Pre-Application Advice

Advice before making a formal application

General planning advice can be provided over the telephone on 01789 260303 and 01789 260304.

Staff in the customer service centre can use our electronic databases to provide factual advice such as:

  • planning site history
  • whether a site lies within a Conservation Area, Flood Zone, the Green Belt or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • whether there are trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order on a site
  • whether identified buildings are Listed Buildings (but not whether they are curtilage listed - you will need to obtain further advice regarding this)
  • Development Plan policies in the Core Strategy
  • an overview on the progress of a planning application

They can also print location and/or block plans for your site to enable you to submit your planning application (charges apply).

If your query requires professional advice from a planning officer, our customer services staff will transfer you through to the duty planning officer, who can help with basic planning advice. The duty planning officer will not provide site-specific advice.The Duty Planning service is available 8.45 to 17:00 on weekdays.

If your query relates to a non-householder application, is clearly site-specific and requires a planning officer to carry out research work or liaise with other professional colleagues in order to respond, you will be asked to make a written request for detailed advice using a Pre-App form.

Please note we do not offer a pre-application service for householder planning applications.

However, technical guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government gives advice on many types of householder developments.

Party Wall Advice is available from our Building Control service.

We offer a pre-application advice service for the following:

For costs, please see the Pre-application fees

Advice from Warwickshire County Council before making a formal application

You are advised to contact Warwickshire County Council directly in relation to pre-application advice relating to flooding, ecological, highways and infrastructure (S106 – infrastructure Manager) matters.

Not contacting key consultees before making a formal planning application could result in a decision on the application being significantly delayed and/or makes it more likely that officers would have to make a recommendation of refusal.

All applicants are advised to consult with WCC Ecology before submitting an application. Some charges apply for this service. Ecology pre-application advice – Warwickshire County Council

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) are a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and since 2015 have been a Statutory Consultee in the Town and Country Planning process for surface water on major developments. They have a chargeable pre-application service calculated on the size of development and level of pre-app required. Pre-application advice on flooding – Warwickshire County Council

The Warwickshire Design Guide has been prepared to provide direction and guidance to developers and designers when planning and delivering highway infrastructure improvements to Warwickshire County Council's (WCC) highway network. The Highway Authority expect developers/applicants to apply for pre-application advice a minimum of 6 months prior to the proposals being submitted to the LPAs. This process requires the completion of the proforma and provision of fees in accordance with the guidance document provided in Annex 1.1: Pre-application advice. Warwickshire Design Guide – Warwickshire County Council

Details of Warwickshire County Council's approach to securing developer contributions for infrastructure development. Can be found at Developer contributions – Warwickshire County Council

Archaeological information, the Historic Environment Record (HER), and Advice can be found at Archaeology surveys for buildings and developments – Warwickshire County Council

Advice for all non-householder applications

The pre-application service for minor application development proposals has been reinstated.

There are many documents and websites that can help you in preparing your planning application. When making a planning application, you should consider the merits of the development proposal and the process of making an application.

The Development Plan for Stratford-on-Avon District currently comprises:

For more information on the Development Plan, please see our Planning Policy pages.

As well as the relevant Development Plan policies, you should give consideration to the relevance of current Supplementary Planning Guidance Documents (SPG), Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD), Parish Plans, Housing Needs Surveys, Village Design Statements and the Stratford-on-Avon District Design Guide.

When making your application, you will need to submit all the necessary plans and supporting information. Our planning application local list will help you to prepare your application.

You may also wish to use the fee calculator on the planning portal website.

The planning portal provides helpful advice on many planning matters, including national guidance and policy documents.

If you wish to seek advice from one of our planners before making a formal application, please complete and return our pre-application non-householder advice form with as many of the requested documents as appropriate to the scale and complexity of the proposed development.

For further information about pre-application enquiries, please call 01789 260304 or email

Community Engagement

For major developments, applicants are encouraged to seek the views of the local parish or town council and ward members at an early stage.

Applicants for minor developments should also consider contacting the local parish or town council and ward members before submitting an application

Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)

Central government encourages the use of planning performance agreements (PPAs) for large or complex planning proposals. These are voluntary agreements between us and the applicants which helps to:

bring together the developer, the Local Planning Authority and key stakeholders to work in partnership throughout the planning process

  • ensure complex proposals progress through the process to mutually-agreed timescales
  • ensure appropriate resources and expertise are provided to advise on complex proposals
  • provide greater opportunity for dialogue through the planning process and help deliver high-quality development

PPA Fees

The payment of fees for a PPA ensures that your application is processed with the agreed stages and timetable to help overcome issues that arise during the application process.

However, it does not guarantee that planning permission will be granted. If the planning proposal is contrary to the our adopted policies, or national guidance, without other material considerations outweighing this, then it will be recommended for refusal.

Fees are dependent on the scale and complexity of the application and level of resource required. Please see the link for more details.


As a matter of course, requests for pre-application advice will not automatically be treated on a confidential basis. The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 require us to make recorded information available to members of the public, if requested. Pre-application advice may only be treated as confidential if you have specified in your submission clear, demonstrable issues of commercial sensitivity or other specified reasons why this information may not be disclosed. A public interest test may also be applied.

Advice on the lawfulness of development

Officers will not give any advice, other than basic oral advice, on the lawfulness of a use/site/building (including whether a development has been commenced).

Some developments, including some changes of use, are deemed to be permitted development, in accordance with the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (as amended).

For a formal determination on the lawfulness of a development (either proposed or existing ), you will need to make an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness.

If you require clarification on whether a proposed development would constitute permitted development then it will be necessary to submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate. This involves the submission of an application form, location plan, and existing and proposed drawings, along with the relevant fee. The council will send a decision to you advising whether the works constitute permitted development.

Listed Building Certificate of Lawfulness

Since 6 April 2014, it has also been possible to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works in respect of proposed works to a listed building, where confirmation is required that Listed Building Consent is not required. Further details and application forms are available from the planning portal .

Contact: The Planning Admin team

Last updated on 06/06/2024