Getting advice before you apply

Applying for planning permission can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be with us helping you through the process.

Our pre-application advice is free of charge and we encourage potential applicants to discuss proposals with us at an early stage.

Early consideration of issues allows us to offer detailed advice on both the principle and design of any scheme before the proposal is taken forward as a formal application. We can also advise if planning permission is not needed.

Pre-application advice can:

  • Help identify issues any developer should consider, including flood risk and landscape character
  • Help identify the level of supporting information and detail that should accompany the formal application
  • Avoid expensive mistakes being made at application stage
  • Speed up processing of the application by ensuring you provide the right information
  • Make sure groups or individuals you must consult by law are engaged as early as possible
  • Identify schemes which are unlikely to win support
  • Avoid time spent on making an application if permission is not needed.

It can also save the disappointment of having your application refused because of a problem that could have been dealt with at the start. We do not charge for the pre-application advice service.

You will need to provide the following information so that we can understand what you are proposing: 

  • The postal address of the site and a location plan so we can see where the site is
  • Details of what is on the site at the moment, including existing buildings, layout and features of the site - explained with plans and/or drawings and/or a written description as appropriate
  • Details of what is proposed. This will include proposed buildings and/or alterations, and any proposed uses and layout. This must include proposed dimensions and materials. The proposals should be explained with plans and/or drawings and/or a written description as appropriate

We have provided a pre-application advice form which you can use to submit details of your proposal in addition to the necessary plans, drawings and written description. Alternatively you can telephone or make an appointment to meet with one of our officers.

When we receive your pre-application enquiry we will consider it against planning policies and will send you a written response within 21 days. This will give you an initial assessment, with details of what information will be needed to support a planning application. Although it is not usually necessary we will contact you to arrange a meeting if we need to discuss your proposal and if required we will visit the site. We will not normally have more than one meeting or one site visit under the free pre-application advice service.

The advice we give you will be based on current planning policy and the information you supplied. Please be aware that this advice is officer-level only and is non-binding.


Planning and Resources, Broads Authority, Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich, NR1 1RY

Telephone 01603 610734   

Email us - please select Planning under Who to contact