Well it was only a matter of time. New Forest District Council falls into line with most local authorities this month as it begins charging for pre-application advice on development proposals. To cut straight to the chase, the scale of fees applied as of 01 April is as follows (all inclusive of VAT):

Householder proposals, shopfronts, advertisements and telecoms equipment: £80

1-3 dwellings, <100sqm commercial: £250

4-9 dwellings, 101-500 sqm commercial: £500

10-25 dwellings, 501-1000 sqm commercial: £750

Larger schemes are to be agreed on a case-by-case basis.

The Council aims to provide a full response within 20 working days of the receipt – hopefully the new charging regime will at least have the effect of speeding up responses to pre-application queries.

The question that pre-application charges always generates is “Should I bother with it or just go straight for an outline planning application?” Outline application fees (which relate to the site area) could sometimes be cheaper than these pre-application charges. Call Pure Town Planning to discuss which is the best option in your case.