Get Pre-application planning advice

Pre-application advice

Getting advice prior to submitting a planning application will help you to improve your planning application’s quality, verify if your proposal fits in with Knowsley Council’s policies, reduce the likelihood of submitting a invalid application and identify problems so you can change your application before you submit it. All of these matters will help to fast track your application through to a decision sooner saving you additional time and effort.

For all initial enquiries, please call the Planning Services team on 0151 443 2381 (between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday) who will be able to advise on the process further.

Benefits of Advice

The key benefits of obtaining formal pre-application advice:

  • An understanding of how the application will be judged against the policies in the development plan and other considerations.
  • A potential for reducing your time and those of any professional advisors spent in working up the proposals.
  • Can identify whether there is a need for specialist advice.
  • Unacceptable proposals can be identified earlier, saving the developer the cost of working up a scheme and pursuing a formal application
  • Advice on what information you need to provide in order for your application to be validated and considered by the authority to help to avoid the application being rejected.
  • There is an opportunity to develop and modify proposals to make them more acceptable to the Council and help to ensure a smoother and quicker passage through the development control process.
  • They can help to improve the quality of development proposals.
  • Receive advice that is tailored to the specific development

What are our charges?

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 fees 2023 - 2024

Why do we charge for this service?

The Council has decided that the cost of providing this service should be recovered directly from the developer and not fall as a general cost to the council taxpayer. It should be noted that the current statutory planning application fees do not cover the cost of pre-application advice given by the Council.

Is it mandatory?

No. However, engagement before submitting an application is considered to be best practice; it enables Council officers and developers to work together to achieve sustainable development and can help to avoid additional costs and delay.

What do I need to provide?

You will need to complete the following:

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 eg 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.

Where do I send the above information, form and fee?

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

  • Email: [email protected]
  • By post: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, PO Box 26, Archway Road, Huyton, L36 9FB
  • The fee can be paid online, (please ensure, when you have made the payment you forward the confirmation receipt to [email protected]) over the phone by contacting 0151 443 2380 or by sending a cheque through the post.

What type of response will I receive?

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.

Will I get specialist advice on specific technical issues?

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

Do I need any 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 [email protected] 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:

If I pay for the advice will it secure my planning permission?

No. 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, dependant on the views expressed, this may affect the outcome of your application.

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