team (note that Scheduled Monument Consent, for development that directly affects a Scheduled Monument, will be dealt with by Historic England).

Development that affects a listed building or conservation area

Specialist Advice Service regarding whether a development will need Listed Building Consent, Design and Access Statement and/or a Heritage Statement and which conservation officer or other specialists to consult can be obtained from the Devon County Council Historic Environment Team (note that in most instances, Listed Building consent will be dealt with by district councils).

The initial appraisal and comment on a proposal will be free of charge. Subsequent detailed Specialist Advice Service may be charged as follows:

Advice Charges
Pre-application advice

Appraisal and discussion (including written response) of the heritage assets that may be affected by the proposal. Advice and/or a brief that sets out the scope of the programme of works required. Advice on methodologies and project designs for pre-application archaeological assessment and evaluation. Site visits relevant to the above. Advice on Written Schemes of Investigation for archaeological mitigation work.

Type 1 (Minor Application) £125
Type 2 (Minor Application) £225
Type 3 (Small Application) £325
Type 4 (Medium Application) £400
Type 5 (Large Application) cost by negotiation
Priority turn around £50
Additional site visits £48 per hour
 Post-application advice

Advice regarding appropriate archaeological mitigation (Written Scheme of Investigation) required after the submission of a planning application or the grant of planning permission. This includes the monitoring of archaeological fieldwork and advice on post-excavation assessment and reporting requirements through to archive deposition.

Type 1 (Minor Application) £200
Type 2 (Minor Application) £375
Type 3 (Small Application) £550
Type 4 (Medium Application) £750
Type 5 (Large Application) cost by negotiation
Priority turn around £50
Additional site visits £48 per hour
 Historic Building Appraisal and Recording

These charges are for pre- and post-application consultation advice, and consultation and monitoring of development that involve historic building appraisal and recording work.  This may be a stand-alone project or part of a larger scheme.

Pre-application £125
Monitoring works/Report assessment £200
Priority turn around £50
Additional site visits £48 per hour

(All prices shown above exclude VAT at 20%)

Consultations and developments that are not subject to these charges are:

  • householder planning applications
  • academic research
  • enquiries from the general public, including amenity societies
  • neighbourhood plan groups
  • enquiries from local planning authorities and parish councils

A written response will be provided within 14 days of the request or following any meeting and receipt of the appropriate fee.

More details on charges and the types of applications.

What we don’t offer

  • We do not offer historic environment professional services, such as survey work or mitigation design. To find a historic environment professional, contact archaeol@devon.gov.uk

How to obtain pre-application planning advice on historic environment matters

For more information about the Specialist Pre-Application service, please visit Devon County Council Historic Environment website.

Enhanced Advice Service relating to sustainable drainage

The following sets out the proposed charging scheduled for services provided by the Devon SuDs Officer/flood risk team to developers, contractors or consultants for commercial projects, or projects that relate to development.

A written response will be provided within 14 days of the request or following any meeting and receipt of the appropriate fee.

Type of Enquiry Response Level of Service Small Major* Medium Major* Large Major*
Free Advice Standing advice Sign posting to the website, DCC SuDS design guide or relevant authority for further information Free Free Free
Initial Enquiry Written advice Initial review of specific site to provide outline information/advice on sustainable surface water drainage requirements and any flood risk issues, relating to Surface Water, Ordinary Watercourses or Groundwater, to be taken into consideration.

 

We will endeavour to provide a written response within 21 days of the request and receipt of the appropriate fee

£150 £200 £250
Detailed Review of specific site proposals (Office) Written advice and meeting at County Hall if required Review of Surface Water Management proposals. Provide comments and advice on content and attend office based meeting if required.

We will endeavour to provide a written response within 21 days of the request and receipt of the appropriate fee.

£200 £300 £400
Detailed Review of specific site proposals (On site) Site meeting away from County Hall if required Review of Surface Water Management proposals. Provide comments and advice on content and attend site based meeting if required.

We will endeavour to provide a written response within 21 days of the request and receipt of the appropriate fee.

£300 £400 £500
Involvement in Strategic Master Planning Advice, meetings and written correspondence Provide guidance and advice on the strategic requirements for surface water management and flood risk management, relating to Surface Water, Ordinary Watercourses or Groundwater. Attend office and site based meetings as required £46/hr Total fee to be agreed £46/hr Total fee to be agreed £46/hr Total fee to be agreed
Additional Correspondence or Meetings Written advice and office/site meetings as required Provide further advice and guidance over and above the response provided in any of the sections above £46/hr £46/hr £46/hr

(All prices shown above exclude VAT at 20%)

*Clarification of Application Scales

Small Major
Residential development of 10-50 properties
Commercial development of 1,001m2 – 10,000m2 floor space

Medium Major
Residential development of 51 – 200 properties
Commercial development of 10,001m2 – 25,000m2 floor space

Large Major
Residential development of over 200 properties
Commercial development of over 25,000m2 floor space

Please note that if an applicant wishes to receive pre-application advice for a minor application they should contact their relevant planning authority in the first instance. If the applicant wishes to receive pre-application advice from Devon County Council’s Flood and Coastal Risk Management Team we recommend you contact us in advance for the relevant charging information.