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Further 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 online payment has been received, following which a VAT receipt will be issued on request.


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.  

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)

A Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) brings people together to agree the best way to take a development proposal through the planning process.

Each one has a dedicated project officer and allows the Council to:

  • Prepare a project plan for a proposal from the pre-application stage through to a decision, creating a clear set of milestones to be achieved within a specific timescale
  • Give applicants clear and constructive advice before they apply
  • Go through the proposal in more depth at various meetings
  • Improve the quality of all the major applications that the Council receives.
  • Take a more bespoke approach when engaging and negotiating with applicants.
  • Work outside the standard 13- or 16-week timeframe if needed.

The Project Plan

A PPA is a voluntary agreement between the applicant and the Council. Each one has a project plan with two stages.

Pre application stage

The Council will confirm the dates of any meetings with the applicant, agree what needs to be discussed and the list of attendees. This will help the Council to deal with any problems with an application before it is made, and give greater clarity to applicants as to the information that will be required.

It is important that the Council and the applicant anticipate, think about and deal with as many problems as possible at this stage, so there are no delays with the planning application later on. This way the agreed timetable can be maintained.

Application stage

The Council will set out the agreed timetable and structure for how they will make a decision on your application.

Why sign up to a PPA?

There are many benefits to entering into a PPA, including having:

  • A named contact, so you can discuss your application when you need to
  • Key issues identified early on
  • More realistic, predictable and reliable timetables
  • Better accountability and transparency
  • Time dedicated solely to your project

Conditions and Reserved Matters

We also offer PPAs to discharge planning conditions or to determine Reserved Matters on an existing application.

Will my application be approved?

A PPA gives you the best possible chance of having your application approved, but this cannot be guaranteed.


An initial meeting will be held free of charge to discuss the detail of the potential PPA. A proposed fee will be calculated following that meeting, based on the discussion. Once the fee is agreed, a formal Planning Performance Agreement will be prepared and signed by both parties.


We encourage applicants to discuss the possibility of entering into a PPA with the Council at as early a stage as possible. For an initial discussion please contact:

Graham Dickman - Special Projects Development Lead


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