Pre-Application Advice

Pre-Application Advice Service

If you are considering making either a planning application or a Listed Building Consent Application, we are able to provide you with assistance in obtaining an informal planning opinion on your proposal in one of two ways: (see below).

These can be very useful as they can identify any issues that may affect the outcome of your application and therefore may necessitate changes to your proposals before they are formally submitted as an application. They can furthermore identify schemes that have little or no chance of success.

1. Written Advice

This service is aimed at the more complex proposals including housing, commercial/industrial development and Listed Building proposals (for these please use the Request for Pre-Application Planning Advice form). In this written format we will investigate any constraints that may affect your proposal and possibly discuss them with the Highway Authority or other internal consultees,if necessary. Once an officer has fully considered your written proposals he/she may suggest that a meeting is required to discuss them further.

Where you wish to discuss the technical merits of current applications, recently refused applications or appeals - these will need to be discussed with the original Case Officer and therefore a meeting should be requested or the matter dealt with by telephone.

Similarly should you wish to seek an opinion on minor amendments to planning permissions - these will need to be discussed with the original Case Officer or you will need to submit a minor amendment application.

2. Planning Duty Officer consultation (for certain types of proposal only - see below)

The Council is now offering a basic level of informal advice, free of charge, which will allow you to identify and discuss principles and issues associated with your development proposals.  This service is being provided by a Planning Duty Officer who will be available to discuss your proposals on either a Monday or Wednesday afternoon from 1400hrs-1700hrs (By Appointment).

The Duty Officer will be available to discuss:

  • Permitted development rights
  • Extensions and alterations to domestic dwellings
  • Small-scale advertisements
  • Minor physical alterations to commercial properties
  • Minor amendment applications

Any advice given by the duty planner does not indicate any formal decision by the council as local planning authority.

Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application following statutory public consultation, the issues raised and evaluation of all available information

Should you wish to make an appointment to see the Duty Officer please give us a call on: 01362 656341 or 01362 656265 or 01362 656861 or e-mail us at:

If you would like a more formal, written response, we require you to complete the  Preliminary Enquiries Form allowing us time to research and consider the issues and give a more detailed reply.

All proposed developments are assessed against National, Regional and local planning policies. See our Planning Policy pages for information about the policies that apply in Breckland. In order to assess which policies may relate to your proposal we need to identify the site and have full details of your proposal (Erection of dwelling or extension, or starting up a business). You will not need fully detailed and scaled architect plans at this stage, but we would need to see how the proposal would relate to the highway, existing buildings, trees and any adjoining properties.

Any advice given would be based on the information you provide and would be limited to a desk-based assessment as site visits are not conducted as part of this service. If a formal application is submitted, a full appraisal of the proposal would be undertaken along with a standard Icon for pdf consultation procedure [20.31KB] , which could identify further issues that the Council would need to take into account. As this is the case and response should not be assumed to be comprehensive or binding on any future decisions of the Council.

When completing and submitting your preliminary enquiry form, customers should include the following information:

  1. A site location plan, with the site outlined in red (Please also include the scale, the direction of North, the location of adjacent properties and roads)
  2. Sketch plan (and sketch elevations and sections where applicable for Listed Buildings)
  3. Photographs of the site or Listed Building
  4. Any other relevant information - the more information you provide will allow us to provide you with a more detailed response- This is especially important for Listed Building matters

Do I Need Planning Permission?

If you are looking to extend your dwelling or carry out minor works, and you want to know if you need planning permission, further advice and help is available.

Further Information

To view both local and national Planning Policy documents, visit our document library.

For certain developments, consideration may need to be made to the provision of wheelie bins. Please visit our Rubbish and Recycling pages for more information.