Pre-application planning advice

Pre-application planning advice is advice we can give you before you submit a planning application. The service will provide you with an indication as to whether your proposal is likely to gain planning permission or not. We will also give you information on what the key planning issues are and what you would need to submit with any application that you make.

Our pre-application planning advice covers all application types, including:

  • Householder and small-scale commercial developments
  • Larger scale schemes, which often require input from one of our specialist advisers

The service will help you:

  • Understand how our policies will be applied to your proposal
  • Identify potential problems and possible solutions before you make an application
  • Reduce the burden of additional costs and time consuming amendments to submitted applications
  • Provide input from specialists where appropriate for example Conservation or Landscape advice
  • Identify proposals which are in principle contrary to policy and therefore not likely to obtain planning permission which will save you the cost and time of pursuing a formal application

We will respond to your enquiry with a letter that sets out:

  • The relevant planning policies
  • An assessment of the key planning issues
  • Advice regarding potential S106 heads of terms
  • A list of the documents that would need to accompany a planning application

Scale of charges

The scale of charges for our services is set out in the table below. The cost of the service depends on its category and whether the type of service being provided is written-only or a site visit. Response time and the cost of an additional site visit or meeting are also listed.

Due to significant workloads, we cannot currently guarantee these timescales. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Category Type of serviceCost Response in Additional Site Visit OR Meeting Cost
A - Trees Written £30 28 days £50
B - Do I need planning permission? Written £30 28 days £50
C - Householder/small-scale commercial, up to 100 sq m Written £50 28 days £50
D - Details reserved by Condition Written £50 28 days £50
E - Changes of use/advertisements/works to listed buildings/prior approvals Written £150 42 days £50
F - Minor applications - 1-9 units and 101-1000sqm commercial floor space Written + 1 site visit* £350 42 days £300
G - Small-scale major applications - 10-24 units or 1001-5000sqm commercial floor space Written + 1 site visit* £500 42 days £300
H - Medium-scale major applications - 25-49 units of 5001-10000sqm commercial floor space Written service + 1 site visit* £750 42 days £300
I - Large-scale major applications - 50+ units or 10001+ sqm commercial floor space Written service + 1 site visit* £1250 42 days £300

*Site Visits allow the assigned officer to visit the site and understand its context in relation to the request for advice. Please note that no advice or guidance will be provided by the officer at the time of the site visit. If you require a discussion to take place at the time of the site visit this is chargeable and is classified as an additional meeting. Refer to the table above for the cost of this service.

Get pre-application planning advice

To use this service, please fill in our Pre-Application Planning Advice form and attach the following:

  • A site location plan (scale 1:1250) with the site outlined in red
  • Drawings showing details of the proposal and dimensions, which incudes:
  • Floor plans for each floor of the building
  • Elevations (ideally showing the relationship with any adjacent buildings)
  • Position of access and/or existing access
  • Position of any trees that may or may not be affected

Formal scaled plans and elevations would be beneficial, but if the scheme is at an early stage a written outline of the proposal with sketch plans should be provided as a minimum.

All requests for advice must be submitted by completing the pre-application advice e-form. No other forms of submission will be accepted.

Pre-application advice and discussions can be appropriate for any development proposal and not all development enquires will require a meeting with a planning officer. Written advice can be provided by an exchange of correspondence.

Get pre-application planning advice

Access to the Horsham Transport Study Model

For larger developments of a strategic scale, we can also provide access to the Horsham Transport Study Model.

Whilst developed to support development of the Horsham District Local Plan, it is also available for use by professional transport consultants in preparing a Transport Assessment to assess the impact of a proposed development.

The Protocol and Schedule of Fees for Third Party Access to Data sets out the fees for accessing the full model and datasets, the conditions for its use, and how to request access.

After you apply

Within 10 working days of receiving your request we will provide verbal confirmation of receipt of the submission, together with details of the relevant fee for the advice, if this has not been received already as part of the on-line submission.

We will also advise you if we have a sufficient level of information to process the request for advice.

Where a fee has been submitted for advice without all other necessary information and the additional information is not received within 4 weeks of the original submission, the fee will be returned but £25 will be deducted to cover administration costs.

Once we have received the relevant fee and the required supporting documents, your request will become ‘valid’ and the relevant timeframe will begin for providing a response.

We will write to you confirming which officer will be processing the request for advice and what date a response is due.

Where meetings and/or site visits form part of the fee, or they have been requested and paid for, the officer dealing will make contact to agree a convenient date.

For all enquiries, email