It is advisable to enter into preliminary discussions with the Local Planning Authority prior to submitting any planning applicaion. East Cambridgeshire District Council introduced a formal pre-application advice service in 2010 - the application form and fees can be found below:
The purpose of pre-application advice is to guide applicants through the issues and policies relevant to their scheme. Officers will also advise on how issues should be approached and give an indication of whether a scheme is likely to be successful. Applicants should be aware that officers cannot always foresee every issue that may arise during the course of any planning applicaion.
N.B. The Pre-application service is not intended to deal with Permitted Development (PD) enquiries. If you require conformation of PD rights you should apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development. You can complete Form 15 from the application form page or alternatively you can apply on line via the Planning Portal. For more information please contact the Duty Planning Officer.