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COVID-19 UPDATE

Following Government advice to stay safe and protect the NHS, we are working hard to continue to deliver for you. Find information here on how to enjoy the National Park virtually, and how our services are operating during this time.

Getting pre-application advice

Getting pre-application advice

There are four steps to getting pre-application advice from the South Downs National Park Authority.

  • Step 2 – Find out if there will be a charge

    There is no charge for pre-application enquiries from households or residents asking if they need planning permission.

    Charges for other pre-application advice, for example for the construction of dwellings, agricultural buildings or larger scale development have been set to recover the costs of the officer time involved.

    These guidance notes will help you understand which category your query fits in:

    Pre-Application Guidance – What category does your proposal fall within?

    You will be charged the same costs for the same provision of service now matter which authority is dealing with your application.

    View a complete list of charges on the Fees for Planning Advice page.

    Minerals and Waste

    Minerals and waste pre-application enquiries are dealt with the same way as other planning pre-application enquiries and costs are set out below.

    Scale of Development Fee (inclusive of VAT @ 20%) Level of Advice Given Timeframe for Response
    Minor minerals and waste (e.g. amendments to schemes/conditions; time extensions)* £240
    (£48 per hour additional meetings)
    Site visit, written response and 1 x 1hr meeting 25 working days from receipt of valid information
    Major minerals and waste (e.g. EIA development, new minerals and waste developments; extensions to sites)* £900
    (£48 per hour for additional meetings)
    Site visit, written response and 2 x 1hr meeting Initial contact made within 5 working days to agree timetable
  • Step 3 – Complete and return the form and pay

    To give you the best advice we need to make sure we have the correct information. To make sure this happens all requests for pre-application advice must be made using the relevant form together with the supporting information outlined on the form.

    Please use the Householder Pro-Forma for any householder query, the Other Developments Pro-Forma for any other proposal or, if your query is regarding whether you need planning permission, please use the DINPP Pro-Forma.

    Forms can be completed electronically, saved and emailed directly to the relevant authority or printed out, completed by hand and returned by post.

    Please note that all the required information and the fee, if applicable, must be submitted before we can deal with your enquiry.

    • To pay online

      Payments are handled by Brighton and Hove City Council on behalf of the South Downs National Park Authority.

      Use the links below to make an online payment by credit or debit card for pre-application fees handled by the following teams:

      Chichester Team
      East Hampshire Team
      Horsham Team
      Lewes Team
      Winchester Team
      SDNPA Team

      To make sure your payment is correctly identified and linked to your submission please use the following references:

      • If the fee relates to a previous application that has been declared invalid (no original fee or additional fee required) use the application reference; or
      • If the fee is for a new application use the first line of the site address.
    • To pay by telephone
      • For Adur and Worthing, Arun, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Mid-Sussex, Wealden or West Sussex you can pay over the phone by debit or credit card by calling 01730 814810 and asking for the Technical Support Team.
      • To make a telephone payment within Chichester, East Hampshire, Horsham, Lewes or Winchester please contact the relevant planning service directly stating that you wish to pay a pre-application advice fee for a South Downs National Park Authority application.
      • For payments for sites in Eastbourne please contact the Lewes Planning Service.
    • To pay by BACS transfer
      • For Adur and Worthing, Arun, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Mid-Sussex, Wealden or West Sussex please call 01730 814810 and ask for the Technical Support Team who will be happy to provide you with our account details.
      • To make a BACS payment within Chichester, East Hampshire, Horsham, Lewes and Winchester please contact the relevant planning service directly stating that you wish to pay a pre-application advice fee for a South Downs National Park Authority application.
      • For payments for sites in Eastbourne please contact the Lewes Planning Service.

      To make sure your payment is correctly identified and linked to your submission please use the following references:

      • If the fee relates to a previous application that has been declared invalid (no original fee or additional fee required) use the application reference; or
      • If the fee is for a new application use the first line of the site address.
    • Paying by cheque
      • Please attach your cheque to the completed form and make sure that the applicant’s name and site address is written on the back of the cheque.
      • Cheques should be made payable to the ‘South Downs National Park Authority’ and either included with your application or submitted directly to the SDNPA at:South Downs Centre,
        North Street,
        Midhurst
        GU29 9DH
  • Step 4 – Our advice

    We, or the relevant authority, will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your enquiry, supporting information and fee, together with the name and contact details of the case officer who will respond to the enquiry in the following ways:

    • If there is an in-principle objection to your proposal they will respond to your enquiry in writing explaining why;
    • If your proposal is acceptable, in principle, they may decide it’s necessary to visit the site. Visits are normally by unattended unless access to the site is difficult and an appointment needs to be made. To avoid delay please indicate whether this will be needed when submitting your form;
    • They will then provide a written response. Timescales for response will vary and are set out under each type of application in the will be a charge
    • A copy of the pre-application response will be uploaded to our online planning register under the pre-application number unless the applicant has given adequate reasons why the enquiry is commercially sensitive.

    You may not agree with the pre-application advice you receive. In most cases this is down to a difference of opinion rather than factual error and this can only be resolved through the formal planning process. However, if you feel something has gone wrong please speak to your case officer directly to clarify the situation.


Please note that we are a transparent organisation and, unlike many other planning authorities, will publish all pre-application details and responses on our Public Access System unless you are able to give adequate reasons why the enquiry is commercially sensitive.

All pre-application advice constitutes an informal opinion based upon the information you have provided.

This advice will not prejudice and decisions that the South Downs National Park Authority or other planning committees may make on any future formal planning application.

As planning applications are also publicised and consulted on there may be other matters which only come to light after formal application and which may influence how it is determined.

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" The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness. "