It is advisable to enter into preliminary discussions with the Local Planning Authority prior to submitting any planning application. East Cambrigeshire 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 a planning application.
Any advice given by officers during pre-application discussions does not constitute a formal decision by the Council in respect of any future planning applications. Whilst such advice will be a material consideration, it cannot bind the Council in its validation or formal determination of a subsequent planning application.
If an application is submitted that fails to address any issue highlighted by officers, it is likely that it will be refused without further discussion with the applicant or their agent.
N.B. The Pre-application advice service is not intended to deal with Permitted Development (PD) enquiries. If you require conformation of PD rights, you can look to the Planning Portal Interactive House for more information.
Upon receipt of your application, you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your application and the contact details of the officer dealing with your enquiry.
If you have paid for written advice, your case officer will endeavour to reply to your request within 20 working days from the date of your acknowledgement letter. Where you have requested a meeting, the case officer will endeavour to contact you within 5 working days from the date of your acknowledgement letter to arrange a suitable date and time for the meeting.
N.B. All meetings will take place at the Council offices in Ely.
Where your planning application involves an element of affordable housing, you may wish to speak to the Council's Housing Development Officer prior to submitting your application. You can find their contact details and more information on housing in the District on the Housing pages of this website.
It is your choice whether to use a planning agent to submit your planning application on your behalf. As a Local Planning Authority, we are unable to make any recommendations to you, however we can provide you with information from applications previously submitted to the authority that may assist you in making your decision. More information on planning agents is available on the Council's Planning Agents webpage.