Pre-application advice

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

We are dealing with a high volume of enquiries.  Our staff are still working remotely and may be working different hours.

We are still providing pre-application advice and the "Do I need planning permission?" service.  We can provide pre-app advice:

  • as either a desktop only service or
  • an unaccompanied visit plus a virtual meeting or phone call.  This is charged as a pre-app with accompanying site visit.

You will need to submit:

  • a site location map with site edged red to a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500
  • description/schedule or existing uses on the site
  • a site plan (to scale)
  • correct fee

Please note that we prefer electronic submissions.  Please send it to  We will send you an email with your reference number and instructions to pay: Pay for something - Cornwall Council

If you need to submit in hard copy, please send it to:

Cornwall Council Planning, PO Box 676, Threemilestone, Truro TR1 9EQ.

What are the benefits?

Pre-application discussions:

  • save time and money
  • reduce the number of unsuccessful planning applications
  • make sure you provide enough information with an application.

You can use our pre-application advice service before you submit a planning application. This service can include:

  • research the history of the site
  • a site visit if required
  • checks against Council policies and standards
  • a meeting with the applicant if needed. This could be a telephone discussion.
  • checks for further investigations
  • checks for key groups needed for consultation
  • a written response.

Our response will inform whether you should continue with your planning application.

What does it cost?

Planning application fees do not cover the cost of pre-application advice. This service has a separate fee. 

Pre-application advice fees depend on the category of development:

Category A - Major:
  • Residential development of 10 homes or where site area is 0.5 hectares or more. New floorspace or change of use of 1000 sq m or where site is between 1-3 hectares.  A single wind turbine (any height).
  • Residential development of more than 10 homes but less than 300 homes or where site area is greater than 3 hectares. New floorspace or change of use of 3000 sq m or where site is 3 hectares.
  • Residential development of 300 homes or more or where site area is more than 5 hectares. New floorspace or change of use of 10,000 sq m or where site is 10 hectares or over.
  • Major development requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Lifting or varying conditions fee depends on scale associated with major development
Category B - Minor:
  • Residential development of between 2-9 dwellings/structures or where site area is below 0.5 hectares. 
  • New floorspace or change of use of less than 1000 sq m or where site is less than 1 hectare
  • Lifting or varying conditions associated with a minor development
Category C - Other:
  • Telecommunications development
  • Listed Building Consent (non-domestic)
  • Advertisement Consent
  • Certificate of Lawfulness for existing development
  • Proposals for a single dwelling
  • Demolition in a Conservation Area (advice on what is required/any exceptions prior to the demolition of a property in a Conservation Area)
  • Lifting of varying conditions associated with "other development"
  • Single agricultural buildings/dwellings
Category D - Householder:
  • Householder pre-app advice is desktop only.  Incidental development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.  This includes extensions and garages but not new single dwellings.

You can choose between:

  • desktop only
  • desktop plus
  • full pre-application advice

Please see full details in our Planning and Sustainable Development Service Fees and Charges Document 

How do I apply?

Please complete the forms below:

We aim to contact you within 5 working days of receiving your application form.

Please do not submit original copies of documents, especially if:

  • legal documents
  • deeds
  • historical information

For further information please see our pre-application advice guidance note.

Householder enquiry

If you wish to alter or extend your home, please view the:

The Planning Portal website offers quality planning advice.

We provide pre-application advice for householder enquiries. These are desktop only assessments. 

Please contact Building Control for Building Regulation advice.

Please discuss your proposals with the occupiers/owners of any neighbouring properties. This is to ensure that the proposal does not affect them.

You can find out more on our “Do I need planning permission?” page if you need help. 

What is EH-TAP?

Environmental Health - Technical Advice for Planning Applicants’ is a service for:

  • developers
  • applicants and
  • agents.

It provides advice on:

  • Air quality
  • Contaminated land
  • Acoustics (sound/noise)
  • Odour

Planning Performance Agreement

A Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) helps manage the planning process. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) and applicant can use it to agree:

  • timescales
  • actions
  • resources

PPAs are useful at:

  • the pre-application stage
  • the planning application stage
  • the post decision stage
  • combination of these stages

For further information please see our Planning Performance Agreement Charter.

Community Engagement

Planning case officers offer advice on options for finding out local views. This is part of the pre-application or Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) discussions.

Community engagement is good practice and can:

  • identify local issues and concerns
  • inform Members and the public of a proposal early in the planning process
  • help local councils, developers and offers work together
  • show officers pre-application discussions with a developer
  • help developers to shape an application to address community issues
  • make the submission and determination process smoother.

One option is our PACE Forum service.  Information on Pre-application Community Engagement (PACE) including:

  • details of the suitable options
  • how the forums run

can be accessed on using these links:

PACE Forums are not possible for confidential requests for pre-application advice.

Freedom of Information 

We publish pre-application enquiries and responses. Exceptions are:

  • commercially sensitive and
  • confidential information.

We receive requests to disclose information under the:

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOI)
  • Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)

The Council will have to provide this information unless the information is exempt.  We will only withhold information if the information falls under one of the:

  • exemptions (FOI)
  • exceptions (EIR)

These are set out in legislation.

The applicant should complete a pre-application confidential/commercially sensitive checklist. You need to explain:

  • why the information is confidential and
  • for how long the information should be confidential. 

We will note these views. A final decision on whether the information will be withheld is the Council's.

The Council complies with the Data Protection Act. We will not release personal information to third parties.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

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