Get help with an application

We offer free pre-application advice and encourage applicants to take up this service. An early discussion with us can save you time and money as well as helping to establish:

  • a constructive dialogue between applicants and planning officers
  • the information that needs to be submitted with the planning application to meet national and local validation requirements
  • an understanding of the site history, relevant planning issues and planning policies
  • whether other statutory consents or legal agreements may be required
  • whether a planning application is required or if the scheme is ‘permitted development’

In order to have an effective and constructive pre-application discussion we need some basic information. The more information you submit, the more advice we can provide.

Required Information

  1. A fully completed Pre-Application Discussion Request Form
  2. A site plan (scale 1:1250 or 1:2500) marked with the footprint of the proposed development and the limit of the land in the applicant’s ownership/control
  3. Photographs of the existing site
  4. Initial sketch drawings of the proposed development showing the nature and scale of the development

Desirable Information

  1. Drawings/plans showing potential constraints e.g. trees, other vegetation, overhead wires, listed buildings
  2. Results of any preliminary consultation with neighbours, other authorities or statutory undertakers
  3. Other supporting information e.g. draft Environmental Statement, Transport Assessment, Ecological Survey
  4. A completed Wildlife and Geology Trigger Table. This will indicate whether a Wildlife of Geology Report is required. The table is available at along with a list of wildlife consultants working in the Devon area and information on what is required in a Wildlife Report

Send your completed form to: Development Management, Lucombe House, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.

While every application will be different, most discussions will cover the following information:

  1. Provision of advice regarding procedures, consultation arrangements and the estimated timescale for determining the submitted application
  2. Whether an Environmental Impact Assessment may be required
  3. Possible requirements for legal agreements, covering matters such as contributions to infrastructure improvements necessary to support the proposed development (eg. green infrastructure, highway improvements, additional landscaping)
  4. Statutory designations for the site and surrounding area and any constraints to development
  5. Relevant planning policies
  6. The planning history of the site
  7. The application form and supporting information required to meet national and local validation requirements. More information on the detailed requirements are at Validation requirements

Prospective applicants requesting a pre-application discussion should note the following:

  • any advice given by Council officers does not constitute a formal decision of the County Council in respect of any future planning application(s). No guarantee of a particular decision or even recommendation can be given as any application will have to undergo a process of consultation which may raise new issues
  • any advice given about the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response under the provisions of the Local Land Charges Act 1975
  • any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith, based on existing planning policies and standards, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any future planning application which will be the subject of public consultation and ultimately decided by the County Council
  • you should always check that the advice is still current. There may have been a material change in national, regional or local policy if there has been a significant delay in submitting your application after the pre-application advice was given
  • the results of the pre-application meeting will not be available for public inspection. However, the Council may be required to supply results to any party making a Freedom of Information request