Pre-Application Advice

We are currently experiencing high volumes of planning applications which is having an adverse effect on our timescales in responding to pre-application enquires.  The allocated Planning Officer will be in touch with you as soon as possible to arrange a meeting, if requested (please note this may not be within 5 working days as set out in our process), or will provide a written response as soon as they can (please note this may not be within 20 working days as set out in our process).  We apologise for this delay, but if wish to enquire about your pre application request please contact Lucy Flintham in the first instance on 01353 616226.

Before submitting a planning application, we strongly recommend that you use our Pre-application Advice service. You can download and print the guidance and application form below:

Please see our Data Retention & Privacy Policy and ECDC's Privacy Notice

Why should I use this service?

We can offer you specialist advice on the various matters you will need to consider before submitting an application. This can include (not exhaustive):

  • Clarifying which policies will apply to your development;
  • Advising you to ensure you consider all the issues and give full consideration to advice given, which should speed up the process of determining your application ;
  • Can reduce the amount of time taken by professional consultants and can save costs;
  • Advising you if the principle of the development is unacceptable, therefore saving you the cost of a full planning application.

For Householder enquiries, we provide a free plan-checking service to help ensure your application is complete and therefore avoiding delays in the registration process. Please tick the box on the application form indicating you would like to use the plan checking service, you can book an appointment for your plan check by using the link below:

How does it work/How much does it cost?

There are guidance notes and fees attached to the form at the top of this page and you can select the level of advice you require, as well as any specialist advice you may also want.

We can receive advice requests in hard copy form or via email to

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, the 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.

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 a planning application is submitted that fails to address any issue highlighted by Officers during pre-application discussions, it is likely that it will be refused without further discussion with the applicant or their agent.