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Pre-application advice

The COVID-19 outbreak is currently impacting our ability to operate our normal level of service provision for Development Management. Our offices are currently closed to the general public and all the Planning Officers are working remotely. Please note that there may be a delay in any response which can be provided.

What is pre-application planning advice?

This is a process which encourages anyone wanting to carry out development to talk with the Local Planning Authority to obtain informal guidance in advance of submitting a formal application.

There is currently no fee for this service, however the Local Planning Authority request that the pre-application request advise form is completed in full and submitted alongside the required information identified in section 5 of the form.

Advice offered on the prospect of planning permission is informal Officer opinion only and cannot bind the Authority in the event of a formal application. The advice given is without prejudice and based on current planning legislation. Please remember that planning legislation and Council planning policy can change over time. These Guidance Notes are, therefore subject to periodic amendment. If any change is proposed to your proposal you should contact us for further advice. Please see the Copeland Local Plan.

The pre-application planning advice service we will provide:

On receipt of your enquiry and all required information, we will provide an acknowledgment letter. We will endeavour to deal with your enquiry in writing within 28 days of the receipt of a fully completed form, however this will depend on officer workload.

 Depending on the nature of the enquiry the response will include some or all of the following information:

  • Whether you need planning or other associated forms of permission;
  • What relevant planning policies apply;
  • What other material considerations are likely to be taken into account;
  • A view on likely problems/issues that will arise from policy, history or material considerations.

Pre-application Request Advice Form

Please complete and return the form


Pre-application planning advice will continue to be offered on a strictly without prejudice basis, and it will be made as reliable as possible. All advice will be based on the information provided, but it will not be any guarantee that any subsequent application will result in a particular decision and it will not be binding on the Council. Opinion may change, for example, during the formal application process as a result of views of consultees and other interested parties. It also has to be acknowledged that some decisions will be made by Planning Committee, rather than by Officers, and in some cases they may reach a different conclusion.

For more information, please contact us.