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Pre-application advice services

Our pre-application advice services for applicants and their agents before submitting a planning application for minerals, waste or county developments.

What information do we need?

To provide advice we will need to know about Who, What, Where, When and How.

For example:

  • Who - the name and contact details of the applicant and/or their agent
  • What - the general nature of the development, the intended use of land or buildings, the type of mineral or waste operations, the type and quantities of minerals or waste, the type of buildings, the steps to be taken when preparing your planning application e.g. background surveys (traffic, noise, ecology and trees) and consultations with consultees and the local community
  • Where - the location of the site (a location plan), a site layout plan to show the access and where the main activities would be or are being carried out or where buildings would be or have been erected etc
  • When - when would the development be carried out and how long would it continue (permanent or temporary), or, when did the development you are seeking to regularise commence
  • How - how would the development be carried out during the site preparation and construction phase and during the operational phase, the operating hours, the traffic movements, the potential emissions from the site and methods to manage those emissions (if applicable) e.g. noise, dust, water, odours etc.

Where do I submit my enquiry for advice and how do I pay?

New - Please register and then submit your enquiry for advice relating to minerals, waste or county developments, indicating which service you require via our Pre-application Advice Citizen Portal. For all other types of development contact your Borough/District Council

After submitting your enquiry for advice, or after submitting an enquiry about further detailed advice, we will acknowledge receipt of your enquiry and provide you with the bank transfer details to pay for the service.  Under the current Covid restrictions we are not working in the office and so can't accept a cheque or payment by debit/credit card over the telephone.

Please note: we will not consider you enquiry until the correct payment has been made.

Initial pre-application advice service

We will aim to provide initial pre-application advice by email within 10 working days of receiving your request and checking that we have sufficient information and the fee.

Typically initial pre-application advice will explain: 

  • the type of planning application that would be required, the fee, the method of submission and ways to make the payment
  • the relevant planning policy considerations
  • the relevant regulations
  • the broad range of information that may be required to accompany the application

Detailed pre-application advice service

Option A

The Planning Officer’s detailed written advice

We will aim to provide detailed pre-application advice by email within 15 working days of receiving your request and checking that we have sufficient information and the fee. 

We will complete a pre-application advice checklist which will typically include or be accompanied by the following information as necessary or appropriate:

Constraints report

  • Details of the relevant planning history for the site from our records and examples of similar cases elsewhere
  • The key planning policy and other material considerations which will need to be taken into account in preparing a planning application
  • The information that will be required from you to ensure that your planning application is valid
  • Advice on the land which will need to be included within the application site boundary and how the planning application fee will be calculated
  • An explanation of the process for determining the planning application including the timescale
  • Advice on whether a legal agreement may be required and the matters that may need to be addressed
  • Advice about the need to consider whether an Environmental Impact Assessment may be required
  • Advice about engagement with the local community
  • Advice about which of our specialists you should consider obtaining more detailed advice from (see our ‘Further detailed pre-application advice’ service below)
  • Advice about which other statutory / non-statutory consultees you should contact to discuss your proposals

We will conclude by offering our opinion, on a without prejudice basis, as to whether or not a planning application for the proposed development would be recommended for approval.

Please note: if, having received our advice you would like more detailed advice, to arrange a site visit or meeting, or, to submit additional information or revised proposals; then see our further detailed pre-application advice service explained below.

Option B

The Planning Officer’s detailed written advice and advice from our specialists as appropriate (or as specified by you).

We will aim to provide detailed pre-application advice, including advice from our specialists, by email within 25 working days of receiving your request and checking that we have sufficient information and the fee. 

We will complete a pre-application advice checklist as described for Option A above and consult our specialists as appropriate (or as requested by yourselves) and include their advice.  For example our specialists can provide advice on the potential effects of proposals on: 

  • roads and footpaths
  • local amenity (noise and visual impact)
  • the natural environment
  • the historic environment
  • drainage and flood risk

Please note: if, having received our advice you would like more detailed advice, to arrange a site visit or meeting, or, to submit additional information or revised proposals; then see our further detailed pre-application advice service explained below.

Further detailed pre-application advice service

Having first provided detailed pre-application advice (Option A or B above) we can provide further detailed pre-application advice, attend a site visit or meeting to discuss our advice in more detail or to consider additional information or revised proposals in response to our advice.

We will aim to arrange a site visit / meeting attended by a Planning Officer and / or our specialists (as specified by you - see Option B above) within 15 working days and aim to provide notes of the site visit or meeting and further advice within 10 working days of the visit or meeting.

In response to additional information / revised proposals we will aim to arrange a meeting (if required) or provide further written advice from a Planning Officer and/or our specialists (as specified by you) within 10 working days of receiving the additional information or revised proposals. 

We will need to confirm the charge for this bespoke service which will need to be paid in advance.

Note - more time

If we require more time to provide your pre-application advice we will contact you to confirm when you will receive it.

Disclaimer

Any views or opinions expressed by Staffordshire County Council officers will be given in good faith, and to the best of their ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application or other submission requiring our approval subsequently made. 

Any pre-application advice given by us will not constitute a formal response or decision of the council on any planning application or other submission requiring our approval subsequently made. 

We cannot guarantee that new matters will not be raised during consideration of any planning application or other submission requiring our approval subsequently made. 

Any pre-application advice given in relation to the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations will not constitute a formal response of the council under the provisions of the Land Charges Act 1975. 

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