Pre-application service


Do you..

  • Have plans for building works or other developments?
  • Have business premises, but wish to change the current use or alter/extend them?

Are you...

  • Unsure if you need permission or whether your proposals are likely to be acceptable?

The One Stop Shop is an advisory service offered by us to identify the consents required and how to apply for them. We can offer advice on major issues and can tell you if permission is likely to be granted.

If you would like us to evaluate your proposal in advance of you submitting an application, please fill in one of the following forms:

More details of this service are available in the pre-application charter [pdf document]. This document will tell you the information we need to know and the type of service you can expect from us.

More information about fees


Permitted development - in certain cases a dwelling can be enlarged, improved or altered without the need for planning permission, subject to certain criteria. These rights are called permitted development rights. The regulations on permitted development are quite complicated and it is always worthwhile seeking advice from the Planning Section on whether what you intend to do requires permission or not.

If you want us to tell you whether you need permission we offer this service for a fee of £24. Please complete the form – see link below - and pay the fee. We will check the proposal, make a judgement and send you a letter within 10 working days telling you whether you need permission or not.

Fill in a Householder Enquiry Form [pdf document] and send the completed form to Planning Services, Town Hall, Darlington DL1 5QT. You can hand it in at our Customer Service Centre at the Town Hall or email to

If no permission is required, you are advised to retain our letter as proof of this. However if you want a formal planning decision you can apply for a Certificate of Proposed Development.

If you are advised that planning permission is required the appropriate forms will be issued to you, advising you of the planning fee and what supporting documents to provide.

The main benefit of obtaining clarification as to whether or not these works require permission is that should the property be sold in the future, our letter would serve as proof that permission was not required.  This may avoid delays and/or additional expense if a solicitor acting for a prospective purchaser queries the legality of the works.  Or if permission is required and subsequently granted the planning history of the site will disclose this fact.