Pre-Application Advice

Wealden District Council offers various types of pre-application advice details of which are included below. The planning surgery system has recently been upgraded and the number and type of appointments amended. This scheme is an interim measure until an online system goes live. See the Pre-Application Fee Schedule for details of charges.

As part of the Planning Service approach to supporting businesses and the local economy due to Covid-19 we are introducing a new free fast-track service for businesses that are making changes due to Covid-19 that may require planning permission (e.g. changes to the use of your outdoor space or provision of temporary structures). Please note that this free service only applies to temporary changes needed to help businesses get up and running during the current COVID-19 recovery period. Our standard charges for pre-application advice will apply for any other planning advice enquiries, such as those involving permanent alterations or new buildings, and home extensions.

The appointments are as follows:

Tuesday AM – Householder (30 mins)

  • For members of the public/agents wishing to discuss in detail a householder development or similar.
  • Fee. See fee schedule
  • Telephone 01892 602010 (Option 2) for an appointment. This service operates at the Vicarage Lane offices in Hailsham, on Tuesday mornings commencing at 9:30am

Tuesday AM/PM – Minor (60 mins)

  • Types of project include 1-2 Replacement or new dwellings/Change of use up to 2 dwellings or units/ Small commercial or retail.
  • Fee determined by size of scheme. See fee schedule
  • Telephone 01892 602010 (Option 2) for an appointment. This service operates at the Vicarage Lane offices in Hailsham, on Tuesday afternoons commencing at 1:00pm.

Wednesday AM – Larger Schemes (60 mins)

  • Types of project include 3-20 Houses/Large Industrial or Commercial
  • Fee determined by size of scheme. See fee schedule
  • Telephone 01892 602010 (Option 2) for an appointment. This service operates at the Vicarage Lane offices in Hailsham, on Wednesday mornings commencing at 9:00am.

Bespoke Appointments – Majors

  • For 21+ Houses/Extensive Industrial or Commercial
  • Fee determined by size of scheme. See fee schedule
  • Booked on an individual basis
  • These appointments will be undertaken by a senior officer and arranged on a bespoke basis. Please email giving details of any proposals outside the parameters listed above.

Listed Buildings

These surgeries are not available to book at the present time. Please visit Advice on Works to a Listed Building for general advice. 

The booking process will also be amended as follows:

  • Provisional booking made via the Technical Team (01892 602010 Option 2)
  • Confirmation email sent out to Agent advising the reference number and fee
  • Payment of fee to be made within 48 hours or appointment automatically cancelled
  • Plans to be provided no later than 14 days prior to the appointment or the meeting is cancelled
  • Cancellations between 1-14 days before the meeting will be charged at the full fee.

Basic information will be required at the time of booking all surgeries; the address of the property or site location and the nature of the proposal.

Please be aware that a charge will be levied and you are advised to read the Guidance note on Charges for Pre-Application Advice before making an appointment. Payment will be required within 48 hours of booking the meeting otherwise the appointment will be cancelled automatically and reallocated.

Please note: Since 31 March 2019, the Council no longer accepts cheque payments, fees will need to be paid by debit/credit card transaction or by BACS. Further details regarding how to pay are available on our online payment page.

At least 14 days before the appointment date, all required information must be submitted so that time spent with the planning officer, (and specialists as appropriate), can be productive and worthwhile. Should the information not be submitted by this time, the meeting will automatically be cancelled. This will include:-
A written description of the proposal
• Block plan showing current layout of the site
• Site plan
• Sketch plans/details, etc.
• Photographs
• Block plan/layout of the site
• Illustrative drawings showing elevations and internal layout.

Written confirmation will be provided, following the meeting, on the main issues agreed/discussed. Potential applicants are advised that the Council will decline to arrange meetings where a proposal will clearly conflict with national and/or locally adopted policy guidance, and that all meetings that are arranged will be held strictly on a ‘without prejudice’ basis.

All pre-application discussions will be treated in confidence. However, if requests for information about pre-application discussions are received under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and/or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), the Council will ask the applicant/agent to confirm whether they consent to the disclosure of any written information and, if not, why in their opinion it is in the public interest not to disclose the information, i.e. what would be the adverse effects of disclosure. The Council will then consider whether or not it is in the public interest to disclose the information.

Should a planning application be submitted where pre-application advice was sought, once the application has been determined the Council will, upon receipt of an FOIA/EIR request, disclose the information. Further details relating to exemptions under FOIA/EIR can be found on our Freedom of Information Exemptions webpage.

Advice from Planning Surgeries is given in good faith at Officer Level on a ‘without prejudice’ basis and without the benefit of a site visit. It cannot bind or oblige the Council to make any particular decision. The advice is no substitute for applicants undertaking their own investigative or surveying work, including use of the Council’s website. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that any subsequent planning application includes all required documents and surveys, is properly detailed and explained and that it complies with all Wealden’s adopted guidelines and policies, together with national and other relevant policy guidance, as appropriate.