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Apply for Pre-application advice

The Principal Councils in Somerset (Somerset County Council, Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset Districts) have a shared ambition to support and facilitate appropriate business and housing growth within the County.

The Councils have been working together on a Somerset Enabling Growth Project since 2019, the outcome of which is improved business and housing growth in Somerset, achieved through a more integrated and resilient planning process between the five councils. The approach places a clearer focus on shared strategic outcomes over process and rules and should make the system easier for those developers wishing to take forward development that is consistent with strategic and local plans and policies.

As part of this, the Councils have agreed a Growth Charter which is available at the bottom of this page. This sets out our shared commitments to working together collaboratively with developers and key stakeholders.

Beyond the Charter, service improvements have been undertaken and work is ongoing on a number of workstreams to promote joint working, best practice and standardisation of processes.

The Enabling Growth Project forms solid foundations for workstreams that are now underway in preparation for the creation of a new Unitary Council for Somerset on 1 April 2023.

The Charter and its commitments can be read here.

The Growth Charter will also inform the Councils approach to validation of planning applications which are currently under review. Find the Council’s Validation Guidance here.

Before you submit a planning application to us, it may be beneficial to first apply for pre-application advice. This is so that we can make sure that you understand the way in which your application will be judged and to make sure that your application addresses all the important planning considerations.

Our advice will set out any issues raised by your proposed development and outline what would be needed to make the development supportable by planning officers. If we don’t feel that your development would currently be accepted, we can explain what the grounds of refusal would be.

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