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Planning permission advice for businesses and other commercial developments

Planning Portal

The central government's online resource is the Planning Portal.

It includes a wide range of planning advice, including about:

Adverts and signs

Change of use


Working from home

The Planning Portal also provides advice about Building Regulations or you can contact Building Control.

Our pre-application advice service

In order to be able to provide this discretionary service we need to charge a fee.  This includes for business and commercial developments and also for schemes that involve the construction of new dwellings, including the subdivision of gardens, or subdivision of existing buildings and also for unusual or complex householder developments.

In most cases we will try to respond to your request within 28 days. However, for major developments (as below) the process might take longer as these schemes normally need more research.

Potential benefits of using the pre-application advice service include:

  • An explanation of how planning policies, planning agreement tariffs / contributions, might affect your proposal.
  • It provides you with an opportunity to make changes to your proposal before you apply for planning permission.
  • It can help you with what information is needed when you submit a planning application, having regard to the Tyne and Wear Validation Requirements.
  • We may be able tell you where a proposal is likely to be unacceptable, for example where it fundamentally conflicts with relevant planning policy, potentially saving the cost of finalising the proposal for the submission of a planning application.
  • In the case of 'major' development proposals (10 or more dwellings, 1000 square metres or more of floor space, sites over 1 hectare in area or minerals/waste development) the opportunity to negotiate the terms of a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) with the council.

What we need from you

To help us respond to your request, please provide as much information as is possible about your proposal.

As a general guide we suggest that the following should be submitted together with the fee:

  • Contact details for you or your appointed agent, including contact address, phone number and email address.
  • The address and a site location plan of the property/site.
  • A description of the proposal.
  • Drawings of the proposal - please bear in mind that if you do not supply scaled drawings, for example a proposed site layout for new housing development or existing and proposed elevations for an extension or alteration, this could adversely impact the quality and detail of the response we can provide.
  • Any other specific material you would wish us consider, for example any specialist reports that you have had produced.
  • For 'major' development proposals (10 or more dwellings, 1000 square metres or more of floor space, sites over 1 hectare in area or minerals/waste development) we may require additional information and we will let you know if further details are required.


Planning advice service charges

Type of development


Major or larger developments

  • Three or more houses (or other dwellings e.g. flats)
  • 1000 square metres or more of proposed floor space (measured externally)
  • Development of a site of 1 hectare or more in area
  • Minerals or waste development

£624 (the fee includes VAT)

(covers one site visit, meeting and response letter)


Any other development, for example

  • One or two houses (or other dwellings e.g. flats)
  • A proposed change of use
  • Advertisements
  • Shop fronts or commercial extensions
  • Telecommunications development
  • Unusual or complex householder proposals

£124.80 (the fee includes VAT)

(covers one site visit, meeting and response letter)


Fees additional information

  • The fee must be paid in advance of any work commencing on your enquiry.
  • Please make cheques payable to South Tyneside Council.

Please note that if you require further advice from us following receipt of response letter, further charges will apply and these will be negotiated on a case by case basis.

Status of advice

All pre-application advice is provided in good faith and is based on the information you provide.

Furthermore, all advice is given without prejudice to the formal consideration of any subsequent planning application, which would include a statutory publicity process being carried out or consultations with statutory agencies. For this reason this we cannot offer any guarantees about the outcome of a planning application when providing advice.

All requests for advice are potentially subject to disclosure in response to Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulations requests. Confidentiality cannot therefore be guaranteed when using the service.

Useful websites

See also