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Reception is closed, but we are open for business.

In line with government advice our reception at Bridgwater House remains closed. You can contact us by calling 0300 303 7800 or by emailing

Planning Duty Officer

The Planning Duty Officer service can assist you to with any problems you may face before submitting an application or planning general advice, including current planning applications.

When and how can I contact the duty officer?

The Duty Officer is available Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm (noon).

This free planning duty officer service can be accessed primarily by telephone (0300 303 7805) or in person at the Council Offices (please note that availability may be limited). The officer on duty is managed by a rota, if you phone or come into the office on a different day, you may not be able to speak to the same planning officer. No appointment is necessary but normally no more than 15 minutes is available for each enquiry.

Any advice given by the duty planner does not indicate any formal decision by the Council as a Local Planning Authority. Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application following statutory public consultation, the issues raised and evaluation of all available information.

What can the duty planner help with?

  • Advice on which planning application form(s) and the different types of plans you may need to submit
  • General information and advice on national and local planning policy and processes
  • Guidance on how to use our Planning Online pages to:
    • View and comment on current planning proposals
    • Research recent planning histories
    • View policies and guidance
    • Download application forms
  • Guidance as to where you can find information to help you decide whether planning permission may be required for:
    • Particular householder applications or minor developments
    • Changes of use of land, dwellings or businesses which do not require any operational development
    • Some commercial developments

What can't the duty planner do?

  • Offer pre-application advice (If you need to discuss something in more detail, it is advisable to use our Pre-application Service further details are available in our Icon for pdf Pre-Planning Application Advice Guidance [283.24KB] booklet)
  • Give written advice about an issue
  • Advise whether or not a proposal is Permitted Development
  • Advise whether or not a proposal may receive Officer support
  • Provide a response as to whether planning permission would or would not be granted
  • Discuss the detail of large or complex proposals
  • Discuss the technical merits of existing applications, refusals or appeals
  • Agree to any minor amendments to planning permissions
  • Discharge any planning conditions on a decision notice

For formal confirmation whether planning permission is required for a proposed development you will have to submit a Lawful Development Certificate, which are available on the Certificate of Lawfulness page.

You can use the information on our Pre-Planning Application Advice page to identify proposals which have a reasonable prospect of success as well as those that are likely to be unacceptable. This page also sets out how to obtain our formal determination as to whether planning permission is required. You may also wish to see Planning Portal - Do you need permission?.

Should you have a specific query about a particular planning application or appeal you should contact the Case Officer, where it will be possible to arrange an appointment with them if necessary.

pdf Planning charges and application fees [533.65KB] pdf Pre-Planning Application Advice Guidance [283.24KB] pdf Map of Development Management Teams, Parishes and Parish Reference Numbers [635.69KB] pdf Local Validation Checklist [1.36MB] arrowCertificate of Lawfulness arrowMake a Planning Application arrowPlanning Portal - Do you need permission? arrowPlanning Portal