Pre-application planning advice | Pre-application planning advice | Sevenoaks District Council

Pre-application planning advice

We encourage you to use our pre-application advice service before submitting a planning application. The service is available to developers and householders, covers all types of proposals and has many benefits. You will need to pay the correct fee at the time you submit details of your proposal.

We are currently offering video meetings where a meeting has been agreed. Normal meeting charges will apply. In some cases we can offer a meeting at our offices in Sevenoaks. Please contact your case officer to discuss the options once your pre-application request has been registered and acknowledged. 

The service:

  • Gives you an opportunity to understand how our policies will be applied to your proposal, any potential problems and resolve them before submitting your planning application
  • May indicate a proposal has little or no realistic chance of success, potentially reducing your costs for submitting unacceptable proposals
  • May lead to a reduction in time spent by your professional advisers in working up the proposals in more detail
  • Can identify early on if specialist advice is necessary, for example listed buildings, trees, landscape, transport, ecology or archaeology
  • Will help you prepare a better planning application so we can process it more quickly and give you a decision sooner
The service cannot:
  • Confirm whether a proposal is lawful and does not require planning permission
  • Confirm or establish the existing lawful use of a property
  • In both of these cases you should apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.

Contact us at the earliest opportunity in your project, but consider the following:

  • Carry out some initial research yourself
  • Seek the views of those who may be affected by your proposals, for example neighbours
  • The more information you provide, the more accurate and helpful our response can be
  • With complex issues, be prepared to seek professional help
  • Applications are determined in line with local planning policies and national planning policies and guidance. You are advised to review these before submitting an application
  • Planning advice cannot provide you with a comprehensive response to all issues, but it will cover the key matters we are likely to consider if you submit a planning application
  • Planning advice is given on a 'without prejudice' basis. This means our advice is not considered if you submit a planning application for your proposal.

Information we will need

To provide pre-application advice, we need the following information:

All proposals:

  • A 1:1250 site location plan with the site outlined in red (available from Ordnance Survey or agents)
  • Sketch drawings of the existing site and surroundings and the proposals showing height and scale
  • Photographs showing key features of the site
  • Details of any consultations carried out
  • Other supporting information, for example Environmental Statements, Transport Assessments and Ecological Surveys
  • Any studies affecting the principle of development for example noise or tree survey

Additional documents for specific proposals:

  • Greenbelt – for residential extensions and replacement dwellings - existing floorplans and proposed floorplans to scale and detailed calculations of original floors pace and resulting floor space and full details of outbuildings within five metres
  • Commercial proposals - existing and proposed floor plans and a description of the existing business and the proposed business
  • Major residential proposals - site coverage, proposed density, any other uses existing or proposed, any major physical constraints, reports and sketch plan
  • Major proposals – a 3D digital model of the proposal. Details on the format of the model are outlined in our 3D model submission guidance.


There is a fee for the pre-application advice service. Our charges include VAT.

Meetings (with letter)

  • Householder alterations, extensions and other proposals £180 (meeting will be for 30 minutes) 
  • Minor proposals £675 (meeting 1 hour) 
  • Major proposals (small scale) Negotiable plus a minimum of £739.50 per hour
  • Major proposals (significant) Negotiable plus a minimum of £835 per hour
  • Major meeting and written advice (10 - 49 dwellings or 0.5HA - 1HA) £2,218.50 for three hours minimum (covering preparation time, meeting, and response). Plus £739.50 per each additional hour required.
  • Major meeting and written advice (50 plus dwellings or 1HA plus) £3,300 for four hours minimum (covering preparation time, meeting, and response). Plus £825 per each additional hour required.

Letter (no meeting)

  • Householder alterations and extensions and other proposals £144
  • Minor proposals £540 
  • Other written advice £270 

We will reply in writing to your request within 25 working days and we will be in touch within 10 days if you have requested a meeting.


Apply online for pre-application planning advice