Pre applications

Please note that from Friday 21 June 2019 we are unable to offer our pre-application service until further notice. We are sorry for any inconvenience arising from this.

We will still provide advice in relation to listed buildings.

We are able to provide you with advice and information if you are considering a development proposal and welcome and encourage discussions before you submit an application. In order that we can provide this service to a consistent and high standard the Council has decided that the cost of providing this service should be recovered directly, and not fall as a general cost to the council tax payer.

The scale of charges is defined in appendix A. Open and constructive pre-application discussions are an opportunity for local authorities and developers to work together to achieve developments that deliver benefits to the community and the economy.

This can save time, costs and frustration and optimise the potential of a site. For these reasons the borough council encourages discussion on proposals before a planning application is formally submitted.

Please note that we are unable to offer any pre application advice free of charge, other than for the exemptions referred to in appendix A.

You can find out more by clicking on the different headings below.

Advice on the relevant development plan policies and government guidance against which the proposal will be assessed.

Provision of information about the council's requirements for, or contribution to, infrastructure provision, e.g. affordable housing, highway network improvement.

Provision of advice about the council's development control processes, likely timetable of consideration and estimation of decision date, on any submitted application.

Informal and without prejudice comments and guidance on the content, construction and presentation of an application likely to satisfy the council's planning policies.

Provision of appropriate contacts necessary for any further pre-application consultation and scheme preparation, e.g. Highways, Environment Agency, where consultation responses can not be provided within the timescale.

Provision of copies of any relevant documents including copies of tree preservation orders and OS maps under the map scheme, subject to the council's copying charges.

A written summary of any views expressed by the planning officer.

Pre-registration check of proposed planning application including assessment of any prescribed statutory fee or charges.

Responses to written enquiries will normally be provided within 40 working days of receipt of an enquiry.

Once the request for pre-application advice is received we acknowledge receipt within 5 working days (either by email or post) stating the name of the planning officer who will lead on the enquiry. All communication from you to the council should be via this officer. However, if on this initial assessment we consider the pre-application process is not the most appropriate course to follow, we will tell you what alternatives are available.

Following consideration of the information received the case officer will decide whether to bring together a team of council officers from different disciplines.

A development team approach avoids the need for you to contact different parts of the council separately, thus saving you time and giving consistency. Following the assessment, the case officer may advise you that further information is required, such as financial appraisals, travel plans, transport assessments, and possibly environmental assessments. Where a scheme may be subject to environmental assessment then early discussions should focus on issues relating to the screening and scoping of the proposal. You will also be advised as to whether meetings with the case officer or development team will be helpful in order to progress matters. Should further information or a meeting be required the case officer will endeavour to let you know within 20 working days of the enquiry being received.

Appointments for meetings will normally only be agreed after the receipt of plans outlining the nature of the development to be discussed. Where a meeting is necessary it will be held with appropriately qualified and experienced Planning Officers and will be arranged for a mutually convenient date. The council will provide a written response to each request whether or not a meeting is held.

In order to provide comprehensive pre application advice the case officer may at their discretion, undertake a site visit where this is requested.

Advice given will accurately reflect the planning policies and standards of the council.

Any advice given in relation to the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response of the council under the provisions of the Land Charges Act 1975.

Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application.

The council will require sufficient information to be provided to enable a quality advice service to be provided.

This includes:-

  • A description of the proposed development and schedule of proposed uses.
  • A site location plan (scale 1:1250).
  • Photographs and sketch drawings showing the site, buildings and trees as existing, together with the schedule of uses.
  • Outline of proposal (on plans scale 1:200).
  • Sketch drawings showing height / scale of development.
  • Design and access statement.
  • For larger sites other information may be required including potentially EIA related information or a draft environmental statement.

Your covering letter and supporting documentation should be sent to us by post to Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Derbyshire DE5 3BT or by email to

Please note, these will not be processed until payment has been made. We also reserve the right to reject requests for pre-application advice where a prospective applicant has ignored advice previously given on the same site.

Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application.

Payment will need to be made in advance of any meeting or commencement of work on the request.

If you have submitted a planning application and wish to pay your fees online, this can be done via the planning applications payment page.

Cash or card payments can be received via our Ripley town centre office.

You can also pay by cheque which should be made payable to 'Amber Valley Borough Council'. We accept cheques through the post or in person to the planning reception.

If you require assistance please contact a member of the planning team on 01773 841571.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841571 or email