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Durham County Council

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Before you apply


Check if you need planning permission for the work you want to do before you submit an application. Find out about our pre-application advice services.

If you're thinking of doing any improvement works to your property, garden or surroundings find out if you need planning permission on the Planning Portal: do you need permission? web pages.

Need advice?

If you need planning permission, or believe you do, we offer a high quality pre-application advice service offering professional advice on the likely acceptability of development proposals, including whether planning permission is required or not. 

Apply for the pre-application advice service

Download the relevant form and return to us:

A full list of fees and more information on our pre-application service is available in our Pre-application advice (PDF, 381kb) document.

    How much does it cost?

    We offer three levels of pre-application advice:

    • Outline advice - which provides a view as to the principle of the development proposal.
    • Full advice - which provides detailed advice on the full range of issues that the proposal would raise.
    • Householder advice - which provides a view purely on domestic developments or improvements and also signposts customers to any other required approvals from other council teams.

    Customers can select the most cost effective product best-suited to their development proposal.

    Why choose our pre-application service?

    Our advice carries strong weight if incorporated into a planning application. Pre-application advice is not binding but the level of detail provided is so thorough that it is very rare that it is departed from once an application is received. Customers who use the service work with the same planning officer throughout the process. 

    If the officer feels they couldn't  support a subsequent application they will tell you and the reasons why. If there are solutions or recommendations to overcome their concerns - they will provide them as part of the service.