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
- 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.
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
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 confirmation of permitted development
- Advertisement applications
- Complex listed building applications
Category 'D' proposals – small-scale and householder development and lawful development certificates
- Provision of 1m² - 99m² of floor space
- Change of use of buildings or land between 1m² - 99m²
- Householder applications (small extensions/alterations)
- Certificates of Lawful development - for non-householder related applications such as confirmation of existing lawful use
- Planning applications and appeals - £35.00 (each)
- Enforcement Notices - £35.00 (each)
- Tree Preservation Orders - £35.00 (each)
- Completed Section 106 Agreements - £35.00 each
Each A4 sheet - £2.00 (each)
Each A3 sheet - £2.30 (each)
Any advice given by council officers for pre-application enquiries does not indicate any formal decision by the council as local planning authority.
Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith, and to the best of ability without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application following statutory public consultation, the issues raised and evaluation of all available information.
You should therefore be aware that officers cannot give guarantees about the final formal decision that will be made on your planning or related applications, which will be subject to the proviso that circumstances and information may change or come to light that could alter the position.
It should be noted that the weight given to pre-application advice notes would decline over time. Advice for schemes submitted more than three years after the date will not be valid.
Planning Officer Duty Service
Mornings 9am to 11am. An officer is available in person in Merton Link Monday to Friday to discuss planning queries, other than advice on site specific applications. There is a pre application service available for those discussions.
Afternoons 1pm - 3pm. An officer is available by telephone 020 8545 3777 to discuss planning matters. The line is very busy so please be patient. Again site specific advice on application submissions will not be discussed.
London Borough of Merton
DX: Morden 41650
Fees for the pre-application service are non-refundable. Each agreement tends to be unique to the particular application and you can talk to the case officer at pre-application state about what is involved and the likely fee. Any agreement does not infer a positive recommendation is guaranteed, although every effort is made to positively process such applications. Please see
Planning performance agreements (GOV.UK website)