Pre-application advice service

Planning championWe offer a pre-application advice service, which can save you time and money before you put in your application. This service can help you by:

  • Identifying key planning issues and requirements
  • Speeding up the development process
  • Minimising subsequent planning application cost
  • Avoiding unfinished applications

Get pre-application advice

Pre-application form complete the form and email it to along with the pre-application service fees and the following:

  • Location Plan with site outlined in red on an OS licensed plan (1:1250)
  • Outline plan of proposed buildings (1:200)
  • Current Use and proposed use (including amount of development)
  • Photographs and Sketch Drawings of site and surroundings (Scale not necessary but measurements must be included)
  • Sketch Drawing showing height and scale of development
  • Draft Design & Access Statement (based on contextual survey and analysis of site constraints and opportunities)
  • Name(s) of all owners/mortgagees of the land (major proposals only)
  • Any community involvement you have undertaken (consultations with interest groups)
  • The correct fee, this can be paid via cheque or at Gateway.

If an application is submitted without any pre-application discussions, and there are difficulties that are unlikely to be capable of resolution within the statutory time period, then negotiations will not normally be entered into. The decision is likely to be a refusal.

Our aim is to ensure that you are in a strong position to address all the apparent planning considerations, including the need for any financial contributions or community improvements that mitigate against the scheme’s direct impact, prior to the submission of an application.

Duty Planning Officer Service
We also offer a free telephone advice service covering basic principles only. More information on the Duty Planning Officer Service.

There are two types of pre-application service:

Householder developments: for homeowners wishing to alter or extend their homes, minor domestic proposals or permitted development. For further help see the pre-application advice flowchart and Pre-application advice service guidance.

Major and Minor developments: for change of use, commercial properties, new builds, large major schemes. The flowchart and accompanying details give full guidance, see the documents section. For larger developments, typically of 100 or more dwellings and/or 10,000sq.m of commercial floorspace, this is a formal chargeable service. With officers making accompanied site visits (where requested) and producing a written report of their findings. We encourage applicants to enter into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA).

The Southampton Design Advisory Panel can help with pre-application advice by acting as the public’s experts on matters of design and through its advice to assist in continually raising the standard and quality of places, spaces and buildings across the city.