As a planning authority we do not, as a matter of course, charge for pre-application advice.
Nevertheless, it is the case that a number of submissions we receive are Section 73 applications (Application for the Removal or Variation of a Condition following Grant of Planning Permission) - which each attract a fee of £234. As a result the council always fails to recoup its costs on such applications, leading to an often significant shortfall as such applications can often be both complex and contentious, and involve a great deal of time to process.
To seek to recoup some income in these instances, the county council reserves the right to levy pre-application charges where the application is expected to lead to a Section 73 application. Charges in such cases will be:
Meetings with Planning Officers: £150 per hour or part thereof. Where this meeting is not at One Angel Square, travel time will be included as chargeable time;
Letters/emails/phone calls with/to the applicant in respect of specific enquiries by the applicant: £30 per item. Teleconferences will be charged as per a face-to-face meeting.
If as a consequence of such meetings and advice ultimately lead to the submission of a full application, then the pre-application charges will be refunded.