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Do I need planning permission?

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3. Major Development Proposals Pre-Application Advice

Understanding Our Charges 

At Exeter City Council, we are committed to supporting high-quality and sustainable development throughout the city. This is set out in the Liveable Exeter Placemaking Charter. To continue providing detailed and valuable feedback on major development proposals, we have introduced a tiered charging schedule effective from 24 April 2024. Our pre-application advice helps you understand how planning policies and other requirements apply to your proposals. 


Our Pre-Application Advice Offers 

Level 0 – Scoping 

Fee: £300 


  • Additional meeting: £300 
  • Site visit: £150 

Service Offer: 

  • 1-hour meeting (in person or via Teams) with case officer. 
  • Discussion on the principle of development. 
  • Identification of key issues to be resolved through the pre-application process. 
  • Advice on the appropriate level for continued pre-application engagement (Level 1 or 2) or proposals unlikely to be acceptable. 


  • Short bullet point list summarising discussion. 
  • Identification of next steps and whether Level 1 or 2 should be pursued (including Design Review recommendation). 


  • Contact within 7 working days to arrange a meeting. 
  • Meeting within 15 working days. 
  • Meeting note issued within 5 working days. 


Level 1 – Standard 

Fee: £3,550 


  • Additional meeting: £300 
  • Site visit: £150 
  • Review of additional material and further advice: £300 

Service Offer: 

  • Accompanied site visit. 
  • Provision of relevant site history. 
  • Advice on validation requirements. 
  • Opportunity to present to the Planning Member Working Group. 
  • Consultation with key internal departments and statutory consultees. 
  • Up to three meetings with the case officer, including at least one "design team" meeting with relevant internal consultees. 


  • Written report incorporating design review feedback (subject to a separate fee), consultee feedback, and officer comment. 


  • Contact within 7 working days. 
  • Estimated process time of 8-12 weeks, depending on the complexity of the proposal. 


Level 2 – Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) 

Fee: Bespoke, tailored to project scope and requirements. 

Service Offer: 

  • Customised service using Level 1 as a base, with additional meetings, workshops, and engagement as needed. 
  • Designed to match the scale and complexity of the project. 
  • Incorporates the PPA design approach from the Exeter Design Quality Partnership Charter. 
  • Please note that PPAs are subject to the City Council agreeing that this approach is appropriate for the proposal concerned. 


  • Bespoke. 


  • Bespoke. 


How to Apply for Pre-Application Advice 

  1. Review the details of our pre-application advice levels to choose the most suitable option.
  2. Complete the pre-application advice request form. 
  3. Submit the form along with the required documents and applicable fee. 


How to Pay 

We are planning to introduce an online payment system during 2024. In the meantime, you can pay the Council by BACS using the following details:

Bank:  Lloyds

Account Name:  Exeter City General Account

Sort Code:  30 93 14

Account Number:  01388358

Reference:  Planning-(Name of developer/site)


Why Choose Our Pre-Application Advice? 

Our pre-application advice can significantly enhance the likelihood of obtaining planning permission by: 

  • Identifying potential issues early. 
  • Providing clear guidance on local planning requirements. 
  • Helping streamline the formal application process. 


Need Further Assistance? 

For more details or specific queries related to pre-application advice, please contact our planning services team via our contact us form. 


Changes to Our charges 

Please note that these charges apply to all new pre-application enquiries from 24 April 2024 for major developments. Minor applications and basic enquiries will continue to receive free advice. We ensure transparency in all our service charges and welcome your feedback for continuous improvement.