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Pre-application advice

Cornwall Council offer a pre-application advice service.

Pre applications can be submitted, if you know you require planning permission and you wish to receive advice from a case officer or consultee service prior to the submission of a formal planning application.

The ways we can provide advice

We can provide pre-app advice:

  • as either a desktop only service or
  • Desktop plus or
  • Full with an unaccompanied site visit plus a virtual meeting or phone call.  Visits are all unaccompanied.

Proposals should relate to one development proposal in respect of the site.  We will not accept different options for development under a single pre-application enquiry.

Advice given to a pre-application enquiry relates to the merits of the proposal and planning material considerations only.

The pre-application process should not be used for confirmation as to whether planning permission or other planning consents are required or not required. 

Should you wish to determine this before submitting a pre-application enquiry please submit a 'Do I need' enquiry.

Make a 'Do I Need' Enquiry

Things you need to submit with your pre-application

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, any other information that would assist the officer
  • a site plan (to scale)
  • correct fee once a reference has been provided

Please note we prefer electronic submissions which can be emailed to

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
  • an online 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.

During the pre-application process we are unable to confirm all validation requirements  for an application, you will be provided with some general guidance and directed to the Make a planning application page for more information.

What does it cost?

This service has a separate fee, if and when an application is submitted another fee will be payable.

Pre-application advice fees can fall under 4 categories and are calculated from the description and the site area outlined in red:

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.

We offer different levels of service under 3 categories; you can choose between:

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

Planning and Sustainable Development Service Fees and Charges 

How do I apply?

Please complete the forms below:

Once received a reference is provided and we then have up to 5 working days to register and check/process your submission. Once we have received all of the required information and fee, then the pre application will be validated and the officer will then have 30 working days to provide a written response.

These timescales can change during busy periods.

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

  • legal documents
  • deeds
  • historical information

For more guidance on the pre application process,  please read:

Pre-application advice guidance note

If you need to submit in hard copy, please send to our correspondence address:

Cornwall Council Planning, New County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3AY.

How do I pay?

We will send you an email with your reference number and instructions to pay.

Please have your reference number to hand and click on the link below.

Pay for pre-application advice

Householder enquiry

If you wish to alter or extend your home, a householder pre application can be submitted if you know planning is required, for more guidance please view our webpages on:

The Planning Portal website offers quality planning advice.

Planning Portal website

If you wish to submit a Householder pre application (Category D), advice will be provided from a desktop only assessment. 

If you require Building Regulation advice, please contact Building Control Direct

Building Control pages

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. 

Do I need planning permission?

What is EH-TAP?

During the pre-application process, we offer the option of E H -Tap, if the application site falls within certain constraints. If you require further information please use the link below.

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

Environmental Health - Technical Advice for Planning Applicants

Planning Performance Agreement

A Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) helps manage the planning process.

It is also a useful tool if you want input from a lot of internal consultees. So, you can receive one coordinated response from the service.

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 charter.

Planning Performance Agreement CharterCommunity 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 officers 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.

Freedom of Information 

All Pre-applications are publicly available unless a confidential/commercially sensitive form is submitted.

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 the checklist below.

Pre-application confidential/commercially sensitive checklistYou need to explain:

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

If the reason provided is not deemed acceptable, we will question this at the validation stage.

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?

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Use our contact us form

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