Planning pre-application advice service
Things to do
If you are making a planning application we encourage you to get pre-application advice from us.
We are here to help you consider how your proposal can be supported. We aim to do this in a constructive and timely way. This can involve being clear to you about proposals that raise critical issues and are difficult to resolve successfully. To be most effective, we also need you to be open and realistic about the options available.
We appreciate that it is for you to decide how to progress any application but, if clear pre-application advice has been provided and is not reflected in an application, the scope for post application amendments will be very limited. Similarly, if you have decided not to obtain pre-application advice before submitting an application it is unlikely that we will be able to accept significant changes to your proposal before making a decision.
Effective pre-application engagement is strongly encouraged with the local community (including local elected representatives) and relevant stakeholders. This can help to develop a high quality scheme that meets the needs of the community and leads to planning permission being granted more quickly.
We encourage residents and developers to understand our planning policies before submitting a planning application so please check the information available in our Planning guides.
Making an enquiry
It is important that you provide us with certain information to ensure that we are able to provide you with detailed advice.
Our pre-application enquiry form is designed to help you provide us with the basic information we require in order to process your enquiry.
For householder developments
Detailed guidance about residential extensions is available in Residential Extensions and Alterations Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD2) and the pre-application process is based on providing advice in response to a proposal that we hope will have taken this guidance into account.
Drawings and sketches of the proposal are normally required to allow a more detailed response to your pre-application query and photos of the existing situation are useful.
We will provide a written response which may include suggestions to help support a later application. There will be a further charge if a meeting is required.
For minor developments
Drawings detailing the proposal are required in most instances. If a commercial use is proposed, further details of that use will help to us to provide a more detailed response to your query.
We will provide a written response which will set out the key issues and may include options to consider in a subsequent application.
There will be a further charge if a meeting is sought for proposals involving up to four residential units or 499 square metres of commercial floorspace.
For larger developments
If proposals are close to the design stage, the developer may submit an urban design analysis of the site that defines its key characteristics together with drawings detailing the proposed development.
We will also advise what further information is required, such as affordable housing provision, financial appraisals, sustainability checklist, travel plans and transport assessments.
Where a proposal may be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment then early discussions should focus on issues relating to the screening and scoping of the proposal.
A meeting will be offered in addition to the written advice that will be provided. The meeting may be before or after the advice is provided in writing.
If a further meeting is required to discuss the proposal then this would be charged for separately.
Multiple options and revisions
We will only be able to comment on one proposal under each pre-application enquiry. Submission of multiple options will attract an additional fee of 50 per cent of the selected pre-application service for each additional option.
We will consider one set of revised proposals from the same applicant, amended in response to our feedback and received within 6 months of the date of our written feedback, for an additional fee of 50 per cent of the selected pre-application service.
Further revisions will not be considered unless part of a wholly new pre-application enquiry.
Types of advice and fees
|Service||Type of development||Fee||Response|
|PREAPP 1||Householder (extensions and alterations to a dwelling)||£240 (£200+VAT)||Written*|
|PREAPP 2||Small Minor development (I unit / up to 99 sq.m.)||£360 (£300+VAT)||Written*|
|PREAPP 3||Medium Minor development (2 to 4 units / 100 – 499 sq.m.)||£960 (£800+VAT)||Written*|
|PREAPP 4||Large Minor development (5 to 9 units / 500 – 999 sq.m.)||£1800 (£1,500+VAT)||Written and meeting|
|PREAPP 5||Major development (10 to 24 units / 1,000 - 1,999 sq.m.)||£4800 (£4000+VAT)||Written and meeting|
|PREAPP 6||Large major development (25 to 149 units / 2,000 - 4,999 sq.m.)||£9000 (£7,500+VAT)||Written and meeting|
|PREAPP 7||Strategic development* (150 units + / 5,000 sq.m. +)||£12,000 (£10,000+VAT)||Written and meeting|
|PREAPP 8||Reserved matters||£1800 (£1,500+VAT)||Written and meeting|
* A meeting can be provided as part of the PREAPP 1, 2, or 3 service for an additional fee of £200+VAT. Meetings can only be arranged in addition to one of the above services. The maximum duration of the meeting is 2 hours.
Fees for significantly larger or complex schemes can be negotiated where a bespoke pre-application service is required. This also applies to project work.
Project work examples
- Preparation of master planning or area design and development studies.
- Management of public consultation e.g. on new open space.
- Preparation of notes explaining UDP policy context for proposed development sites.
- Listed buildings, conservation management plans, repair schedules.
- Preparation of travel plans.
In general, we will aim to provide a response to smaller scale proposals (PREAPP 1- 3) within 20 working days of receiving your enquiry, including the required fee.
If it is not possible to provide you with a response within this timeframe we will contact you within the 20 working days to agree a revised time frame.
For larger scale proposals (PREAPP 4-7) an officer will contact you within 10 working days of receiving your enquiry, including the required fee, to agree the time frame for responding to your enquiry; as these are sent to our fortnightly Major Cases Forum for consideration and a meeting is included as standard, you can expect this process to take at least 30 working days for small schemes.
Enquiries will be allocated to an appropriate case officer depending on the complexity or nature of the proposal within 5 working days. However, all advice will be reviewed and agreed with a senior officer prior before it is issued.
Payment of our pre-application advice fees is required in advance. At present we are only able to accept payment for pre-application advice by cheque.
You should write the address of the enquiry and your pre-application enquiry reference number (if you have one) on the back of the cheque. Cheques should be made payable to ‘The London Borough of Brent’ and should be sent to:
Planning and Development
We hope to offer alternative forms of payment in the near future.
Planning advice from the Environment Agency
The Environment Agency's Sustainable Places team enables sustainable growth and creates better places for people and wildlife. It offers planning advice relating to the water environment and waste management.