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Please be aware that our Customer Service Department will not be available from 12:30pm on Friday 24th September for essential training. Our phone lines will open again at 8am and our Customer Hubs will open at 8:30am on Monday 27th September.

Pre-planning advice

Somerset West and Taunton Council working with the other district councils and Somerset County Council has committed to improve their collaborative working by endorsing the Somerset Enabling Growth Charter.

We want all new development to be of the highest quality, and we know how important good design is in planning.

National planning policy says we should use the design review panel process, and listen to any suggestions they make. We recognise that using The Design Review Panel is of benefit to both applicants and the local community. The Design Review Panel will:

  • give independent and expert design suggestion, from a wide range of experts
  • help to make sure you don’t get an unexpected decision about design
  • help to speed things up

We encourage and support The Design Review Panel being used early on in the planning application process. There is the choice of two panels in the local area that the Local Planning Authority support for carrying out this service:

What we can do

We can give you advice and information before you get started. We welcome and encourage discussions before you put in a planning application. This helps sort out problems early on.

Spending time and effort getting your scheme ready is more likely to result in good quality development and will also help us process your application quickly.

The service will:

  • provide detailed advice about design, building materials and advice on the national and local planning policies. This means better quality and quicker processing
  • spot, and where possible, give advice on problems so you can make changes before you get to a formal stage
  • guide you on what you need to provide with your application
  • advise who else you need to speak to
  • include a detailed written report and possibly a site meeting

Please follow the pre-planning application guidance and complete the pre-planning application form and provide the information and fee requested.