If you are planning a development, you may be able to use our pre-application advice service. This service is available for:

  • householder developments
  • any development involving new floorspace or a change of use of floorspace
  • any application that needs a certificate of lawful development.


What the service provides

The service provides you with a dedicated planning officer who will give you:

  • information on relevant policies and planning requirements
  • the estimated timescale to process your application
  • the information you need to provide on your planning application
  • Section 106 matters including likely heads of terms
  • best practice consultation methods.


Procedure for categories A, B and C

To find out which category your development is in please see below.

Request pre-application advice by submitting a Pre-Application Advice Form (66kB)

You must send us the following for your application to be accepted:

  • a fee
  • site location plan (scale 1:1250)
  • description/schedule of uses  
  • photographs
  • an outline of your proposal (on plans scale 1:200/1:100)  
  • sketch drawings showing the height and scale of your proposed development in relation to its surroundings.

For larger sites you may need to provide other information including potentially EIA related information or a draft environmental statement.

The form, documents and fee can be submitted via post. If you want to submit the application in person at the Civic Centre then you must go to the Cash Office between the hours of 10am and 12pm, pay the fee using the reference H01130RB03 and obtain TWO copies of the receipt – one for your records and one to be attached to the application form. Once you have done that you may then hand the application to the staff at reception.

Once received the following procedure will apply:

  • Forms passed to Team Leader who will identify the specialist advice / information required and whether a meeting is necessary. Applicant is advised within 5 working days.
  • Team Leader allocates to appropriate officer
  • All documents passed to planning administration team to record and monitor for purposes of audit / training etc.
  • Case officer will arrange meeting date/availability of officers and send confirmation letter to applicants.
  • Upon completion of meeting the officer will update system, prepare written advice; which will be cleared by Team Leader / Section Manager

See our rates for our pre-application service below. Try to make sure you have finalised your plans before submitting your proposal as if you make changes after submission you will need to pay additional fees.


Procedure for category D

To find out which category your development is in please see below.

You will receive verbal advice only under this category. Email us to book an appointment.

In your email:

  • Try to attach items that would help the officer understand more about your site and proposal (for example photos, site map or sketches). You can also submit a completed pre-application advice form.
  • Tell us the preferred date and time for your appointment. We will try to meet this depending on availability. Appointments are available from  Monday to Friday between 9am and 11am and are 15 minutes long with slots at 20-minute intervals.
  • Send your payment (see fee below) by cheque payable to London Borough of Merton before your appointment. While you could pay by cheque on the day, this will cause a delay and may shorten the time spent discussing your proposal.

We try to make sure that your meeting is booked within three days of your request.


Proposal categories and fees

Category 'A' proposals – large-scale, complex, major development

  • Provision of 50 or more residential dwellings (including conversion)
  • Provision of 2000m² or more of floor space
  • Change of use of buildings or land over 2000m²
  • Mixed-use developments where the combined floor space is over 2000m²
  • Development involving a site of 1ha and over
  • Developments requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Development requiring the submission of an Environmental Statement under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.
  • Planning/ development briefs/ frameworks
  • Sites for which the landowner wishes to establish their potential value, or where such briefs for potential developers will expedite the development process.
Initial meeting and advice noteSubsequent meeting and advice note

Fee £2750

VAT £550

Total £3300

Fee £880

VAT £176

Total £1056

For large-scale developments with very complex issues you may need to have several meetings with different specialist officers. Consequently there may be a change to  your fee. Any change to your fee will be agreed before submission.  


Category 'B' proposals – major development

  • Provision of 10 - 49 residential dwellings (including conversion)
  • Provision of 1000m² - 1999m² of floor space
  • Change of use of buildings or land between 1000m²  – 1999 m²
  • Development involving a site of 0.5ha – 0.99ha
  • Composite proposals for telecommunication masts/equipment – 10 or more sites
  • Mixed use developments where the combined floor space is between 1000m² - 1999m²
Initial meeting and advice noteSubsequent meeting and advice note

Fee £1,375

VAT £275

Total £1650

Fee £550

VAT £110

Total £660


Category 'C' proposals - minor development

  • Provision of 1 - 9 residential dwellings (including conversion)
  • Provision of 100m² - 999m² of floor space
  • Change of use of buildings or land between 100m² -999m²
  • Individual proposals for telecommunications equipment and masts not being