Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

Planning application fees

Fees for planning applications are set by central government under The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012.

Pre-application advice and fees

Pre-application advice is available from the Planning Department to help you prepare and submit your planning application. As the planning authority, Northampton Borough Council positively encourages pre-application discussions as a means of:

  • Assisting you in the preparation of your application
  • Allowing us to inform you about any additional technical and supporting information that may be required prior to the submission of your planning application 
  • Improving the quality of proposed developments
  • Helping to avoid delay during the formal consideration of planning applications, which can save time and money later in the process, especially if plans need to be redrawn and re-submitted, which can be expensive
  • Reducing the risk of delays in obtaining permission, particularly if an application is refused on grounds which could have been identified and overcome through pre-application discussions

Even though taking pre-application advice from officers does not bind the council to make a particular decision, the letter you will receive as a result of pre-application discussions forms part of the decision-making process and will be taken into consideration in determining your application.

In order to receive an effective advice service, we would encourage you to contact the planning department at the earliest opportunity to seek advice on your proposals.

This will ensure that the most appropriate officer is assigned to your case and allow the level of pre-application discussion and negotiation to be determined. This will largely be dependent on the complexity of the application and possibly its proposed location. It will also help determine whether or not other agreements, contributions or obligations will be required.

Details of how to make a request for pre-application advice are at the bottom of this page.

What we offer

If you choose to take advantage of this service, Northampton Borough Council will:

  • Respond to written requests for advice on straightforward proposals within 10 working days
  • Respond to requests for advice on more complex proposals to an agreed timetable and, where appropriate, offering a meeting
  • Provide a one-stop-shop for planning advice at the Guildhall (this includes advice from Development Control, Building Control, Conservation, Planning Policy and Public Protection (formerly Environmental Health)
  • Provide a duty planning officer, available during opening hours at the Guildhall
  • Provide an appointed case officer early in the process to ensure continuity for applicants
  • Ensure that all advice provided is consistent, accurate and constructive
  • Clearly specify any areas of uncertainty about the acceptability of the proposals
  • Undertake site visits, if required, within 10 working days of confirmation that all the necessary information has been received
  • Provide advice on the need for Building Regulation approval and other related matters, where appropriate, including advice on Conservation Area Consents and listed buildings
  • Direct the applicant to other agencies or organisations that may have an interest in the proposal, such as the Highways Authority
  • Maintain a record of the advice provided on file for the avoidance of doubt and to ensure consistency. The pre application request and response given may be made publicly available as part of the application documents on subsequent planning applications
  • Indicate whether the application will be determined by officers under delegation, or by the Planning Committee
  • Seek to ensure the maximum consistency between the pre-application advice and the final recommendation
  • Respect commercial confidentiality
  • Offer an agreed timetable to determine more complex applications
  • A senior officer will check all written advice for consistency and accuracy before this is sent out. All meetings will be followed up by advice in writing
  • Provide advice on the level and scope of Section 106 obligations that will be required, if any, including the amount, mix and size of affordable housing

Exemptions from pre-application advice charges

The following categories of development are exempt from charges:

  • Advice in connection with alterations or extension, etc. to a dwelling for the benefit of a registered disabled person
  • If the proposal relates to works that require planning permission only by virtue of an Article 4 Direction of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995

Charges for pre-application advice



Category of development proposed Charge (from 1st April 2016)
Major development Large scale major developments Quote required
Other major development - dwellings 15% of fee
Other major development - offices/research and development/light industry 15% of fee
Other major development - retail, distribution and servicing 15% of fee
Other major development - heavy industry/storage/warehousing 15% of fee
All other major development 15% of fee
Minor development 1 dwelling 15% of fee
2-9 dwellings 15% of fee
Offices/research and development/light industry £190
Heavy industry/storage/warehousing £190
Retail and distribution £190
All other minor development 15% of fee
Change of use to house in multiple occupation £90
Other Change of use 15% of fee
Householder developments 15% of fee
Advertisements £25.50
Listed Building Consent to Alter/Extend £90
Listed Building Consent to Demolish £90
Conservation Area Consent £90
Meetings and/or site visits (per 30 minutes) in addition to the pre-application charge applicable above £92 per 30 minutes

You can request pre-application advice from the council by sending an email to planning@northampton.gov.uk

Please provide the address of the property and a description of the works you are intending to carry out.

An officer will contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can ring the planning department on 0300 330 7000.