Pre-Application Stage

Responding to development proposals, in the form of pre-application advice, is a service offered and encouraged by the Development Management section. It allows the early identification of key issues and contributes towards both quality outcomes and the avoidance of delays in the formal submission process. It is a fundamental part of the Development Management Section’s role specifically in terms of customer service.

Local Planning Authorities do have the power to charge for services provided in the form of pre-application discussions by Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003. The charges for pre-application advice have been based on the amount of time and resource involved in responding to pre-application requests.  

Pre-Application Charging Fees Schedule from 17 January 2018 (pdf)

Please note that from 1 April 2016, Hertfordshire County Council Highways have introduced separate charges for pre-application requests. These fees would be in addition to the pre-application fees above if you would like more detailed advice in relation to transport and highways matters.

Highway Pre-Application Fees from 1 April 2016

All requests to Three Rivers District Council for pre-application advice will involve a site visit and a written response. A meeting may be held at the Case Officer’s discretion if requested by the applicant or their agent and an additional fee is received. In the last couple of years the way in which Officers have dealt with pre-application advice has been streamlined in order to provide a database of requests and responses and to ensure a timely response by Officers.

Application Form For Pre-Application Advice (pdf)
Pre-Application - Validation Checklist (pdf)
Pre-Application Request Process (pdf)
Pre-Application Advice Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)

The Householder Duty Planning Service remains as a free service to provide general planning advice for householders in the Council’s reception and on the telephone, but please note that this will be for householder developments only. This service operates between 10am and 1pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday only. No appointment is necessary but enquiries are limited to a maximum of 15 minutes. No site visits or written responses will be available from this service.

Please be aware that Three Rivers District Council is subject to requirements under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and pre-application requests will be available for the public to view.

You are encouraged to submit your pre-application request electronically to Please note we are no longer accepting cheques as a means of payment.

External pre-application advice:

Hertfordshire County Council Highways
New vehicle access (dropped kerbs)
Environment Agency (pdf)
Herts Wildlife Trust

Suggested Next Steps: