Talk to us for advice before you make a planning application, to understand how our policies apply and get an early idea of the feasibility of a project. For larger, more complicated developments, you can consider a Planning Performance Agreement.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Why get advice before making a planning application?

Pre-application discussions allow an applicant to 'test the waters' on the likely acceptability of a scheme and provide early indications of our view of a development.

The benefits of pre-application planning advice:

  • help understanding of how our policies will be applied to your proposal
  • input from the Design and Conservation, Policy and Transport Planning teams where needed
  • makes it easier to put together proposals for formal submission, which, if you follow the advice of planning officers, should be handled more quickly and be more likely to be accepted
  • can reduce the time that you or your professional advisors spend working up your planning proposals
  • tells you if a proposal is unacceptable and, where appropriate, gives guidance on improving its quality

A planning officer will be allocated to assess your application and may also take expert advice from other council colleagues . They will provide you with a full written response within a set timeframe – usually dependent on the category of pre-application you have submitted (please see guidance and fees for further details).

Pre-application advice is not compulsory and may not be appropriate for all schemes. However, the council actively encourages pre-application discussions for all appropriate types of development proposals before submission for formal consideration.

Whether or not you decide to apply for pre-application advice we do recommend that you discuss your proposed development with your neighbours before submitting a formal application, particularly if they may be impacted by the development or the works to construct it.

You may also want to consider employing an architect or planning agent to help you develop your plans. Architects and planning agents may also be able to advise if you will need planning permission or any other formal consents and help you to submit your application.

For more detailed information and to apply for this service, download the guide below:

2. Advice for listed buildings and conservation areas

You can apply for planning advice before making an application on a listed building or conservation area.

This service isn't compulsory, but can benefit you with advice on:

  • the heritage planning policy context which your planning application will be judged against
  • established best practice in relation to historic buildings and areas
  • the council’s view on the conservation area context in terms of its significance/character and appearance
  • the council’s view on what elements could contribute to the significance or special interest of the listed building
  • how likely it is that your application will be accepted
  • how amendments to the proposal may improve it

This service is for planning proposals which need:

  • listed building consent, and/or
  • planning permission for a development within a conservation area which is not already covered by the council’s standard planning pre-application process

For more detailed information and to apply for this service, download the guide below:

3. Apply for pre application advice request

If you would like to send a request by email and/or hard copy post, please download and complete a copy of the Pre-Application Advice Request Form.

All requests must include the correct fee and necessary supporting information (please see guidance and fees document). . Please ensure you quote your site address when making your payment online.

Email requests should be sent to:

Hard copy post requests should be sent to:

Pre-application Advice Service, Planning, Transport and Sustainability Division, PO Box 734, Winchester, S023 5DG

Payments by cheque should be made payable to London Borough of Lambeth. Please include the address of the application property and/or application reference number on the back of any cheques.

Payments by credit or debit card can be made either via the planning payment pages on the council’s website or you can telephone 020 7926 1180.

Pre-application advice is subject to the addition of VAT at the current rate of 20%.

Pre-application advice submissions made outside of the online council forms will be automatically made invalid in the absence of a completed Pre-Application Request Advice form and the appropriate fee.

4. Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs) for larger projects

If you are considering a larger, more complicated development you can consider a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA). This is a project management framework where you meet with the planning service and other interested parties before submitting a planning application, and discuss and agree how a scheme will go through the planning process.

The two parties agree a timeframe for scoping out and developing the scheme. The main point of a PPA is to do as much as possible before submitting a planning application, so that the application proposal is of a high quality.

Benefits of PPAs:

  • a more efficient use of resources for developers and local authorities
  • better and more transparent engagement
  • collaborative working
  • setting a realistic timetable relevant for the size and complexity of the application and defining key milestones
  • identifying and reviewing problems in advance
  • making it easier for stakeholders to collaborate by providing a formal framework

If a PPA is entered into, members of the council will be openly and appropriately engaged with the development while ensuring that their decision-making function is not compromised. Where appropriate, at the pre-application stage, a PPA scheme may be presented to the Council's Strategic Panel.

For larger and more complex schemes members of the Planning Applications Committee may receive a technical briefing after the application has been submitted but prior to determination at the Committee meeting itself.

More information about our approach to PPAs can be found in our PPA Charter.

Resourcing the project

The level of resource needed for a PPA will depend on the complexity of the scheme. As a bespoke service, there will be a charge for this service and this will be negotiated with you before work starts on the project.

Contact us

If you are interested in entering into a PPA, contact:

Rob Bristow, Assistant Director - Planning, Transport and Development
Telephone: 020 7926 1109