We provide a coordinated service for customers by offering a 'one stop shop' facility for developers whose proposed schemes are considered as 'major' or raise particularly complex issues.

A planning officer of the council will act as the coordinator and will bring together a multi disciplinary Development Team of professionals from key partners in the development process.

This will help to streamline the determination of major and complex development proposals.

Request major development advice

Who is involved?

The type and scale of development proposed will, to a certain extent, determine the make-up of the Development Team, but in addition to a lead planning officer the team may include officers from the following sections of the council:

  • Planning Policy
  • Urban Design
  • Building Control
  • Environmental Health.

In addition, external agencies such as the Highway Authority, the Police and the Environment Agency may form part of the team.

How does it work?

The Development Team will bring together the main parties at the earliest stage in the process. This will allow the most important issues to be highlighted and quickly resolved. The following process will be followed:

  • You submit a request for pre-application advice, along with the necessary supporting information.
  • Details of the information required are provided on our request for pre-application advice form. 
  • If the necessary information has not been submitted with your request, we will contact you as soon as possible to advise you of the requirements.
  • We will appoint a lead officer who will be the main point of contact for any enquiries.
  • We will advise you of the date, time and venue of the Development Team meeting at least two weeks in advance.
  • The lead officer will undertake any necessary research and provide copies of the information you have submitted to other members of the Development Team.
  • The Development Team meeting will be held. Please see below for forthcoming dates. You and your representative are welcome to attend.
  • We will provide a response within 10 working days of the date of the Development Team meeting (unless new information arises at the meeting or further research is required which necessitates the agreement of an alternative time scale).

How much will it cost?             

Initial meeting



Follow-up meeting



Pay for Planning application and major advice fee

You can now pay for major planning advice through our online form

Please note that Lancashire County Council, as the Highways Authority, charges separately for the provision of pre-application advice.

For the purposes of the charging scheme, the definitions are as follows:

Major development proposals:

  • Residential/student accommodation schemes of between 10 and 49 units or, where the number of dwellings is not specified, a site area of between 0.5 and 2.499 hectares;
  • Retail, commercial and industrial schemes with a floor space of between 1000sqm and 1999sqm, or on sites of between 1 hectare and 1.999 hectares;
  • Educational, hospital, leisure and recreation schemes on sites of between 1 hectare and 1.999 hectares;
  • Schemes with 2 or more land uses on sites of between 1 hectare and 1.499 hectares;
  • Changes of use of building(s) with a gross floor area of between 1,000sqm and 1,499 sqm.

Significant major development proposals:

  • Residential/student accommodation schemes of over 50 units;
  • Retail, commercial and industrial schemes with a floors pace of 2000sqm or more on sites of 2 hectares or more;
  • Educational, hospital, leisure and recreational schemes on sites of 2 hectares or more;
  • Schemes with 2 or more land uses on sites of 1.5 hectares or more;
  • Changes of use of building(s) with a gross floor area of 1,500sqm or more;
  • Any schemes requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Discounted rates for the provision of pre-application advice for major and significant major schemes may be available for those development proposals where five or more meetings are required and where the fee will be paid up front.

In addition, reduced charges will be agreed (or in some circumstances, no charges will be made) for those development proposals submitted by charitable organisations or those which are the subject of public funding.

Finally, schemes which would make a significant contribution to the regeneration of the City and relate to a recognised regeneration programme or initiative will not be the subject of pre-application charging.

Please contact the planningdept@preston.gov.uk or telephone 01772 906912 for further information if you feel that any of the above exceptions would apply to your proposals.

Standing Design advice / Design guide summary

Icon for pdf The design advice/summary including Annex A [246.49KB] (selected design policy and guidance) and Icon for pdf Annex B - Building for life 12 templates [127.34KB] (national standard for residence schemes) are a summary of the process and outputs required by the Adopted Central Lancashire Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (Design SPD).

The Design SPD and other selected references should be consulted for fuller information and relevant examples.

What happens next?

Following the receipt of advice from the Development Team, and if necessary, you will be able to amend your proposal.

If a major amendment is required, we will probably have to repeat the above process when you send us your revised proposal.

We will also give you a list of all relevant consultees and an indication of which of them you may need to talk to separately in relation to specific issues.

How do I benefit from the Development Team approach?

The approach will ensure that you receive:

  • Clear guidance from the council on its policies on planned development;
  • A unified and consistent approach;
  • Assistance in resolving potential problems or conflicts;
  • A co-ordinated and integrated service from the council and other agencies that will be time efficient and cost-effective.

What if my proposals are confidential?

The Development team approach respects confidentiality and will not release any details, either internally or externally, unless it is necessary to do so in order to assist you.

If this is the case, information will only be released with your agreement.

When are the meetings?

Meetings will usually be held on the last Wednesday of each month. Below is the list of meeting dates.

30 October 201927 November 201918 December 2019January 2020 TBC
February 2020 TBCMarch 2020April 2020May 2020

These dates may be subject to change, please contact the lead officer for confirmation of the next available meeting.

Please note that any advice given by council officers at pre-application stage is not a formal planning decision by the council as Local Planning Authority and is not legally binding upon the Local Planning Authority.

We will give you the best advice possible based on the information provided.

This advice will be offered in good faith and to the best of ability, without prejudice to any formal consideration of any planning application following statutory consultation, the issues raised and the evaluation of all available information.