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Aligned planning service pre-application charges take effect across Greater Cambridge

News release from 3 November 2020

The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service has updated charges for pre-application services with effect from 2 November. Pre-application advice is an optional service which can help simplify and speed up the process of gaining planning permission, through feedback on draft proposals and ensuring that proposals meet planning requirements.

The changes to charges have been made to more accurately reflect the cost of providing pre-application planning advice. What’s more, for the first time there is a single, aligned pre-application charging scheme across the Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council areas.

Further information can be found on both councils' pre-application advice webpages along with the new fees.

Changes include:

  • A single set of aligned charges to apply across both Council areas
  • A small charge, in Cambridge City, for householder advice for the first time, to align with practice in South Cambridgeshire
  • 100% discount of the pre-application fee for small charities
  • A single discounted flat-rate charge for planning advice to small businesses.

Alongside charged-for services, informal advice will continue to be provided by way of the duty planner service by telephone. The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service will also be publishing more targeted advice and assistance online over the coming months.

Pre-application advice can:

  • identify the main planning issues for your proposal and how you can address these
  • tell you what you need to submit with your planning application
  • speed up the overall process of obtaining planning permission
  • reduce the costs of your eventual application
  • avoid applications being rejected by us due to insufficient information or applying for the wrong type of permission.

These changes were agreed by Councillors at Cambridge City Council’s Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, 29 September 2020, and South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet meeting, 19 October 2020.

The revised charges follow an in-depth review, involving engagement with local architects and agents, of the pre-application advice service provided by the GCSPS, on behalf of Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The revised pre-application charges do not affect the planning application process (where fees and process are determined nationally), which is unaffected by these revisions.