Pre-application advice and Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)

PAS has worked with the University of GloucestershireHyas and the Countryside and Community Research Institute  to deliver a DLUHC funded programme on best practice in pre-application advice and PPAs.  This research has resulted in a comprehensive set of guidance for use by councils.  This includes:

1.  A detailed look at the pre application fees that are charged by different councils throughout England.  We have compared the fees at 87 different councils and carried out a detailed analysis of the fee approaches at 10 councils.  From this research we are able to give you comparative information to help you set your own fees, guidance on working out your fees and lessons that you can learn from to address common issues

2.  A set of 10 principles for having a successful pre application and PPA service.  We have shared some of the best practice that we have come across in the research to help you provide the best possible service

3. A PPA template with guidance that will help you draft your own PPAs.  We have looked at the best practice throughout the country to give you a template to follow and adapt as you wish.

To create this set of guidance we have:

  • Undertaken a detailed desktop review of best practice from throughout the country
  • Established a PAS Forum of over 100 councils to discuss key issues and to test outputs and seek best practice from individual councils
  • Undertaken a questionnaire survey open to anyone who is interested but targeted at councils, developers and planning consultancies 
  • A councillor questionnaire with a separate roundtable discussion with councillors
  • In depth workshops with 10 councils to discuss their approach to pre application fee charging
  • In depth interviews with a cross section of customers / stakeholders.  Particular thanks to the following organisations who participated in the in depth interviews: Arun District Council, Barton Wilmore, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, Bloor Homes, Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, Buckinghamshire Council, City of Lincoln Council, David Lock Associates, Doncaster Council, Dorset Council, Environment Agency, Exeter City Council, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, High Peak National Park, Home Builders Federation, Leeds Beckett University, Marrons, National Association of Local Councils (NALC), National Highways, Natural England, Newcastle City Council, Northumberland Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Planning Consultant (business name withheld), Plymouth City Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Spawforth, Tritax Symmetry, Wessex Water and Wiltshire Council

Here is a document summarising all the key findings from the research which has been used to inform guidance outlined in the different sections of this website

We hope you find the guidance helpful.  We also have additional documentation that is not on the website that we would be happy to share with you.  If you would like to discuss any part of this work or want to join the officer forum please contact [email protected]