Preliminary opinion

We offer a free preliminary opinion for all development proposals which meet at least one of the criteria on our engagement checklist. We will provide you with:

  • An indicative view on which environmental issues listed on our checklist need to be considered as part of your application
  • An outline of the assessments that may be required to support your application

You can only request the preliminary opinion once for each development that you are involved with.

Apply for a preliminary opinion on your development

We ask you to provide information about your proposed development, such as the development type, the site location and how you intend to address any potential environmental impacts that have been identified.

We aim to provide you with a preliminary opinion within 21 calendar days of receiving the form and associated information.

Statutory advice

For major developments and developments of national significance, you have a duty to consult us before submitting your application to the relevant planning or consenting authority if your proposal meets one or more of the criteria set out in legislation. In return, we will provide you with a substantive response detailing whether we have:

  • no comment
  • no objection
  • identified concerns and how they should be addressed
  • identified concerns and would object to a planning application

Discretionary planning advice

You can request further advice on several subjects and development types.

  • Land contamination
  • Ground water protection
  • Flood consequence assessments
  • Nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs)
  • Developments of national significance
  • Advice in relation to marine developments

Discretionary planning advice is provided at a cost of £125 per hour plus VAT (based on the full recovery of our costs).

We will provide an estimate of the work and cost before you decide if you wish to proceed.

Apply for discretionary planning advice

Please allow at least 30 days for the work to start, from the date on which you return the form.

While we aim to meet demand for the service, there may be times when our capacity to do so is limited. In those instances, we reserve the right to not offer the service.

Read the guide to the discretionary advice service.

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