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Minor development advice

House with extension

Our pre application advice service provides an opportunity to discuss your proposed scheme and get clear written expert advice from a planning officer before you submit an application.

What constitutes minor development?

Our pre application advice service provides an opportunity to discuss your proposed scheme and get clear written expert advice from a planning officer before you submit an application.

  • extensions and alterations to a house;
  • advertisements;
  • telecommunications;
  • agricultural development;
  • extensions and alterations to listed buildings;
  • 1-9 dwellings;
  • all other minor developments of less than 1,000sqm floor space or on sites of less than 1 hectare. For example retail, commercial, industrial, leisure, education, recreation and car parking.

How do I request pre-application advice?

Requests for advice should be made by completing the pre-application advice form.

Request minor development advice

Pre-application enquiries will not be processed without the appropriate fee, which are set out below.

What happens next?

Once your request for advice has been received and checked, we aim to contact you within 5 working days to acknowledge receipt of your form and inform you of the name of the planning officer dealing with your request.

A planning officer of the council will consider your proposal and, with advice from relevant consultees if necessary, provide you with an indication of whether your proposal is likely to receive planning permission.

The planning officer will also advise you if further information is required to support any future planning applications that you may submit.

How do I benefit from pre-application advice?

  • It provides early guidance on the planning policies relevant to your development and helps you to understand how these policies apply to your proposal.
  • It can identify at an early stage if your proposed development will require the need for specialist information such as a tree survey, flood risk assessment, ecological assessment.
  • It enables proposals to be changed and potential problems overcome before an application is submitted, saving time during the application process.
  • It will ensure you know what information you need to submit with the application, thereby making sure it can be registered and validated on submission to avoid delay.
  • It can give a greater degree of certainty of whether your application is likely to be successful.

What if my proposals are confidential?

The service respects confidentiality and will not release any details, either internally or externally, unless it is necessary to do so in order to assist you. If this is the case, information will only be released with your agreement.

How much will it cost?

From 1 April 2023, the following Minor Development advice service charges will come into effect:

  • Householder - (extensions and alterations within the boundary of a house) - £60
  • Advertisements - £60
  • Telecommunications development - £60
  • Agricultural developments - £60
  • Listed buildings - £100
  • 0 - 4 residential units - £250*
  • 5 - 9 residential units - £500*
  • All other minor development - £500
    • All other development not falling into the above categories
    • Involving development of less than 1,000sqm floor space or on sites of less than 1 hectare. For example retail, commercial, industrial, leisure, education, recreation or car parks. 

All costs are VAT inclusive.

* Where the development proposal is in outline, an indication of the number of dwellings likely to be accommodated on the site must be provided in order to calculate the fee.

Please note that Lancashire County Council provides its own pre-application advice service, as the Highways Authority. Should you require pre-application advice on highways matters, please contact Lancashire County Council Highways separately. For more information please visit LCC - pre planning application highways advice service.

Are there any proposals that would be exempt from paying a fee?

Charges will not be made for development proposals which:

  • are submitted by charitable organisations; or
  • are for alterations or extensions to a dwelling for the benefit of a registered disabled person or for operations providing a means of access for disabled persons to a building to which members of the public are admitted.

What you should provide?

The following information and plans should be submitted with the pre-application advice form. If insufficient information is submitted we may be unable to provide pre-application advice.

As a minimum please include:

  • Site location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 and the site of the proposed development should be identified by drawing a red line around the site. 
  • Details of current use and site history if known (this is unlikely to be required for extensions and alterations to a house)
  • Details of the type of the development proposed
  • Photographs of the site and its surroundings
  • Drawings of the proposed development, such as floor plans and elevations, that show measurements to indicate the scale and height of development proposed and a site plan to show the layout of the site.

Biodiversity Net Gain

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is an approach to development, and/or land management, that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand.

From 2 April 2024, all planning applications for minor development will be required to demonstrate a mandatory BNG of 10%. A minor development is that which does not fall into the category of a major development, as defined in article 2(1) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 and could include: 

  • Residential development where the number of dwellings is between 1 and 9 on a site of an area 1 hectare or less, or if the number of dwellings is unknown, the site area is less than 0.5 hectares.
  • Commercial development where the floor space created is less than 1,000 square metres or total site area is less than 1 hectare.

The following types of development are exempt from BNG:

  • Householder development as defined within Article 2(1) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.
  • Development granted planning permission by a development order under section 59. This includes permitted development rights.
  • Development subject to the de minimis exemption. Development that does not impact a priority habitat and impacts less than 25 square metres (e.g. 5m by 5m) of onsite habitat, or 5 metres of linear habitats such as hedgerows.
  • Self-build and custom build development. Development which consists of no more than 9 dwellings, and is carried out on a site which has an area no larger than 0.5 hectares, and consists exclusively of dwellings which are self-build or custom housebuilding as defined in section 1(A1) of the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015.
  • Urgent Crown development granted permission under section 293A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
  • Development of a biodiversity gain site. Development which is undertaken solely or mainly for the purpose of fulfilling, in whole or in part, the biodiversity gain condition which applies in relation to another development.
  • Development related to the high-speed railway transport network.

On-site biodiversity net gain must be prioritised in all qualifying developments aiming to achieve the mandatory 10% target. Off-site biodiversity net gain will only be considered, when the required biodiversity net gain cannot be delivered within the development site and the off-site provision will make a positive contribution in enhancing and connecting the habitats to the wider ecological network.

The off-site provision must be delivered within the relevant local authority boundary, or if not possible, allocated within the adjacent Central Lancashire authority boundaries, where appropriate. Applicants are therefore encouraged to consider BNG at pre-application stage to ensure it is appropriately factored into development proposals prior to any formal submission.

The government has produced guidance on Biodiversity net gain, to assist those involved in delivering BNG as landowners, applicants, local planning authorities and developers. This guidance may be updated by the government as and when necessary.

What Service can you expect?

Once a request is received it will be assigned to a planning officer. The planning officer will aim to provide you with a written response within 21 working days of receipt of the request and relevant payment.

The planning officer will only visit the site if he or she considers it necessary. Meetings will only be arranged if the planning officer considers a meeting is necessary in order to provide the pre-application advance.

You should be aware that any advice given by the Council in relation to pre-application enquiries will be based on the officer's professional judgement and without prejudice to the formal consideration of any subsequent planning application.

Favourable pre-application advice cannot guarantee that a subsequent planning application will be successful. This is because when we receive a formal application it will be subject to further consultation and publicity which may raise other issues.

You should also bear in mind that any subsequent changes to planning legislation or planning policies may affect the advice given. The weight that can be given to pre-application advice will therefore diminish over time.

What happens next?

Following the receipt of advice you can submit a planning application.

In certain cases you may need to amend your proposal. If material amendments are required we will probably have to repeat the above process when you send us your revised proposal. 

If necessary we may suggest that you contact relevant consultees to talk to separately in relation to specific issues.

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