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Pre-application planning advice

Under the Local Government Act 2003, we operate a scheme of charging for pre-application advice on certain types of development proposals and certain development briefs.

We welcome and encourage developers to seek pre-application advice for all types of application and particularly for major or complex schemes.

In order that a consistent and high quality pre-application advice service can be provided, we've decided the cost of the service should be recovered directly and not fall as a cost to the council taxpayer.

Pre-application discussions and/or written advice notes are primarily of benefit to the applicant/developer by identifying the planning issues and requirements and thereby speeding up the development process. They can help to minimise subsequent planning application costs and avoid abortive applications.

We also offer a Fast Track service to accelerate the administration and review of pre-planning submissions.

Pre-application requests are processed by a dedicated pre-application team, managed by Graham Robinson on telephone 020 8359 4975 or email graham.robinson@barnet.gov.uk

For general pre-application queries, contact planning.preapp@barnet.gov.uk

Charges and categories

The charges for pre-application advice are based primarily on the size and complexity of the proposed development, and whether a face-to-face meeting is included. Additional charges may also apply where meetings include additional specialist advice.

Category A+ proposals - £ 9,639 (£11,566.80 inc VAT)
Very large scale, complex residential development

  • 150 or more residential units

Meeting and written advice

Category A proposals - £ 7,497 (£8,996.40 inc VAT)
Very large scale, complex development

  • 100 - 149 residential units

  • 4000m2 or more of commercial floor space

Meeting and written advice

Category B proposals – £ 5,355 (£6,426 inc VAT)
Large Scale, Complex Development

  • 25 - 99 residential units

  • 2000m2 - 3999m2 of commercial floor space

Meeting and written advice

Category C proposals - £ 2,677(£3,212.40 inc VAT)

Major Complex Development

  • 10 - 24 residential units

  • 1000m2 - 1999m2 of commercial floor space

  • Development involving a site of 0.5ha and over

  • Mixed use developments

Complex Proposals

  • Large or complex change of use or development proposals e.g. sport and leisure proposals

  • Development requiring an EIA*
    *EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) refers to development proposals which fall under the provision of categories 1 and 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Environment Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999.

  • Planning proposals which are associated with complex heritage listed building or conservation issues

  • Entertainment uses

  • Telecommunications equipment and masts - composite proposals for 10 or more sites.

Planning/development briefs/frameworks/master planning

  • Sites for which the landowner wishes to establish their potential value, or where a clear and consistent advice for potential developers will expedite the development process.

Meeting and written advice

Category D+ proposals - £ 1,606 (£1,927.20 inc VAT)

Minor development

  • 2-4 new units (where a meeting is sought)

  • 5-9 new residential units

  • 100-999 m2 of commercial floorspace (including change of use)

  • Creation of 1 residential unit in a conservation area or listed building or with associated complex heritage issues

Meeting and written advice

Category D proposals - £ 856 (£1,027.20 inc VAT)

Minor development

  • 2-4 new residential units (where no meeting is sought)

  • 100-999 m2 of commercial floorspace (including change of use)

  • Creation of 1 residential unit in a conservation area or listed building or with associated complex heritage issues

  • Individual proposals for Telecommunications equipment and masts

  • Advertisement application for hoardings

Written advice only.

Where a meeting is sought, Category D+ would be applicable. 

Category E proposals - £ 285 (£342 inc VAT)
Creation of one residential unit

  • Creation of 1 additional residential house or flat

  • Replacement of an existing residential unit

  • Conversion of 1 property into 2 residential units

Note: Where there are complex heritage, listed building, conservation area or tree/landscaping issues, a replacement or additional dwelling may still fall within one of the above categories.
 

Written advice only.

Site visits or meeting requests will be charged at an hourly rate.

Category F proposals - £ 223 (£267.60inc VAT)
Small scale development

  • Small extensions/alterations (including advertisements) to commercial or similar premises, below 100m2

  • Small changes of use to commercial or similar premises, below 100m2

  • Other small scale developments below the threshold of category D.

Site visits or meeting requests will be charged at an hourly rate.

Category G proposals - £ 122 (£146.40 inc VAT)
Written Householder Advice – one house or a single flat

  • Extensions/development within the curtilage of the property.

Site visits or meeting requests will be charged at an hourly rate.

Exemptions

The charging scheme will not apply to informal initial discussions in connection with very small business premises, or very minor schemes or householder schemes (small extensions/alterations), certificates of lawfulness, enforcement or advice to any local resident affected by a development. Such verbal advice at this time will continue to be provided free of charge.

Additional fees including hourly rates and specialist advice

Those fees apply in the event of:

  • Additional investigations or meetings with the case officer being required for Categories A+ to D+ development above and beyond the standard fee
  • Specialist advice, for example on housing or conservation matters. (Note that separate Highways advice is subject to a different charging scheme, please call the Highways Group on 020 8359 3047 for more details)
  • Any meetings or additional services including a site visit (and additional travel time) requested for Categories D to G development are not covered by the standard fee.

The appropriate hourly rate for officer's time is dependent upon their seniority, as set out in the planning fees and charges schedule.

Specialist advice hourly charges (inclusive of VAT)

  • Case officer up to principal planner £224
  • Team leader/manager £280
  • Service heads and directors £336
  • Business relationship manager £2,233
  • Specialist advice (conservation & design, trees & landscaping, housing) £280

Procedures and level of service

1. Categories A+ to D+

Online application form for these categories

The standard fee must be paid prior to the first meeting. The standard fee includes time taken by the case officer from the investigation stage to the actual meeting and the final written comment.

Any additional charges will be invoiced within 10 working days from the date of final comment and invoices must be settled within 21 days. Cheques should be made payable to „Barnet Corporation.‟ Payments can be made by phone following submission by calling 020 8359 3000.

If a meeting is cancelled charges may be made for any pre-meeting enquiries or any other investigations that have been carried out.

Process

You need to submit the form together with the appropriate fee and all relevant
information. Any request for specialist advice should also been made at this stage (see hourly fee details above).

Within 2 working days of receipt of your request, an acknowledgement letter with contact details for the planning case officer will be sent to you. The acknowledgment letter will advise whether your submission is accepted of whether any additional information is required before advice can be offered

Please note the service has the right to decline a request for pre-application advice where it is not considered either appropriate or necessary.

For Category B, C and D+, within 2 working days of registration (subject to
availability), the case officer will contact you to arrange a meeting date and make any necessary arrangement for a site visit if required. Meetings are normally held at North London Business Park.

We endeavour to provide you with notes within 3 weeks of the meeting date for Category B, C and D+ , providing no further research or site investigation is required.

You'll be sent an advice note outlining the policy context, site‟s history, site‟s constraints together with advice on relevant planning issues. All notes are reviewed by the pre-application team manager, planning manager or Head of Service depending on the complexity of the proposals.

Further research or advice sought after the meeting will be charged at an hourly rate as detailed in the 'planning fees and charges schedule'.

We aim to operate a flexible system and we will try to adapt to your requirements including the format in which you wish to obtain the advice. For example, you may wish to delay obtaining final written notes until you amend your proposals in line with verbal advice given at the meeting. You may also want us to review your own meeting minutes/notes to speed up the process. In any case, you should discuss your particular requirements with the case officer during the meeting.

2. Categories D - G

Use the online pre-application planning advice form

The standard category fee must be paid prior to the application being progressed. 

Cheques should be made payable to 'Barnet Corporation'. Payments can be made by phone following submission by calling 020 8359 3000.

Process

Within 2 working days of receipt of your request, an acknowledgement letter/email with contact details for the planning case officer will be sent to you. The acknowledgment letter will advise whether your submission is accepted of whether any additional information is required before advice can be offered. 

Please note that the service has the right to decline a request for pre-application advice where it is not considered either appropriate or necessary.

We will endeavour to provide you with notes within 2 weeks for Category F and G requests and within 3 weeks for Category D and E requests.

All notes are reviewed by the pre-application team manager, planning manager or Head of Service depending on the complexity of the proposals.

Categories E-G fees do not include a face to face meeting or a visit to the site. If you feel that your proposals would benefit from either or both, there will be an additional hourly charge. See 'planning fees and charges schedule'. You should contact your case officer for further details – see section below for more details.

Scope for discussion or advice

  • The matters suitable for discussion / advice could include:
  • Information on the relevant policies and other planning requirements.
  • Provision of advice regarding the procedure, consultation, and estimated time scale in regard to the process of the application.
  • The required information for making a valid planning application.
  • Indication of the likely requirement for contributions by the developer, such as levels of affordable housing or highways and education payments.
  • Informal and without prejudice comments and guidance on the content, construction and presentation of an application likely to satisfy the Council‟s planning policies.

Information required with pre-application request

  • The Council will require sufficient information to be provided to enable a quality advice service to be provided. This includes:
  • A description of the proposed development and schedule of proposed uses
  • A site location plan (scale 1:1250)
  • Photographs and sketch drawings showing the site, buildings and trees as existing, together with the schedule of uses.
  • Outline of proposal (on plans scale 1:200).

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