We are pleased to offer pre-application advice to guide applicants before a formal application is submitted.

For the most basic planning advice- please refer to our FAQs page using the link below:

Frequently asked questions for Planning

A summary of the service you may expect is set out in the below sections. For advice on what information to submit, please see the information below:

  • Any email address, as this will assist us to provide you with a quicker response whether or not you are the owner of the site (or their agent) or a prospective purchaser.
  • Clear information (Including sketches and photographs regarding:
    • the existing site and/or building
    • the type and scale of development proposed (including dimensions)
    • scaled drawings (plans and elevations for larger schemes (new dwellings, commercial buildings, substantial extensions etc)
  • You should also advise us whether or not you are the owner of the site (or their agent) or a prospective purchaser

For proposals for major sites (10 or more dwellings), please refer to our Major Schemes and Design Pre-Application Advice Note, which advises developers on the Council’s expectations regarding the design process at pre-application stage for major schemes, in order to ensure that early and proactive engagement and meaningful discussions help lead to the high quality design solutions required by the NPPF.

For proposals affecting Listed Buildings or Conservation Areas, you will also need to submit further drawn, photographic and written information for:

  • Listed Buildings – The works proposed, the areas of the listed building affected, the existing plan form of the listed building and any relevant research.
  • Conservation Areas – The existing site in its surroundings, the proposed development in relation to its surroundings.

Please remember, the better the quality of the information provided, the more detailed and informed the advice will be.

County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority changes

County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority are making changes to their service as follow:

The County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority offers the following levels of service for developers.

  • Where advice is required on the interpretation of our substantive response, we will provide this. This could include, if necessary, one meeting (face to face, virtual, or telecon) of no longer than two hours at no charge.
  • Where we have not taken into account a materially significant aspect of the submitted documentation, we will enter into limited correspondence in order to rectify the matter free of charge.
  • Any requests for further advice or review of revised proposals will be outside the scope of our free service and will incur a standard charge of £150 +VAT per hour. This charge will cover the review of documentation, and a meeting (face to face, virtual, or telecon).
  • Revised proposals arising from the above should then be submitted to the LPA for formal consultation.
  • We will not entertain any discussions on the engineering principles that underpin our advice or policies that we observe in formulating that advice.

Planning Advice Tariff – Post Planning Application Submission | East Sussex County Council

This new approach has taken effect and there will be a requirement now to formally consult County LLFA on the provision of additional information or changes to a scheme


In instances where you have paid for a meeting, to enable us to provide you with as much detailed advice as possible we ask you to submit drawings and any other background information that you may have available at least two weeks before the meeting.

For major or complex schemes, where we may need consult other people before advising you, we will require the information further in advance. For these schemes we will let you know when we will need the information when we make the appointment.

Meetings will normally be held virtually. However a meeting at Rother Town Hall may also be possible where appropriate.

One meeting per enquiry is the normal limit. However, additional meetings may be added for a commensurate additional fee.

Street Naming and Numbering

If you have converted a property/built a new property (even if the property has an existing address) you will need to register the address with the Street Name and Numbering department.

Please be advised that this will need to be done as soon as you receive planning approval.

If you have any enquiries please email rothersnn@rother.gov.uk

Site Visits

For some pre-applications a site visit is included in the fee. However where this is not the case or additional site visits are considered necessary these can be arranged for an additional fee.


Upon receipt of your completed request for pre-application advice with fee, we will aim to respond to you in writing within:

20 working days for non-major proposals.
40 working days for major proposals.

Requests for advice will be allocated to planning case officers according to the complexity and the availability of staff. Major schemes will normally be dealt with by a Principal or Senior Planner. To ensure that the process is as seamless as possible, the case officer will usually deal with any subsequent planning application. In the case of significant development proposals.

Where it is necessary to consult statutory consultees you will be advised to seek bespoke advice from those bodies, some of whom provide their own separate pre-application service.

A Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) will have its own bespoke dates and timelines.

Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs)

For larger, more complex schemes, it is strongly recommended that you enter into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA). Rother’s PPA Charter can be attached from this link: Planning Performance Agreements

Pre-application fees

For information on the pre-application advice fees, please view our pricing page.

Where no meeting is to be held it will not be possible to enter into protracted correspondence. We can only provide a response on the basis of the information received. Therefore it will be essential that you provide adequate and sufficient details and plans with your initial request.


Some pre-apps apps are fee exempt, for more information, please view the points below:

  • Where the development is for the direct benefit of a registered disabled person.
  • Planning discussions in relation to Council enforcement investigations before the submission of an application or formal enforcement action.
  • Where the enquiry is made by and for the benefit of a parish, town, district, or county council (including a publicly funded school).
  • Where the enquiry is made for a 100% affordable housing scheme by a Housing Association/equivalent Affordable Housing provider working with Rother District Council or an architect/agent acting directly on their behalf.
  • Where the scheme is by a charitable organisation or community group and is for their own purposes and/or for the direct benefit of the Rother community.

The charging scheme is implemented at the discretion of Rother District Council, although the relevant charge will only be waived in the most exceptional circumstances.

Further pre-application advice

The Environment Agency provides pre-application planning advice on issues such as flood risk, assessing flood risk, groundwater protection and contaminated land.

Environment Agency 2022 study: Impacts of Climate and Land Use Change on Groundwater Quality in England: A Scoping Study can be found via the following link.

The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) also provides pre-application service and strongly encourage prospective applicants to make use of this, particularly for major proposals.  Info on both of these pre-app services, including their charges, can be found at using the links below:

Planning applications – transport implications – East Sussex County Council

Sustainable drainage systems | East Sussex County Council

Natural England also provides pre-application advice through their Discretionary Advice Service and standing advice.

The Highway Authority now operates a similar advice system.

Related media

Pre-application guide for applicants

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