Please get in touch for a FREE initial consultation with our architects and/or planners:

Tel: 01202 675152

We will be happy to assist with any planning and/or architecture related query to progress your project.


Planning appraisals

Initial work will often involve undertaking a site visit to assess the physical aspects of the site including:

  • Land use
  • Topography
  • Physical constraints e.g. trees, flooding, biodiversity, contamination
  • Character and appearance
  • Relationship with neighbouring sites
  • Context

We will then undertake research of the relevant planning policies that apply and any planning history in order to create a profile of the site and the potential for development. We then conclude by making recommendations for the development potential or how to make progress towards this.

Pre-application enquiries 

This is a process that is advocated by local authorities. It is not a planning application. A pre-application enquiry is a process that involves sketch plans and proposals being submitted to the LPA for their consideration, before providing preliminary advice on the scheme and whether it is likely to gain planning approval.

Pre-application advice aims to set out the principles of development and what, if anything, is needed for the scheme to be supported by the LPA.

We regularly engage in pre-application discussions with LPAs as part of the planning process. It is our preferred approach to work with local authorities to gain planning approvals. Pre-application advice is the first step in the process of working towards a planning approval with the LPA. The benefits of pre-application advice include:

  • Quick and timely advice with minimal financial outlay
  • Agreeing principles up front with the LPA assists with a smoother planning process

Many local authorities charge for pre-application advice and depending on the nature of your proposals these fees can be costly. ECA can advise on the best course of action for progressing your proposal with the LPA. Get in touch to speak to one of our planners about this on Tel: 01202 675152.

Examples of projects where pre-application advice proved successful to gaining planning permission: