We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our service will provide you with informal advice on whether or not planning permission would be necessary for your proposed development and whether or not it is likely to gain approval. It enables you to:

  • Establish if you need to make a Planning or Building Control application and increase your chances of submitting a successful one
  • Establish early on if a proposal is likely to be acceptable and what issues need to be considered prior to the submission of a formal application
  • Save you the costs of pursuing a formal application unlikely to gain approval
  • Understand which planning policies would apply to your scheme and how
  • Avoid delays by reducing the amount of negotiations and amendments required at the formal application stage
  • The conveyancing process may oblige you to provide proof that appropriate permissions were sought, for any development you may have undertaken on your property. Therefore, a written response from us will be beneficial to you should you wish to sell your property. 
Type of development Description Charge (including VAT)
Minor Residential Single Dwelling £230
Minor Residential 2 to 14 dwellings £230 for first dwelling then £100 per additional dwelling
Major Residential 15 dwellings or more £1650 per 5,000 sq.m. (0.5 hectares) Maximum Fee: £10,000
Commercial No new floor space £100 per unit
Commercial Creation of new floor space (including change of use) £100 per 100 sq.m. up to a maximum of £5000
Waste, Minerals and Recycling Operations Waste Management, mineral processing, extraction or storage £1000

Any pre-application enquiry which involves a Listed Building will be subject to an additional charge of £100.

For mixed use development; please add the residential and commercial fees together as a cumulative fee will be applicable.

All other proposals will be charged at the hourly rate of £100 (inc. VAT). Please contact us for further information.

These charges cover the costs associated with an officer providing an initial response to a preapplication enquiry. One further written response will be charged at £100.00 per hour (or part thereof).

In some instances we will refer development proposals to the independent Torbay Design Review panel. A separate fee will be required to cover the cost of using the Panel.

Visit the paying your planning fees page for more information on how to pay your fees.

Please note, once paid, pre-application fees are non-refundable.

  Make a pre-application enquiry

More information about the service

Please note that this is not a formal legally binding response.

It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that development is conducted within the constraints of permitted development rights  Opens in a new window  and the building regulations  Opens in a new window . Should you wish to obtain a formal determination on the planning status of a proposed development, you may apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development for which a fee is payable.

We will assess the information to ensure it is enough to give a detailed response. If further information is deemed necessary you will be contacted and asked to provide the additional details. If you do not supply the information requested the enquiry will be closed.

Advice will be provided in writing at the end of the process.

The advice given in response to your request represents the officer’s informal opinion, based upon the information you have provided. It is given without prejudice to any decision by us.

Any subsequent planning application will be the subject of publicity and consultation in accordance with the our procedures. These, and other matters which may subsequently come to light, may result in additional issues being raised that are pertinent to the determination of the application. Officers will use every endeavour to accurately predict the outcome of an application at pre-application stage, there will be times when after considering representations received in response to the statutory advertisement/consultation process we may reach a different conclusion.

It is not our normal practice to enter into negotiations that would result in the substantial change to a proposal once a formal planning application has been submitted, unless to do so would clearly be in the public interest.

Where an application is submitted without pre-application advice, it is determined on its merits.

If you have any questions or require any further guidance about our pre-application service then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please supply the appropriate level of information necessary for us to give you an informed response to your enquiry. The more information that you can provide us with at this stage, the more informed our response to you can be.

A typical enquiry should include:

An accurate site plan - (preferably Ordnance Survey) with the site to which the enquiry relates clearly marked in red. A blue line should be drawn around any further land, owned by the applicant, which is close to or adjoining the application site. You can purchase these online  Opens in a new window if you wish. 

Any further information - necessary to clearly illustrate your scheme. This largely depends on the scale of your proposed scheme. It may be necessary to supply (only where appropriate) any of the following:

  • Sketches (please show the site as both existing and proposed)
  • Photographs (of the existing site)
  • Details from product brochures
  • Existing scaled drawings - site layout plan, floor plans and elevations
  • Proposed scaled drawings - site layout plan, floor plans and elevations
  • The topography of the site ie flat or sloping
  • A plan of the site and its surroundings which shows all the buildings, trees and other important features e.g. stone walls, hedges etc. 
  • An assessment of you proposal in relation to other buildings, trees and other important features and the reasons for the scheme as submitted

Developments involving new building or access

  • Your drawings should show existing vehicular and pedestrian access points, proposed access points, visibility splays and gradients and details, or proposed vehicle and cycle parking and service areas.
  • Your drawings should accurately show changes in existing and proposed site levels and adjoining land.
  • Your drawings should show trees and shrubs that will be lost or retained within or adjacent to the site.

Major developments

  • If you are proposing a major development, we would anticipate early conversations and discussions throughout the pre-application enquiry process as to what further documentation we require to assess the submission.
  • Please note that the above list is not necessarily exhaustive and, if necessary, you may be asked for additional information. We are unable to return any plans/documents that are submitted.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any enquiries.

Please note: An insufficient level of information at this time may result in us being unable to process your request for advice. In some cases there may be significant doubt as to whether or not the proposal will be acceptable in principle.

Our pre-application enquiry service (including for Major Development) is likely to include:

  • Early agreement over the relevant process and timeline for dealing with the enquiry.
  • For the more significant major schemes, the pre-application process may also, at our discretion, include the opportunity for developers to present their scheme at an early stage to Councillors.
  • Discussions around any technical requirements of the submission and the assessment of the development including the need for Environmental Impact Assessment / Habitat Regulations Assessment.
  • In some instances we will wish to refer development proposals to the independent Torbay Design Review Panel. A separate fee will be required to cover the cost of using the Panel.
  • We will aim to give a comprehensive and co-ordinated response by taking a development team approach to dealing with your enquiry. This will include involvement from relevant internal and external expertise such as Highways Engineers, Transport Planners, Arboricultural Experts, Ecologists, Environmental Health Officers, Engineers, and bodies such as Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency.
  • Advice provided in writing at the end of the process.