Pre-application and other planning service charges

Information for our pre-application advice service.

We offer a comprehensive pre-application advice service and charges to confirm information such as whether legal obligations have been discharged. This pre-application service applies to applications which the County Council would determines for Minerals and Waste, but also includes fees for confirming that status of conditions or obligations or local searches.  Fees will depend on the service requested and the scale of the development proposed.

View our pre-application charging schedule (PDF, 330KB)

Pre-application advice for other forms of development should be addressed to the appropriate District or Borough Council or the Broads Authority

Our pre-application services have a number of potential advantages, for anyone who is considering making a planning application, now or in the future. These include:

  • Getting the best value out of your development
  • Reducing the risk of you submitting an invalid application
  • Identifying any additional advice that you might need, including specialist advice
  • Reducing your overall cost and time to develop a project through reducing uncertainty at the outset
  • Reducing your risk through identifying potential issues early in the process
  • Helping you to programme the necessary assessments and other inputs for your development
  • Avoiding problems and finding alternative solutions where needed
  • Being sure that your planning proposal complies with planning policy and is lawful

The services offered are:

Fees, request forms and disclaimer

Apart from verbal enquiries regarding the need for planning permission not lasting more than 30 minutes, a formal request will need to be made and specific information submitted with the request, accompanied by the appropriate fee. 

Waste Development pre-application form (PDF, 291KB)

Minerals Development pre-application form (PDF, 539KB)

Please pay the pre-application advice fee via our online planning payments page

The advice provided is based on officers’ profession judgement, without prejudice, and does not bind the County Council to any course of action. Neither does it prejudice any future decision made by the County Council in determining any subsequent planning application that is submitted.

The Council might need to provide information if requested by Environmental or Freedom of Information Requests.  If the proposal progresses to the planning application stage, the pre-application advice provided with be published alongside the application documents.

If, during the pre-application process, it becomes clear that further meetings or additional time is required and this is agreed, an invoice for the balance would be generated and payment required before the advice is provided.

Further information

For further information about the service, send a message to or call 01473 265066.

Authorities in Suffolk have developed a process particularly aimed at medium and large scale proposals.  The Design Management Process Map describes the stages, responsibilities and outcomes at different stages from inception through to delivery and construction.

This is a useful tool for pre-application discussions to help programme different steps for a range of development proposals.  Not all steps and stages need to be followed for all projects, but we will expect to discuss with you how you will bring your project forward through each of these steps

Please view our Suffolk Design Process Map v2.2 (July 2021)


Additional technical advice


Currently, the archaeology service only charges for pre-application advice for complex sites on a case-by-case basis.  Further charges are required for reviewing documents associated with discharge of conditions for example. 

Find the fees and charges of Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service here.

Floods & Water Management

Minor projects are unlikely to require professional input from the County Council’s Flood & Water Management Team.  The following table sets out the likely fees for advice from the Floods and Water Management team:

Development Size

Floods & Water Management Fee



Major (e.g. 1000-4999 sqm) - Written Only




Major (e.g. 1000-4999 sqm) - Meeting or Appointment on Site and Written Response




Large-scale (e.g. 5000+ sqm) - Written Only




Large-scale (e.g. 5000+ sqm) - Meeting or Appointment on Site and Written Response




Highways & Transport

Given the often variation and complexity of the impact of major and large-scale minerals or waste projects on the highway network, a quotation for advice would be provided if requested.

The pre-application advice service for Highways and Transport that is available through Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils is a guide to the potential scale of charges – see:

For minor projects, where only a written response from a Highway Officer is required, the optional fee would be £180 plus VAT. 

Noise and Air Quality

Advice from the County Council’s noise and air quality consultants, SRL Technical Services Limited, is likely to be needed for minerals and waste developments to set out the necessary methodology and potential mitigation options.  A quote can be provided and, if taken up, this cost will be recharged to the applicant. 




Planning performance agreements are useful with more complex proposals because they encourage all parties to consider and agree timescales, actions and the resources that will be necessary to ensure the project is programmed as much as possible. 

We offer the opportunity for applicants to enter into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) for all types of planning proposal, including Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

The pre-application and planning services cannot:

  • provide certainty that planning permission would or would not be granted;
  • discuss the technical merits of applications, refusals or appeals;
  • agree to any minor amendments to planning permissions (a separate process is required);
  • discuss enforcement enquiries
  • deal with the discharge of any planning conditions on a decision notice
  • take payment for any planning service
  • provide any written response or documentation

Any advice provided is provided in good faith, based on the information and evidence provided and the policy context available at the time. The advice is the individual opinion of professional officers and is not a formal decision of Suffolk County Council.