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Pre-application advice for business property

The Council has produced a Plain English Guide to Submitting a Planning Application for Business which includes answers Frequently Asked Questions and a validation checklist for use in business planning applications. East Midlands Chamber has endorsed it as a useful manual to demystify planning and help local firms to understand the process.

Do you need planning permission?

Businesses seeking to develop their premises may require planning permission. Permission may be required when building new premises, changing the use of existing premises, or extending existing buildings. Certain types of minor changes are permitted without the need to apply for planning permission. You can go to the business section of the Planning Portal website for guidance on what will or will not require planning permission.

The display of advertisements at business or commercial premises is subject to a separate consent process within the planning system.  If you wish to display an advertisement or signage at your premises or within its vicinity you may need to obtain Advertising Consent.

More guidance on adverts and signage can be found here.

If you are still unsure, we can tell you if you will need to apply for planning permission or advertisement consent. This is a free service for our commercial and business customers, please send details of your proposal to

Pre- Application Advice

Initial advice - Planning Surgery

The Council provides a free initial planning surgery appointment service for businesses seeking to invest in the district and provides a 30- minute appointment  with a Planning Officer who can give you an initial opinion as to whether the application is likely to be supported in principle, what information you may need to submit with your application and can you help resolve any problems at an early stage. It is not intended to be a detailed review of proposals.  

Telephone call appointments with a planning officer are available every Wednesday. You will need to contact us on 0345 129 7777 or e-mail us to make an appointment.

Pre-application Advice Service

The pre-application advice service is a formalised fee paying service where you will be allocated a planning case officer who will review your proposals, including your design, site layout, surveys and report conclusions.  They may also liaise with any internal or external consul tees where necessary.  

While there is a fee for this process, it is intended to assist you to improve the quality of the submission, amend any aspects which may need to be addressed, as well as improve the timescale. Feedback from businesses who have used this service is very positive as it allows applicants to address detailed issues which might otherwise make the application fail.

The charges apply for the whole pre-application process, including any subsequent discussion of issues/submission of revisions following on from the initial request.  This service is offered as written advice or as a meeting.  The level of the fee will depend on your proposal and the type of response you require.  For more information see the guidance below.

What it will cost:  Charges for pre-application discussions. [91KB]
How to apply: Complete the online application form below. You'll need to make a payment as part of this form with a credit or debit card.