Planning Application Guide

Pre-Application Stage

Seeking pre-application advice before you make a planning application can help to increase the chance of making a high quality planning application that is faster to process.

It can:

  • help you to understand our list of local requirements and how planning policies and other requirements might affect your proposals
  • help you to understand the questions that will be taken into consideration when determining an application and how aspects of the site, such as roads, footpaths, , watercourses, and other constraints, might affect your proposals
  • discuss potential problems, such as noise and traffic, and whether conditions might be imposed to overcome these (instead of planning permission being refused)
  • suggest ways in which your application could add value to local communities and the likelihood of planning permission being granted.

There are a number of benefits submitting a pre-application:

  • a pre-application allows you to explore your development ideas
  • save time and money
  • reduce the number of unsuccessful planning applications
  • good quality information at an early stage helps to address problems sooner, rather than later
  • if you are yet to purchase the property or land, this is a great way of mapping out potential designs prior to purchasing.

What is needed in a Pre-Application?

Applicants must provide us with the following information within the pre application enquiry form:

  • Contact details of the developer / agent (name, address, telephone number and email address)
  • A description of development, which will include the volume of floorspace, and number of units being created
  • Site address
  • Location plan (on an Ordnance Survey base)
  • Plans, additional supporting information and reports that will assist the local planning authority to provide a helpful, focussed response. 
  • Correct fee

The statutory pre-application service is subject to payment of a standard fee, based on the size and scale of a proposed development. Our decision is final when determining the appropriate fee.

The fee scale, as set out in The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications and Site Visits) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, is:

  • Householder - £25
  • Minor development - £250
  • Major development - £600

All the information for the pre application service can be found on our Pre-application service webpage. The webpage provides information surrounding fees, time frame and the enquiry form.

Pre Planning Application  Pre Application Fees

Common Pre-Application FAQs

Category of proposed development Amount of dwellings / Area Fee Payable
Householder Application   £25
Erection of Dwelling/Houses 1 - 9 dwellings £250
  10 - 24 dwellings  £600
  25 or more  £1,000
  If dwellings not known, go by proposed site area:  
  < 0.49 hectares £250
  0.5 - 0.99 hectares  £600
  > 0.99 hectares £1,000
Erection of buildings (other than dwelling/houses) Area of gross floor space to be created by proposed development:  
  < 999 square meters £250
  1,000 - 1,999 square meters £600
  > 1,999 square meters  £1,000
  Where the gross floor space is not known, go by proposed site area:  
  < 0.49 hectares £250
  0.5 - 0.99 hectares  £600
  > 0.99 hectares  £1,000
Making of a material change in the use of a building or land Area of gross floor space to be created by proposed development:  
  < 999 square meters £250
  1000 > 1999 square meters £600
  > 1,999 square meters £1,000
  Where the gross floor space is not known, go by proposed site area:  
  < 0.49 hectares £250
  0.5 > 0.99 hectares £600
  > 0.99 hectares  £1,000


The correct fee must be submitted with your application otherwise it will not be validated and no work will be undertaken on processing or assessing your application.

Payment methods

You will need to provide the following details when making your payment - type of application, application reference number or name and application location if you do not have a reference number yet and the correct application fee.

  • Online - Pay online at the same time as you submit your application form, this is the most efficient way to pay and will avoid any delays in processing your application. 
  • By Telephone - We accept Maestro or Visa debit cards. If you’d like to speak to a member of staff in the cashier's team - call 01267 228686 during office hours, 9am - 5pm.
  • By post - Make cheques payable to ‘Carmarthenshire County Council’ and post to: Planning Services, Municipal Offices, Crescent Road, Llandeilo, SA19 6HW.
  • In Person - You can make a cash, credit/debit card or cheque payment at your nearest customer service hwb in Ammanford, Carmarthen or Llanelli.
  • BACS Payment - email for further details and to set up a BACS payment.

Please note, should you choose to pay by telephone, post, in person or BACS, you application will not be processed until the payment has been reconciled which will create a slight delay.

Following receipt of a valid pre planning application and the correct fee.

An officer will:

  • Research the planning history of the site.
  • Identify and assess the prospective application against Council policies, guidance and standards.
  • Provide a written response . Summarising the above and an initial assessment of the development. This will be issued within 21 days, unless an extended period has been agreed.

A pre application is not a planning requirement and is only a supplementary service we provide; and is intended to provide informal advice to inform the submission of a subsequent planning application. Therefore, you would still need to pay the fee for a full planning application following pre application advice.

If you need planning permission, you can use our pre-application advice service before submitting your application to us.  

The fees that can be charged for statutory pre-application services are the same across Wales, although vary depending upon the size and scale of the proposed development.

The regulations require us to provide a written response to all valid pre-application enquiries within 21 days, unless an extension of time is agreed between ourselves and applicant. 

As a minimum, applicants for householder developments should expect to receive the following information within their written response:

  • The relevant planning history of the site
  • The relevant development plan policies against which the development proposal will be assessed
  • Relevant supplementary planning guidance (i.e. design, conservation etc.)
  • Any other material planning considerations
  • An initial assessment of the proposed development, based on the information above

For all other development proposals, applicants should receive all the information outlined above, as well as whether any Section 106 contributions are likely to be sought and an indication of the scope and amount of these contributions.  There is also requirement for applicants to submit a pre-application consultation report for all outline or full planning applications for ‘major’ proposals.

Without payment of the appropriate fee, we will be under no obligation to accept a pre-application enquiry form. 

If, in our opinion, a pre-application enquiry form is submitted without the correct fee, we will explain to the applicant as soon as possible in writing that the pre-application service cannot begin until the correct fee is received and identify what payment is due.

If a fee is paid to us but the pre-application enquiry is subsequently rejected as being invalid for any reason except for payment of an incorrect fee, the fee will be refunded.

Apply Online FEES

A pre-application enquiry is intended to give initial advice, requires less information to be attached to it, does not go through a full consultation process, and will provide you with an indication of whether or not your proposal is acceptable. The advice given is not legally binding, and does not give you any permission to commence development.

A planning application is a formal request for planning permission, which goes through a statutory process, at the end of which a formal decision is issued by us, either approving or refusing your development proposal. If an approval is given you are able to commence development, subject to and in compliance with any conditions or legal agreements attached to that permission.

Any advice given by Council officers for pre-application enquiries does not indicate a formal decision. Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith based on the information at the time, and to the best of ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application following statutory public consultation, the issues raised and evaluation of all available information.

You should therefore be aware that officers cannot give guarantees about the final formal decision that will be made on your planning or related applications. However, the advice note issued will be considered as a material consideration in the determination of future planning related applications, subject to the proviso that circumstances and information may change or come to light that could alter the position. It should be noted that the weight given to pre-application advice notes will decline over time.

Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, it is likely that if most of the major issues have been addressed during pre-application discussions, then the processing of the planning application will be a lot more efficient.

No public consultation is undertaken as part of the pre-application process.

Once you have received your response with no further amendments/considerations required:

  • If there are no further amendments or considerations required following the pre application advice, you can proceed to submit a planning application.

Once you have received your response with further amendments/considerations required:

  • You can decide whether to amend the proposal following the pre application advice.
  • You can ask for further informal advice on your revised scheme, however please be aware that a further fee is payable for this advice.
  • If you choose to disregard the pre-application advice when submitting an application, please explain why in the application submission.

Once you have received your response but no longer wish to apply:

  • If you do not wish to proceed with your proposal there is no requirement to do so

No, a verbal response is not appropriate for pre-application enquiries. 

Applicants are advised that case officers will not enter into any discussions during the pre-application process. If any additional information is required, the case officer will contact you.

Yes, however, it is essential that plans are:

  • clear
  • accurate
  • drawn to scale (include a scale bar)

Professional plans are not necessary for a pre application however we do advise that the decisions are based on the information you provide. Therefore, detailed plans would be more beneficial.

You should also be aware that when submitting a planning application, any submitted plans need to meet the national validation requirements. When drawing plans, consideration of building regulations is required.

We can not recommend particular planning agents or architects. Services provided and prices charged can vary, so it is advisable to seek quotes from a number of different suppliers.

No, although you may wish to read through the above notes which sets out the benefits of doing so.

Yes, a pre-application enquiry can be submitted and a fee would be payable.

The pre-application enquiry process will be suitable for some requests but might not be needed for all requests. Please email the full details to our Planning Hwb for clarification.

If we receive a request, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), to disclose information relating to this pre-application enquiry we are obliged to do so unless the information is deemed exempt under the Act.


We can only withhold information under FOIA or EIR if the information falls under one of the exemptions (FOIA) or exceptions (EIR) set out in legislation. For certain pre-application issues you would be advised to complete the commercially sensitive checklist that should set out the reasons why, and for how long, you feel any information relating to the case needs to remain confidential. However, whilst we will take account of these views, the final decision on whether the information should be withheld rests with the Council. The Council maintains compliance to the Data Protection Act and we will not release any personal information to third parties.

Yes but note that whilst you are still able to apply for preapplication advice, this advice does not constitute a formal decision of the Council and cannot be used to authorise any development which does not benefit from planning permission.

The process and cost is the same as that where development has not started.

Yes. You may wish to read the Highways Design Guide as this document is there to help provide information to ensure the application process is efficient. 

Yes, Your planning decision notice will contain details of the reason(s) your planning application was refused.

Taking the reason(s) into account, you may wish to prepare a revised proposal for comment prior to submitting a further planning application.

Yes, a pre-application enquiry can be submitted and the fee would directly relate to the category of the original development.

If you are considering making changes to an exisiting property, including work within the boundary of your property/garden you may need to apply for householder planning permission.

Planning permission is not needed for all building work to your home as some projects fall within permitted development rules. This means you can carry out a number of projects, provided they meet certain limits and conditions, without planning permission. 


If after checking the above, you're not sure if you need planning permission, send us the details of your proposed work via our online form below.

The information you provide will be reviewed by a planning officer and they will give you an informal response within 20 working days. 

You will need the following information:

  • Your details
  • Site details
  • Information about the proposed work including:
    • the materials you intend to use
    • dimensions in metres
    • location from neighbours/road
    • detailed sketch showing any trees on the site

Please note, this is an informal check if you need a definitive response you will need to apply for a lawful development certificate.

Check if you need planning permission for changes to existing property


As part of the statutory pre-application service, we have 21 days to provide a written response to the applicant.

Extensions of time are permitted, subject to both ourselves and the applicant agreeing in writing a revised date for a written response to be returned to the applicant.

Yes, a pre-application can be carried out.

If you don’t own the land, you must serve notice on any owner(s) or interested parties concerned prior to submitting a full planning application form.

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