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Pre-application advice service


The Local Planning Authority is often approached for site specific advice relating to development within the Borough.

Do I have to use the pre-application service? What advice is available free of charge?

BCW will still offer a basic level of service free of charge. This would provide generic advice including:

  • the requirements to submit an application;
  • where to look to obtain policy information;
  • an indication of any potential specialist advice that may be required.

Most of this advice will be available on the Council’s website at www.wellingborough.gov.uk.

The planning enquiries service will NOT provide advice on the potential acceptability of a given development proposal.

What level of service can I expect from the pre-application service?

The service standards will be as follows:

  • We will register your pre-application within a maximum of 3 working days, and contact you to confirm that the application has been registered, name of the case officer confirmed and a date specifying when your formal advice is due will also be provided.
  • Details of the proposed development will be sent to consultees where applicable.
  • A written response within 8 weeks of registration for all applications will be provided unless another timescale has been agreed between the parties, which may result in more comprehensive and useful advice.

What do I need to provide?

To give us a suitably comprehensive level of information, which will be in your best interests because it will allow a more informed response, you should provide the following as a minimum:

  • A pre-application form completed on-line or download a pre-application request form;
  • A site location plan with the site outlined in red & other neighbouring land outlined in blue, at scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500;
  • A block plan showing the proposed layout of the site at 1:200 or 1:500
  • A full description of the nature of the development, including scale and uses proposed;
  • For full or reserved matter applications, as a minimum sketch proposals would be required. Properly scaled floor plans and elevations will enable a more accurate response.
  • Other information to help explain the scheme, for example draft design and access statement, photographs, street scenes, relevant site history etc.

Please note that the quality of the response to any pre-application request is dependent upon the level of information that is submitted. It is in your interests to provide as much information as possible to support your application. Failure to do this or introducing additional considerations at the application stage may result in the Council’s written response no longer being relevant.

Please send the completed form to planning.bcw@northnorthants.gov.uk with any plans and details relevant to your enquiry.  

Please note that the advice would be based on desk top research.

Pre-Application charges apply including proposals to make alterations to Listed Buildings being used as residential dwellings.  The fee does not generally cover site visit or meetings.

Further information can be found in the Guidance Notes and on the Planning Portal.

Important disclaimer

You should be aware that any pre-application advice provided by the local planning authority is made at officer level only, and does not constitute a formal decision of the council. Any views or opinions expressed, are given without prejudice to the consideration by the Council of any formal planning application, which will be subject to wider consultation and publicity. Although the case officer may indicate the likely outcome of a formal planning application from their professional point of view, no guarantees can or will be given about the decision that will be made on any such application.

It should be noted that policies, constraints etc. change from time to time and may affect the advice given. The relevant policies referred to within any pre-application advice may therefore change over time;

The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act bind the Council, as a public authority, and therefore it should be presumed that information supplied to the council is likely to be disclosed under the above Act. If you want information to remain confidential, you should state clearly why. Information sent to the Council "in confidence" may still be disclosed under the above Act. Before sending such information you are advised to take legal advice if there are fears that disclosure would prejudice you in some commercial way.

Major, minor and other development is as defined by central government. For clarity major development covers:

  • 10+ dwellings / over half a hectare
  • General industrial - 1000+ m² / 1+ hectare
  • Office / light industrial - 1000+ m² / 1+ hectare
  • Retail - 1000+ m²/ 1+ hectare
  • Gypsy/traveller site - 10+ pitches


Last Updated: ‎13/04‎/‎2021‎