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 £35 (including VAT) we can confirm 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.

Coronavirus update – Planning Service –  March 2021

In line with Government advice and to keep our staff and customers safe, our offices at Eastburn remain closed. However our planning team can still be contacted via email

We will continue to process planning applications which have already been submitted. If you are submitting a new application please do so electronically through the planning portal website. We are unlikely to be able to deal efficiently with planning applications received by post or paid for by cheque.

Due to our offices being closed there is likely to be a delay in receiving any letters or documents sent by post.  Please send all correspondence to

If you have sent anything to the planning department within the last week please can you email so that a colleague can contact you.

We are continuing to progress pre-application enquiries but can only accept online BACS payment. We would appreciate the submission of site photographs so that our officers do not need to visit your property.

For the latest government guidance concerning planning appeals please visit


Northumberland National Park Authority offers a confidential pre-application enquiry service through which we can provide written advice about whether your proposals require planning permission or Listed Building Consent and/or whether the proposal could be supported at the formal application stage.

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.