Pre-application Advice

What is pre-application advice? How much is it? Where does it apply ?

All personal data held is processed in accordance with Data Protection Law. For more information please see our privacy note on our website.

The Pre-application Guidance Note explains how beneficial this service is to you and to us.

We've introduced a pre-application service which ensures that your application will be dealt with by a dedicated planning officer, who will be able to guide you through the pre-application process and provide support when you need it.

A charge is applicable for pre-application advice for certain types of development, these are detailed below: (exemptions do apply). We recognise the importance of support to businesses wishing to relocate or expand in the district. Where a planning proposal creates new jobs no fee will be required.

In addition to our charges, Worcestershire County Council - Economy and Infrastructure Directorate also have a separate Fee charge criteria for pre-application advice. Their contact is Karen Hanchett on 01905 846817 or For further information please follow this link to Highways pre application information

If you would like to use this service please complete each section of the appropriate planning advice request form, as this will help the planning officer to provide a comprehensive response to your enquiry, so we can provide the best possible advice.

How to access this service

You can access this service by completing the online Pre-application Advice Form - Please complete this form as this will help the planning officer make a comprehensive response to your enquiry.  This online form requires a payment to be made on submission.

If you do not to make payment online for this service then please download and print off the relevant form below:-

The fee criteria is below:

Proposed Development Type


(inc VAT)    

Fee for additional meetings (each)

(inc VAT)

Residential Development*

Development Site Area

Proposed Gross Floor Area**



1 - 4 dwellings

Less than 0.5ha

Less than 500 m2



5 - 9 dwellings

0.6 - 0.99ha

499 – 999m2



10 - 49 dwellings

1.0 - 1.25ha

1000 - 2499m2



50 - 199 dwellings

1.26 – 2.0ha

2,500 - 9,999m2



200+ dwellings

2ha or more





Proposed Development Type


(inc VAT)       

Fee for additional meetings (each)

(inc VAT)




Change of Use






Glasshouses/Poly Tunnels



Householder Development



Other*** £131.00 £68.15

* includes one-for-one replacements and conversions/subdivisions.
** measured externally.
*** includes all other development proposals not falling within any of the above categories such as variation or removal of conditions, car parks & roads and certificates for lawfulness.

The initial costs noted in the table above include up to three meetings. The charge for additional meetings will occur after the initial three meetings. Please note: It is up to the discretion of the Planning Officer as to whether a meeting is considered to be necessary, the Planning Officer may be able provide comprehensive advice from the information given without the need for a meeting.


There is no fee for the following:

  • Where the enquiry is made by a Local Authority or County Council.
  • Where the enquiry is made by a Parish or Town Council.
  • Where the enquiry is made by a Housing Association, Registered Social Landlord, or an equivalent Affordable Housing Provider or an architect/agent acting directly on their behalf including.
  • Where the development is for the direct benefit of a disabled person (and as such there would be no fee incurred to make the planning application).
  • Conservation advice e.g. works to listed buildings and Conservation Area consents.
  • Works to trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order or trees located within a Conservation Area.
  • Advice on how to submit a planning application or a fee enquiry.
  • Planning discussions in relation to enforcement investigations.

Is it always necessary?

We always welcome and indeed encourage pre-application discussion because it can:

  1. Help to get things right first time
  2. Identify some potential problems at an early stage
  3. Identify those schemes which have little or no realistic chance of success
  4. Save time and money
  5. Speed up the decision making process
  6. Provide a better quality development

What happens next?

When we have all of the relevant information your enquiry will be passed onto a case officer. They will check the planning history of the site, consult with appropriate colleagues (for instance Conservation, Highway, Drainage Officers), and assess the proposals against the adopted policies of the South Worcestershire Development Plan and any relevant Government Guidance. If necessary they may also visit the site.

The case officer will also inform the Local Ward Member of the approach for pre-application advice on the more significant proposals.

In some instances officers will wish to meet with potential applicants to discuss proposed schemes. You should note that this will not be considered necessary in all cases and particularly when proposals are for minor or straightforward development proposals or where the level of information being provided is very limited.

On completion of the above we will write advising you if planning permission for your scheme is likely to be granted and in some cases we may suggest improvements. However, this officer advice is not binding upon the Council.

How quickly will I receive a reply?

We recognise that a quick answer may be important to you, but it is essential that our advice is as accurate and complete as possible. We will try to provide a full written response within 15 working days for smaller schemes, 20 working days for larger schemes.  For more details please see the guidance note under "what service we will provide".

Is the advice binding upon the Council?

Whilst we always try to give advice you should be aware that planning applications are subject to extensive public consultation and publicity which can not be carried out before the formal application is submitted. Therefore the pre-application advice given is informal and cannot commit the Council to a particular decision on any subsequent planning application.

Freedom of Information Act

Under the Freedom of Information Act, we may receive a request to provide information regarding enquiries for Pre-Application advice. Sections 41 & 43 of the Act exempts information whose disclosure could result in substantial financial loss, or likely to prejudice the commercial interests of a person. You are therefore asked, if you believe the enquiry to be confidential, to supply a covering letter setting out the reasons why and for what period. The decision as to whether to release information however lies with the Local Authority.


You can pay by telephone (Tel. 01684 862221), using a credit or debit card.  Please ensure you quote the payment reference and amount paid with your completed form.

The relevant form can be sent to Planning Services by email to:

Or post: Malvern Hills District Council, Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AF