Pre-application planning advice

Obtaining pre-application advice before submitting a planning application can significantly enhance your application's quality, ensure alignment with Knowsley Council's policies, minimise the risk of submitting an invalid application, and identify potential issues that can be addressed prior to submission.

Pre-application measures can streamline the application process, leading to a faster decision and saving you time and effort.

For initial inquiries, contact the Planning Services team at 0151 443 2381 (between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday) for further guidance on the process.

Benefits of advice

Obtaining formal pre-application advice can significantly enhance your chances of success when submitting a planning application. Here are some of the key benefits:

A clear understanding of how your application will be assessed

Pre-application advice can help you understand how your proposal aligns with the Council's policies and other relevant considerations. This can help you identify potential issues early on and make informed decisions about your proposal.

Reduced time and costs

By addressing potential issues early on, pre-application advice can help you avoid spending unnecessary time and money on developing a proposal that is unlikely to be approved.

Identification of specialist advice

Pre-application advice can help you identify if you need to seek specialist advice from professionals such as architects, engineers, or environmental consultants.

Early identification of unacceptable proposals

Pre-application advice can help you identify if your proposal is unlikely to be approved, saving you the time and expense of pursuing a formal application.

Guidance on application requirements

Pre-application advice can provide you with specific guidance on the information you need to submit to ensure your application is valid and complete.

Improved proposal quality

Pre-application advice can help you develop and refine your proposal to make it more acceptable to the Council, increasing your chances of success.

Tailored advice

Pre-application advice is tailored to the specific details of your development, providing you with personalised guidance that is relevant to your project.

Overall, obtaining pre-application advice is a valuable investment that can significantly improve your chances of success when submitting a planning application. By addressing potential issues early on, you can save time, money, and effort while increasing your likelihood of achieving your development goals.


The Council has decided that developers will pay for pre-application advice, not taxpayers. The current planning application fees don't cover the cost of this advice.

For each type of development a charge will apply for formal pre-application advice given by the Council. The charges are outlined in detail in the pre-application fee guide. All charges are inclusive of VAT.

Pre-application engagement is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged

Engaging with the Council before submitting a planning application is considered to be best practice. This is because it allows Council officers and developers to work together to ensure that the proposed development is sustainable and in line with local planning policies. Early engagement can also help to avoid additional costs and delays that can arise if problems are not identified early on.

Whilst we will do our best to work positively and proactively with developers, all advice is given without prejudice to the outcome of any subsequent application. Your planning application will be subject to notification/consultation of interested parties and, dependent on the views expressed, this may affect the outcome of your application.

What you must provide

Download and complete the pre-application advise request form.

You will also need to provide:

  • Site location plan at an appropriate scale, usually 1:1250 or 1:2500
  • Details of current use and relevant history.  Photographs can be helpful.
  • Details of the nature and scale of the development proposed.  More information may be required if more detailed advice is requested
  • Sketch drawings of the proposed development to include a proposed layout, floor plans and elevations, sufficient to indicate the scale and height of development proposed.
  • a list of any key issues for which you require a specific response
  • The relevant basic fee which must be paid in advance before the request is registered. Where there are additional charges e.g for site meetings or additional meetings or hourly charges an invoice will be sent

Providing an electronic version of all documents submitted will also enable faster internal consultations by email and help us provide you with a more rapid response.

Pre-application responses

Each response will be tailored to the scheme proposed. Upon receiving your pre-application form and fee we will telephone you to discuss timescales and the scope of the advice required.

The Council has a range of technical specialists. The officer will co-ordinate the input of these specialists, dependent on the scale and nature of the development proposed. They will be invited to attend meetings as considered necessary by the planning officer.

Other pre-application advice

Knowsley Council strongly encourages consultation with Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service (MEAS) as part of the pre-application process to help facilitate the development management process where appropriate.  When we receive a request for pre-application advice, if we identify a need, then we may pass details of your pre-application request to MEAS within 24 hours unless you advise otherwise.  You may wish to contact MEAS directly by emailing or calling 0151 934 4951.


Early consultation with MEAS will assist applicants in planning for required information and assessments, including environmental surveys that are likely to be needed before you submit a planning application or other application for consent.  This will help reduce the risk in working up your proposal and may lead to a faster decision.  The MEAS pre-application charging policy and fees, effective 01 June 2017, can be found at the following:

Where to send the required information, form and fee

Pre-application enquiries can either be submitted via email or post.


By post

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

PO Box 26

Archway Road


L36 9FB

The fee can be paid online, (please ensure, when you have made the payment you forward the confirmation receipt to over the phone by contacting 0151 443 2380 or by sending a cheque through the post.


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