Informal planning advice can be provided over the telephone, at the Customer Service Centre or more formally by a pre-arranged meeting with a planning officer (see Pre-application meetings with planning officers below).
All advice is provided on a without prejudice basis only and is not binding on any future decision of the Council.
The most frequent form of development is extensions to houses. If you wish to add an extension to your home and if you would like find out if you need planning permission, please see
Advice over the telephone
You can call one of our two Duty Planners on 01727 819344 or 819345 on Wednesdays between 1pm and 4.45pm or Thursdays between 9am and 12.30pm for general planning advice.
Drop-in service with a Duty Planner
For advice on householder applications (extensions, loft conversions etc), we offer a drop-in service (15 minute slots) with a Duty Planning Officer on Monday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm and on Wednesday mornings between 9am and 12.30pm in our Customer Services Centre. You are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. A ticket will be issued to you and you will be given an approximate time when you will be seen. For all other applications, see Pre-application meetings with planning officers below. This service is for residents of the District only.
Pre-application meetings with planning officers
In addition to the drop-in service provided by the Duty Planning Officer for householder applications, pre-application meetings for all other schemes are available by pre-arranged appointment only. Meetings with specific application case officers can also be made for a mutually convenient time, by direct contact with the relevant case officer.
The Council operates a charging scheme for all meetings (see Charges below).
All pre-application and advice meetings will be held at the Council Offices. Officers are unable to hold a site meeting without a prior advice session in the office and the prior deposit of plans or written proposals. If, exceptionally, it is necessary to convene a meeting on site, travel time to and from the site will be charged at the hourly rate.
Help us to help you
In order for you to get the most out of the meeting and for officers to provide you with the best advice on your proposals, you should send us your plans or written proposals well in advance of the meeting.
Charges for pre-application planning meetings
Under the provisions of the Planning and Compensation Act 2003 (Section 53), Local Planning Authorities are able to charge for meetings with applicants and their professional advisers.
The charges per hour (or part thereof) for 2012/2013 are:
Band A Major Proposals £600
(10 dwellings or more, building development of 1000 square metres or more or sites in excess of one hectare for retail, industry, warehousing)
Band B Minor Proposals £250
(all other proposals)
Payment must be received in advance of the meeting. The Council reserves the right to invoice any unpaid sums owed, which will be subject to our usual credit control procedures. These charges are reviewed each year.
For further information, please contact:
The Planning Department
St Albans City and District Council
St Peter's Street
St Albans AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819344 or 819345
Date of last review: 05 March 2013
Free advice from the Environment Agency
The Environment Agency offer a free pre-application service. If the proposed development site is a hectare or more, in flood zones 2 or 3, close to a watercourse or on potentially contaminated land it is worthwhile using this service to check the likely EA response at planning stage. You can send your pre-application enquiry to SPHatfield@environment-agency.gov.uk.
For further information and advice from the Environment Agency, please click here.