Planning Application Advice

Planning Application Advice

Following the recent moratorium on dealing with pre-application enquiries the shared planning service at Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils are now in a position to re-commence dealing with such matters.  However it would be very much be appreciated if you could please be patient as we are, understandably, slowly working our way through the resultant backlog.  We will therefore be dealing with all such enquires in the fairest way possible, which is on a date received basis.   

We are very grateful for your patience to date.

Professional planning advice is of great assistance to applicants by identifying the principal planning issues and requirements involved in their particular case, and providing them with an understanding of the likely outcome of a future planning application, and guidance towards receiving a more positive outcome.

Please note that this service cannot advise whether planning permission is required for specific works/operations. Please see the guidance for more information. As part of our planning advice service, you can request to have a meeting with an Officer. However, please be aware that whether a meeting takes place will depend on the nature of the proposed scheme, and will be at the discretion of the Development Control Manager.

Advice for neighbours of proposed developments  

When creating schemes, regard should be had to the Development Plan, which consists of the Adopted Local Plan, and the Core Strategy for Chiltern District. In addition, the Council has also produced Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) (SPDs) which provide additional guidance relating to contributions to Affordable HousingResidential Extensions and Householder Development and Sustainable Construction and Renewable Energy. The design guidance within the Chilterns Buildings Design Guide should be used. The relationship of your site to key constraints (ie Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Flood Zones) should be carefully considered prior to any pre-application enquiries.

To apply for advice before submitting a formal planning application, the Icon for pdf application form [139.56KB] should be completed and submitted to the Council, along with the relevant Icon for pdf fee [89.4KB], and accurate scaled plans detailing your proposal. Documentation can be posted to the Council, or emailed to

Please be aware that due to the time-constraints of the service provided, it is not always possible for Officer's to consult the relevant statutory consultees. In such instances, the letter of response will set out the contact details of relevant consultees that should be contacted prior to the submission of any future planning application. These may include Buckinghamshire County Highways Authority, Thames Valley Police Crime Prevention Design Adviser, the Environment Agency and many others.

The Main Benefits:


  • Quicker handling of applications following their formal submission because all the information required by the Council will be part of the initial submission
  • Provides help and guidance to applicants at an early stage thereby helping to make the formal planning application process easier and focusing at an early stage on the main issues.
  • A greater understanding in relation to the likely outcome.
  • Increases the likelihood of the planning application being valid on its receipt
  • Gives opportunity to revise the proposal prior to the submission of a formal planning application
  • Provides feedback on the design and quality of the proposal
  • Reduces the likelihood of developers pursuing applications that are completely unacceptable, thus preventing unnecessary financial outlay.
  • Increases the likelihood of a successful outcome, and helps reduce the time and associated costs to applicants
  • Early identification of any need for specialist information supporting the applications relating to such matters as highways information, listed buildings, trees, flood prevention, planning obligations etc.
  • Potential for substantial cost savings for all parties.
  • Pre-application enquiries are an opportunity for local authorities and developers to work together to achieve developments that deliver benefits to the community and the economy.

Significant resources are allocated to this service, and it has been decided that the cost of providing the service should be recovered directly from its users. As such there is a charge for this service and this is based on the type of proposal and the form of response from the Development Management section.

Advice will be given informally, without prejudice to the formal decision making process of the Council, and generally will be provided within 30 working days for a written reply only or 45 working days for a meeting followed by a written response.