Charging for Planning Advice?
Planning permission is far from simple and leaves many people who go though this process frustrated and sometime angry if something happens that could affect them. In the past a lot of potential problems have been overcome with pre-application advice. This on the whole has been free.
Now, Cornwall Council is planning to charge for this service. In parts I can agree with this because many developers use the pre-app advice as a way to reduce their own architect/development costs. This ties up a lot of officer hours that could be better used.
It looks from the draft proposals some of this pre-app advice will remain free, but this will be very basic. No decision has been made, as this proposal is still out for consultation with the town and parish councils and the public. The draft document is HERE
The area that must remain free is pre-applications for householders who wish to make small changes to their homes, like extentions etc. Porthleven Town Council made this very point when it discussed this at their last meeting. The council also made the point that if any pre-app advice is given, this should be included in any planning documents sent to the town/parish council as part of the consultation process.