Pre-application enquiry service

Do I need planning permission?

Many types of minor development are classed as ‘permitted development’. This means they do not require a planning application. These can include certain extensions or alterations to houses or small scale farm development. The permitted development regulations are quite complicated, for a fee of £50 (including VAT) we can advise whether your proposal is ‘permitted development’ or if a planning application is required. Details of how to find out about your proposal are set out below.

Will I get planning permission?

The Government encourages applicants to seek advice before they submit a planning application. Doing this allows planning officers to give advice on any potential problems, or add value to proposals. This ‘front-loading’ of the planning application process allows applications to be dealt with more quickly and reduces the likelihood of permission being refused.

Find out more about our Planning Pre-application Advice Charging Scheme here.

*New services from January 2023*  We can provide a fast tracked service for Do I need planning permission queries. Normally we will respond within 28 days, however for a cost of £100 we will response within 10 working days or sooner. Please contact us in advance by emailing to check that we have the capacity to respond in this timescale as the availability of this service will be dependent on staff capacity.

*Bespoke pre-planning advice service* We can offer an enhanced pre-planning advice service for more complicated proposals, where multiple site meetings and in-depth discussions are needed. Please contact the planning team for details of what we can provide and a quote for an enhanced service by emailing . The planning team is unable to design the scheme for you but we will help guide you through the planning process so that you can be confident that the scheme that is submitted is one that can be supported.


To submit a pre-application enquiry please complete the relevant application form, either householder or non-householder (See below).

Next steps

Your completed application form should then be returned to us using the email or postal address included at the bottom on the application form along with the relevant fee and supporting information.

Whilst formal plans are not necessary at the pre-application stage it is advisable to include as much information as possible, such as photographs and sketches, in order to illustrate your proposals. A location plan should, however, be submitted alongside all enquiries.

Information on fees

Pre-application enquiry fees are set out within our Charging Scheme and are payable at the time of enquiry by cash, cheque to ‘Northumberland National Park Authority’ or BACS transfer (details of these are set out on the Charging Scheme). Some fee exemptions apply (see Charging Scheme for details).

Please note that once the pre-application enquiry and fee have been received and registered it will not be possible to provide a refund in the event that you do not wish to progress with the enquiry.

Following receipt of your documentation and fee your enquiry will be registered and assigned to a Planning Officer. You will then receive an acknowledgement letter to confirm receipt and provide the name and contact details of this officer.

We aim to respond to provide a detailed written response to enquiries within 28 days. If a site visit or more information is required the case officer will contact you to discuss this. If this timescale is likely to be exceeded due to the nature of the enquiry or the need to consult with other specialists, we will contact you as soon as possible.

Getting advice

The advice we provide is objective and informal. It represents officer professional opinion only and will not bind the Authority in the event of a formal planning application.

General advice on whether planning permission is required is available online via the Planning Portal. As properties within the National Park are however subject to certain restrictions the submission of a pre-application enquiry is advisable.