Guidance notes and terms and conditions of service

1. Introduction
2. What do we expect of Applicants?
3. What benefits will the Applicant get?
4. What can an applicant expect?
5. What are the levels of charging?
6. Fee Exemptions
7. Additional Charges
8. Payment
9. Standard of Service
10. Pre-application Meeting
11. Written Confirmation of Officer Advice
12. Important Notes
13. LCC Contact Details

Appendix A - Application Form for pre-Application Advice (Highways)

1. Introduction

Lancashire County Council (LCC) operates a service of providing pre-application highway advice for development proposals and project work. This note provides guidance on the main elements of the procedure and charging arrangements for accessing pre-application advice for highway and transport related matters where LCC is responsible as the Highway Authority in Lancashire. For the avoidance of doubt this does not include roads for which Highways England are the Highway Authority. A separate service applies to pre-application advice for Flood Risk Management issues and is not included or covered as part of the highway advice. For Flood Risk Management advice please e-mail:-

As the Highway Authority Lancashire County Council welcomes and encourages discussions before a developer submits a planning application. These discussions result in better quality applications which stand a stronger chance of a successful outcome and help speed up the decision making process after submission.

Where pre-application advice has not been sought or followed or where no explanation has been provided to support a proposal which does not follow published advice, the County Council will respond to the Local Planning Authority based upon the information submitted with the main planning application. It is unlikely that, at that stage, an applicant will be invited to discuss the proposal. We therefore recommend that applicants seek pre-application advice before committing to make a main planning application.

In order to provide this service the County Council only recovers those costs associated with the discussions. This is to ensure best value and to protect the council taxpayer. It should be noted that the current statutory planning fees applied by planning authorities do not cover the cost of pre-application advice given by the Highway Authority and the County Council's charges for highways advice are separate from those of Local Planning Authorities.

2. What do we expect of Applicants?

Applicants are expected to be aware of Council Policies and the Policies of the relevant individual Local Planning Authority (LPA). Should pre-applications diverge from current policies applicants will be expected to highlight and explain where and why this has occurred.

While we appreciate that some information may not be available for pre-application discussions, we do require a minimum level of information to be provided to enable us to deliver quality advice and guidance and ensure that time is used effectively. This includes:-

  • Location Plan at a suitable scale.
  • Site plan at an appropriate scale.
  • Site address including postcode.
  • Development description.
  • Completed application form with required details and content (see Appendix A)

More complex developments will also require:-

  • Confirmation of the existing use of the site, including planning application history, where appropriate.
  • Parking strategy proposals, including provision of parking for all forms of transport.
  • Description of the proposed development, accompanied by site layout plans showing the proposal.
  • Scoping for Transport Statement/Assessment or a draft of these documents, if necessary.
  • Any other information critical to the consideration of the proposal at this pre-application stage.
  • Summary of reasons supporting site access/highway works proposals, including plan (at a suitable scale) with achievable access visibility splays indicated.
  • Location plan of key services indicating locations of education, employment, food retail, non-food retail, health care facilities and public transport routes and stops.
  • Stage 1 Road Safety Audit (if required) of site access and designers response, including amended plans.

3. What benefits will the Applicant get?

  • Understanding how national, regional and local guidance will be applied to the development. Potential for reducing the time the Applicant's professional advisors spend in formulating proposals.
  • Identification of any proposals which are completely unacceptable, with the potential for saving on cost associated with pursuing a formal planning application.
  • Identifying if specialist input will be required.
  • Identifying the supporting documents that will be required to be submitted with a formal planning application in order to be considered favourably by the Highway Authority, including whether a Section 106 (Town and Country Planning Act) agreement Highways contribution is likely and the process used to agree it (please note Education, libraries, flood risk or other contributions may also be required but these fall outside this advice).
  • Written confirmation of the advice given at the pre-application stage, such advice being current, up to date and tailored to the Applicant's needs.

4. What can an applicant expect?

The Council aims to provide advice in the following manner:

  • Written confirmation within 10 working days of receiving the completed pre-application form from the applicant:
    • as to whether the service is suitable in the particular case
    • details of what further information the applicant may need to supply/agree.
    • an invoice for the Base Fee (unless the service is not deemed suitable)
  • Once the Council has confirmed that the service is suitable and has received cleared funds for the pre-application fee and the applicant:
    • has supplied any additional information required;
    • has confirmed it is happy to pay any additional Charges

then the Council:

  • will arrange a one hour meeting with the applicant (where appropriate) and include the Local Planning Authority (if this is agreed to be appropriate by the applicant and the Planning Authority agree) to advise the applicant on his case. An appropriate site visit will also be arranged.
    • provide its written advice on the proposal within 21 working days of the meeting, or receipt of a completed pre-application (whichever is the later).

5. What are the levels of charging?

The Total Fees comprise a Base Fee together with any appropriate Additional Fees (see para 7 below). 

The Base Fee is directly related to the complexity of the proposed development reflecting the amount of time required and the need for possible ongoing update meetings where larger developments are proposed. Base Fees are detailed in the table below:-

Table of Charges for  charged pre-application highways advice service (March 2017)




Base Fee

 (£ + vat)

Land use








Employment (Office/Business Parks/Industrial Estates)



Storage & Distribution (GFA)

£50 + vat

Up to 2*




£150 + vat

3 - 10

Up to 50m2

Up to 500m2

Up to 1,000m2

£700 + vat

11 - 50

51m2 - 200m2

501m2 - 2,000m2

1,001m2 - 4,000m2

£1,200 + vat

51 - 100

201m2 - 400m2

2,001m2 - 4,000m2

4,001m2 - 8,000m2

£1,800 + vat

101 - 200

401m2 - 700m2

4,001m2 - 7,000m2

8,001m2 - 14,000m2

£2,200 + vat

201 - 300

701m2 - 1100m2

70,01m2 - 11,000m2

14,001m2 - 22,000m2

£2,500 + vat

301 - 400

1,101m2 - 1,500m2

11,001m2 - 15,000m2

22,001m2 - 30,000m2

£2,700 + vat

401 - 500

1,501m2 - 2,000m2

15,001m2 - 18,000m2

30,001m2 - 40,000m2

£2,900 + vat

501 - 600

2,001m2 - 2,500m2

18,001m2 - 22,000m2

40,001m2 - 50,000m2

£3,000 + vat

601 - 700

2,501m2 - 3,000m2

22,001m2 - 26,000m2

50,001m2 - 60,000m2

£3,100 + vat

701 - 800

3,001m2- 3,700m2

26,001m2 - 30,000m2

60,001m2 - 75,000m2

£3,200 + vat

801 - 900

3,701m2- 4,500m2

30,001m2 - 33,000m2

75,001m2 - 90,000m2

£3,400 + vat

901 - 1,100

4,501m2- 5,500m2

33,001m2 - 40,000m2

90,001m2 - 110,000m2

£3700 + vat

1,101 – 1,500

5,501m2- 7,500m2

40,001m2 - 55,000m2

110,001m2 - 150,000m2

To be agreed





* Includes vehicular footway crossings and ramps in the highway.


The above is also to be applied to mixed use developments. If the development does not clearly fall within an above category the Applicant is requested to please contact the Highway Authority for further advice.

The above table will be reviewed and amended annually.  

6. Fee Exemptions

The charged pre-application highways advice service will not apply to enforcement or advice to any local resident affected by a development. Such advice will continue to be provided free of charge. Advice to District and Borough Councils on the following policy work will continue to be provided free of charge

  • Advice on preparation of Local Plans.
  • Advice on preparation of Local Development Framework Submissions.
  • Advice on policy preparation of Strategic Sites.

7. Additional Charges

Any work or out or pocket expenses additional to that required to deliver the base service set out in para 4 will be charged at cost.  If Additional Fees will be applicable then the Council will notify the Applicant as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the same. If the applicant does not confirm within 14 working days that it agrees to pay the Additional Fees then it will be deemed to have withdrawn its pre-application and no work will be done on it.  In these circumstances there will be no refund of the Base Fee.       

8. Payment

The Base Fee will be invoiced following receipt of a completed pre-application.  The pre-application will only proceed once cleared funds for the Base Fee have been received.

The Council will be entitled to charge for Additional Fees monthly in arrears and invoices shall be paid by the Applicant within 30 days of their issue.  If the applicant fails to pay invoices on time then the Council will be entitled to suspend work on the pre-application.

Payments can be made either by cheque or online in accordance with the instructions given on the invoice.

9. Standard of Service

The Council is providing this service on the basis of the information given by the applicant in its pre-application.  The applicant takes full responsibility for the accuracy of this information.  By making an application the applicant agrees that the Council will have no liability in relation to the advice it gives which is given in good faith only.

10. Pre-application Meeting

Subject to the availability of all of the required information, the date and venue for the pre-application advice meeting will be confirmed by all parties. Normally, the meeting will be held at the Highway Authority’s offices in Cuerden depot. Bamber Bridge, Burnley  Depot (Widow Hill) or Preston (County Hall), however, we can also consider alternative local venues in Lancashire if required.

11. Written Confirmation of Officer Advice

Following the pre-application meeting, or the submission of a full pre-application package, the applicant will receive a written response confirming the pre-application highway advice from the Highway Authority. The aim is to issue a response within 21 working days of the meeting being held. Where this is not possible due to the issues being more complex, a specific time scale reflecting this will be agreed at the meeting. If the applicant requests further discussions following the receipt of this written advice a further fee is likely to be required. For large or major schemes with highly complex issues a series of meetings or pre-application submissions may be required. In these circumstances this will be discussed and an approach agreed during an initial pre-application meeting. An Additional Fee may be required at each stage. Additional meetings will only be attended where all previously action points have been addressed to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority.

12. Important Notes

  • Requesting pre-application advice for the County Council is not mandatory but we will no longer enter into discussions over the scope or content of any specialist highways and transport proposals outside of this service prior to the examination of a formal planning consultation.
  • With the applicants consent a copy of our comments may be sent to the relevant local planning authority and to the local county councillor.
  • The advice provided by the Council may say that it has no comment to make, are happy with the proposed development, refer to current standing advice, provide a general advice, and include justification for its views.
  • Any advice given does not constitute a formal response or decision. However it is likely that the advice will form the basis of a formal response to the Local Planning Authority.
  • No advice given by the Council will be valid and effective unless it is confirmed in writing by the Council.
  • Advice is given in good faith and without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, which will be subject to public consultation and ultimately decided by the local planning authority. No advice given can prejudge or guarantee quite how the local planning authority may decide any particular case.
  • The Council's advice will be given as current on the date it is given. Whilst every attempt will be made to identify reasonably foreseeable future influences the Council cannot guarantee that its advice will take these into account.  This may extend to matters such as changes in planning policy or planning precedent.  The advice in any event will expire 12 months after the date on which it is given. 
  • Any advice given in relation to the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response under the provisions of the Local Land Charges Act 1975. 
  • All timescales for the delivery of the service by the Council are approximate and cannot be guaranteed.
  • The Council reserves the right to review the Fees chargeable at its discretion for any reason whatsoever. In any event the Fees will be subject to yearly Retail Price Index uplifts. 

13. LCC Contact Details

Telephone us on 0300 123 6780

E-mail us at:

Application Form for pre-Application Advice (Highways)