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Pre-Application Planning Advice

Image of people looking at plans at a building site

Advice to applicants and agents before they submit a planning application can be very beneficial to all parties, which can result in higher quality applications, quicker decisions and a better standard of development. It may also mean that proposals that would have little or no chance of success are not submitted, saving all parties time and resources.

The Council endeavours to deal with all applications as quickly as possible. However, delays can occur when applications are submitted with inadequate documentation, poor or no Design and Access Statement and which fail to reflect Local Planning Policy. The Council welcomes and encourages all applicants to seek advice before submitting planning applications which will enable you to acquire clear, impartial professional advice, at an early stage, regarding any key issues, such as principle of the development, design, the impact on adjoining occupiers and the need for any legal agreements or contributions towards local infrastructure or community facilities that should be addressed prior to submitting a formal development proposal.

This advice should help to prevent unacceptable schemes from entering the formal planning process and result in a clear and concise development proposal on which to make comments. This can assist in speeding up the determination of your planning application and improve the quality of the development proposal.

Applications submitted without pre-application discussion or without regard to advice given at the pre-application stage will normally be determined as submitted as Officers are unable to entertain significant discussion and negotiation during the consideration of a formal application.

From 1st April 2011 the London Borough of Sutton now charge for pre-application planning advice for householder and commercial applications. Please see table below for a list of fees and services offered, any questions with regard to the service should be addressed to

pdf icon Pre-Application Service Summary Sheet [18kb]

If you wish to take up this service you will need to submit hard copies of the necessary plans (which can be in sketch form at this stage) and any supporting documentation.  We would suggest this includes existing and proposed floor plans, indicative elevations and a site plan.  These should be accompanied by a covering letter outlining the proposal details and agreeing to the timescales set out in the above spreadsheet, and the fee.  This can be in cheque form made payable to London Borough of Sutton, in cash payable at the Planning Offices (24 Denmark Road, Carshalton) or via credit or debit card.  For the latter, please log a call with the contact centre on 020 8770 5070 advising that you wish to make a card payment to the planning department and a member of the planning support team will call you back to arrange this.

Before making a Pre-Application Enquiry

Make sure that the proposal requires planning permission. The development may be allowed under Permitted Development which allows an owner to carry out certain works to land and property without needing to apply for planning permission, although a Lawful Development Certificate may be required. You can contact the Planning Department on 020 8770 5070 or e-mail on Further information on whether you require planning permission is available from the Planning Portal Website.