Pre-application advice | Pre-application advice | Oldham Council
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More information

We provide an advice service for applicants that would like advice or help with a planning application before submitting a planning application.

Applicants should discuss their scheme with planning officers before applying. This way you will receive a faster response and a better chance of submitting a valid application which meets all policies and requirements. This is particularly important for large scale developments which will have a major impact on the surrounding area.

The service helps minimise subsequent planning application costs and abortive applications. 

Please note, an online payment must be made directly following submission of your online application form.  Invoices will not be raised and cheques will not be accepted.  Your application will only be dealt with once an online payment has been received, following which a VAT receipt will be issued.


All enquiries must be made using the online form and must be accompanied by supporting information.  Email and postal applications will not be accepted. The service may increase the likelihood of you gaining planning permission, however if you choose not to take on board the advice we provide, your subsequent planning application may be refused without further negotiation.

Pre-application request form

If you prefer not to use the Council’s service, the Planning Portal has free planning application guidance which you may find useful.

Oldham Council offers different levels of pre-application service depending on the complexity of the application:

  • Householder
  • Minor
  • Medium
  • Small major
  • Major
  • Large major

Supplementary information

These services relate to pre-application advice where it has been established planning permission is needed.  If you want information regarding the need for planning permission see ‘Do you need to apply’ -

We aim to email you with our advice and guidance within 20 working days from receipt of your enquiry.

Our advice may help you identify:

  • any issues or necessary amendments before applying
  • what you need to include to submit a planning application
  • whether your proposal complies with planning policy
  • if there are any constraints
  • if there are any financial contributions or planning obligations
  • which other bodies you should contact

Any pre-application advice given by Council officers does not constitute a formal response or decision of the Council with regards to future planning consents and will be made based on the information provided.

Views or opinions expressed are given in good faith, and to the best of the officer’s ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, which will be subject to public consultation and ultimately decided by the Council.

Where a meeting is arranged, a refund cannot be given if applicants subsequently cancel the meeting, as preparatory work would have already taken place.

Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)

For large or complex planning proposals the Government encourages the use of PPAs, which are voluntary project management agreements between applicants and local planning authorities. They are used to help:

  • developers, the Local Planning Authority and key stakeholders to work together
  • set mutually agreed timescales for proposals to progress through the application process
  • clarify the requirements needed to submit an application
  • make sure appropriate resources and expertise are provided
  • provide greater opportunity for dialogue through the planning process and help deliver high quality development

As this is a bespoke service. the timetable and the fee should be agreed at an initial meeting.

The fee will be dependent on the scale and complexity of the proposal and the resources that are required to achieve the timetable.

If you are interested in using a PPA, please email or contact either the Head of Planning (0161 770 1917) or the Development Management Team Leader (Tel 0161 770 4116) to discuss your requirements.

Other services offered

In addition to pre-application advice, the following services are also available:

  • variation, modification or discharging a legal agreement
  • Planning History search
  • Permitted Development Enquiry

Please Note: A charge may apply to these services.  If you wish to use any of these services, please send an email to