Pre-Applications advice and enquiries - Winchester City Council

Pre-Applications advice and enquiries - Winchester City Council

The Planning Team at Winchester City Council have developed a new planning enquiry service, which promises to help applicants save time and improve outcomes later during the planning application process.

The service is designed so that it can be responsive to the needs of our customers and ensure that we can offer professional, flexible, tailored and timely advice.

  • What are we offering?

    The new service features a simple range of fees, easy access to advice from officers and early engagement with bespoke outcomes that aim to match your requirements.

    Planning enquiry service


  • Why use the service?

    A more efficient planning experience

    The service encourages early proactive engagement with us to share and develop your ideas. We will highlight potential issues and aim to give more certainty by indicating likely outcomes where possible.

    We want you to ‘get it right’ before you submit your planning application which will:

    • be more efficient
    • save on costs
    • reduce multiple plan production
    • improve design quality (Character / Climate / Community MCHLG 2019)
    • improve place making and value

    Over the past year in our existing service, the time taken for the majority of enquiries ranged from 20 to 40 days and we expect the new service to improve this.

    Early and better engagement

    We will understand your proposal, your priorities and your deadlines at an earlier stage in the management of your project.

    We will promote productive community engagement because it is important to achieving inclusive well-designed schemes.

    We will recommend which Council departments we should consult with to deliver the advice that you want, and who to engage with externally. We will endeavour to recommend the services of the wider Council where they can help with your project.

    We will advise the best way forward through an agreed bespoke pre application service that is both necessary and proportionate to achieve your outcome

    Clear communication

    We aim to have an open exchange of information, cooperate to bring together the right people to problem solve, and collaborate with you to resolve material planning issues.

    We will clearly establish the options available to you with reference to the Development Plan framework and your timeframe. At the heart of this is our commitment to communicate effectively – to be precise, concise and unambiguous.

  • Confidentiality

    Requests for pre-application advice and the response provided will not be published on the council’s website. 

    There is the possibility that under Freedom of Information Regulations (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), we will be asked to provide information about enquiries and we have to decide whether the information can be released.

    However the provisions of the FOI or EIR are binding to the Council and therefore it should be presumed that information supplied to the Council is likely to be disclosed under the above Act should a request be made. You should state clearly if you want information to remain confidential and why. Information sent to the Council "in confidence" may still be disclosed under the above Act.

  • Planning Aid

    Planning Aid is a network of planning volunteers providing free and independent advice to community groups and individuals who can’t afford a consultant.

    If you need any help or have any questions, please email: or call 0207 929 9494.

  • Important disclaimer

    Any pre-application advice provided by the Local Planning Authority does not constitute a formal decision of the Council. Advice is given without prejudice to the consideration by the Council of any formal planning application, which will be subject to wider consultation and publicity. 

    Policies and constraints change from time to time and may affect the advice given.