For major planning applications, particularly those which are considered more complex and/or likely to be of wider public interest, the Council strongly recommends that pre-application advice is requested so that any relevant issues can be considered at the earliest stages of development.

Whilst the provision of pre-application advice cannot guarantee that planning permission will be granted, it will provide valuable advice in formulating an application. Requesting pre-application advice will help applicant’s gain a better understanding of the likelihood of obtaining planning permission prior to submitting an application and this can also help reduce the time taken in dealing with any subsequent formal application(s).

The Council’s pre-application service is currently being refined to ensure that we can offer the opportunity for all applicants to choose a level of pre-app engagement appropriate to the scale of a proposed project and the different stages it might be at.

The Council will shortly publicise its options for a range of new major pre-app services and will invite applicants/agents to comment on these proposals before they are introduced

In the meantime, the Council continues to provide a pre-application advice service for major applications as set out below.

Definition: a major application is 10 or more dwellings, residential development on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more, the provision of building/s creating more than 1000sqm or more of a commercial floorspace, or development on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

Fees and Charges

The fees payable for a major pre-application enquiry are related to the planning fees associated with the development being proposed.

How to Apply

Please download a copy of the Major Pre-application form.

To submit a pre-application by email

Once completed please submit the form together with any supporting documents and email to

To submit a pre-application by post

The pre-application form and additional information should be sent to:

Pre-application Advice Service
North Norfolk District Council
Holt Road
NR27 9EN

How to pay

  • By phone on 01263 513811
  • Include a cheque made payable to North Norfolk District Council with your application.

Our telephone and office opening hours are:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday from 8.30am to 5pm

Wednesday from 10am to 5pm

Fridays from 8.30am to 4.30pm


What level of information do you need to submit with a major pre-application enquiry?

We recognise that projects may be at different stages of development and therefore a rigid or prescribed set of information requirements may not be appropriate to cover the range of different circumstances.

However, as a general guide, If you are seeking to establish whether the general principle of a proposed development is likely to be acceptable then submission of a site location plan and a clear description of your overall proposal may be all that is required.

If you require more detailed analysis from officers then it is likely that you will need to also provide an indication of site layout and other plans/details which can be sent on to relevant consultees for comment and which will inform the Council’s reply.

If we consider there is insufficient information to provide a detailed response we will seek to contact you as soon as possible to identify a solution so we can progress your enquiry.

How long will it take to receive major pre-application advice?

In most cases we will aim to provide a written response within 40 working days of a valid major pre-application enquiry being received.

If further time is required in which to provide a response (for example due to the complexity of the proposal) the case officer will contact the applicant/agent before that date to advise of the likely timescale for response.

Throughout the process we will seek to keep you informed of progress and this may include the opportunity to meet to discuss the proposal once consultee responses are received.

The pre-app service is available to all schemes at whatever stage they may be at, whether an idea in principle or fully worked up drawings. In order to help speed up the time it takes to respond, please provide us with as much relevant information as you can about your proposal, at whatever stage it is at.


Who will we Consult when Major Pre-application advice is sought?

When we receive your request for Major pre-application advice we will undertake consultation with a range of statutory and non-statutory consultees. Who is consulted will depend on the type of development being proposed and the level of detail you have provided with the pre-app request. We will provide you with copies of consultation replies we receive for your records.

Examples of consultees we regularly consult would include:

Internal to North Norfolk District Council

  • Conservation & Design
  • Landscape
  • Environmental Protection
  • Economic Development
  • Housing

External to North Norfolk District Council

  • Norfolk County Council - Highways (including public rights of way), Lead Local Flood Authority, Education, Libraries, Fire Service, Green Infrastructure
  • Natural England
  • Environment Agency
  • Anglian Water
  • Norfolk Coast Partnership

We would not normally consult with Town/Parish Councils or undertake public consultation at pre-application stage but applicants should be aware of the Council’s position regarding confidentiality of pre-app submissions once advice has been given, as set out below.


The subsequent planning decision

Please note:

No guarantee that a particular decision will be taken or recommendation made can be given.

The comments provided will be those of competent planning officers acting reasonably on the basis of the information supplied, based on current law and policies and given in good faith.

Pre-application advice is without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, which will be the subject of statutory and public consultation, where new material planning considerations may be raised.

Sometimes there may be material changes in policy at either national or local level which may mean that advice that has already been given is no longer accurate or appropriate.

Little or no reliance can be placed on the content of the Council's pre-application advice for schemes which are submitted more than one year after the advice has been issued.

It remains up to the applicant to demonstrate through their planning application that their proposal meets the relevant and most up to date, planning policies and guidance.

Details of pre-application enquiries and advice will be available for public inspection on the Internet or by personal callers once the final advice has been provided.  The advice will also be placed on the planning file should a subsequent planning application be submitted. Please also be aware that the Council may be required to supply details to any party making a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.


Confidentiality of pre-application submissions

Please note that all documents submitted and generated in relation to this pre-application advice request, including the Council's formal response, will be made publicly searchable and viewable on the Council's website via Public Access (unless the information submitted meets the exclusions tests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004).

Local Members will be made aware of the receipt of requests for pre-application advice.

Should a planning application be submitted following the pre-application enquiry we will publish the pre-application response on the planning application file.