Pre-application advice


Updates to Pre-application Enquiry service

We introduced a new pre-application advice service for all types of development on Tuesday 1 March 2022.

The council has established these new processes and standards to optimise the benefits of the service you will receive. The new pre-applications service options are:

  • Householder
  • Standard
  • Standard +
  • Specialist

The revised service aims to provide consistent and timely advice and help reduce the risks involved in making a planning application. It will also help to reduce the time taken to progress a pre-application enquiry and a planning application through the formal decision-making process.

Is there a charge for the new service options?

In order for the new service to meet costs, a charge will be levied for the service as per the revised schedule of fees. Fees need to be paid upon submission of a pre-application enquiry.

The new fee schedule will be applicable for all valid pre-application enquiries received after Tuesday 1 March 2022 (00.00am GTM).

If you would like professional guidance for your development proposals, we offer a high quality pre-application advice service. This will help with any subsequent planning application you may then make.

Our service will help you:

  • understand how our policies will be applied to your proposal
  • identify potential problems and sort them out before you make an application
  • prevent costly and time consuming amendments to schemes later

Protocol for pre-application advice

Protocol for pre-application and pre-decision Member Engagement Briefing.

How to apply

To apply for the development enquiry service, please complete the form below and submit your enquiry to

The PDF file below may not be suitable to view for people with disabilities, users of assistive technology or mobile phone devices.

Fees and charges

A charge is made for our pre-application enquiry service. Fees vary depending on the size of your development, see the PDF below for a full list of our planning fees and charges.

The PDF file below may not be suitable to view for people with disabilities, users of assistive technology or mobile phone devices.

Before you apply

When you submit your pre-application please note that all of these applications, except initial scoping meetings, will normally be in the public domain. 

If the Local Planning Authority receives a request, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), to disclose information relating to this pre-application enquiry they are obliged to do so unless the information is deemed exempt under the FOI or EIR Acts.

We can only withhold information under FOI or EIR if the information falls under one of the exemptions (FOI) or exceptions (EIR) set out in legislation for commercially sensitive information.

If we cannot agree with you on the sensitivity of the information you submit then you will be given the option not to proceed with the pre application. The council maintains compliance to the Data Protection Act and we will not release any personal information to third parties.

Pre-application privacy notice

Advice for householders

General guidance on permitted development is available on the Planning Portal.

If you want to know that your proposal does not need planning permission and you would like formal confirmation, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC).  In this case, you will receive a decision notice, which is a legal document. Your application will be recorded in the public register of planning applications.

Further general guidance on Lawful Development Certificates is available on the planning portal website.

Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service (MEAS)

Wirral Council strongly encourages consultation with Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service (MEAS) as part of the pre-application process to help facilitate the development management process where appropriate.

Your request for pre-application advice and any fee paid to the council does not include the fee for Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service, who are the council’s specialist environmental advisor on ecology and archaeologically matters. When we receive a request for pre-application advice, depending on the nature of the development proposed or if we identify a need, we may pass details of your pre-application request to MEAS within 24 hours to advise on your proposals unless you advise otherwise.

The scope of pre-application advice from MEAS includes matters relating to aggregates, archaeology, contaminated land, ecology, historic environment, low carbon energy, minerals, nature conservation, sustainable waste management and waste. More detail on the scope of MEAS technical services can be found on the MEAS website.

For the avoidance of doubt the council cannot require an applicant to request pre-application advice from MEAS but it is an important risk-reduction tool and early consultation with MEAS will assist in planning for required information and assessments, including environmental surveys that are likely to be needed before you submit a planning application or other application for consent  and may lead to a faster decision. You may wish to contact MEAS directly by emailing or calling 0151 934 4951.  Unfortunately, without the relevant fee paid to MEAS, any pre-application advice given by the council may not include advice on those matters covered by MEAS as outlined above.

The PDF file below may not be suitable to view for people with disabilities, users of assistive technology or mobile phone devices.