You are advised to engage in preliminary discussion before submitting a planning application.
As of the 1 July 2010 we have formalised the overall process to include an application form together with appropriately scaled charges.
Pre application enquiries are not intended to deal with Permitted Development (PD) queries. You can refer to the Planning Portal Interactive House in the first instance. If you require written confirmation of PD rights you should apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of proposed use. You can complete Form 15 from the application form page or alternatively you can apply online via the Planning Portal.
The purpose of any advice should be to guide an applicant through the issues and policies, indicating how they (the applicant) should approach each issue, and whether or not they are likely to be successful. The limitation on this is that officers cannot always forsee matters that may arise through the course of a planning application, or if the final decision is made by the Planning Committee. However, it should be noted that the majority of applications are determined by officers under delegated powers.