This page gives information regarding the Duty Planning Officer including times of operation, what you need to bring with you and a link to the pre-application advice webpage.

The Duty Planning Officer Scheme

The Duty Officer service has recently changed. Please call 0116 288 8961 for more information.

Please Note

General planning advice can be found free of charge on the Planning Portal ( To submit a paid pre-application enquiry please go to the Do I need planning permission (pre-application advice) web page.

The Council aim to provide a free Duty Officer service via the return of a telephone call (limited to 10 minutes) so that simple, straightforward queries can be dealt with in an efficient manner.

The Duty Planning Officer will be available to return telephone calls to provide answers to simple queries following receipt of a written query made via the Council website, or a call to our Customer Services Centre who will take the necessary details and provide them to the Planning department via the form. Officers will aim to provide a response within 5 working days. This service is not a statutory service and may not always be provided as this is subject to the availability of Planning Officers.

The Duty Planning Officer system is intended to provide a better service to our customers that fits in with other work requirements. Working on a rota basis the Duty Planning Officer will enable other Planning Officers to concentrate on dealing with your applications, appeals, correspondence and other related matters. It is therefore a more effective and efficient use of their time.

The Duty Planning Officer should give general advice to householders, agents and any other customer of the planning service. The intention of this service is to provide very quick and simple guidance to agents, residents and local businesses wishing to carry out development which may require planning permission. The Duty Planning Officer service is not available to provide advice on complex or involved sites.

The Duty Planning Officer will not normally be able to answer questions about specific planning applications; contact the Planning Officer dealing with the application directly.

If you would like to know about the progression of your planning application please contact the planning case officer or consult the Public Access web pages of our web site where key details regarding time-scales, consultations and decisions can be found.

Advice which the Duty Officer should give could be:

  1. general advice on householder development proposals for applicants or neighbours (extensions or alterations and outbuildings),
  2. advise on permitted development, heritage assets (statutorily and locally listed buildings, and conservation areas), and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
  3. answers to basic technical planning questions,
  4. advice on the costs of submitting a planning application,
  5. advice on the completion of planning forms and plans that need to be presented to validate an application,
  6. general advice in respect to the planning process and how planning applications are assessed,
  7. general advice about matters that are taken into consideration in processing an application received,
  8. advice in respect to details of planning permissions that have been granted and conditions that have been attached to planning permissions, including the discharge of condition process and requirements,
  9. the Council's planning policies, standards and guidelines and
  10. interpretation of plans and drawings.

It is unlikely that the Duty Planning Officer will be able to give specific advice on:-

  1. the technical merits of current applications,
  2. revised applications following a refusal of planning permission,
  3. enforcement proceedings,
  4. advice on resolving breaches of planning control following an enforcement investigation and
  5. deciding minor amendments to planning permissions.

Advice on these should be sought from the relevant officer who has dealt with the application or appeal previously.

How to contact the Duty Planning Officer?

Call 0116 288 8961 to discuss your enquiry where details will be taken and passed to the planning team to arrange a call back. Alternatively you can complete the form below.

Complete the form

What if the Duty Planning Officer needs more information or plans?

If more plans or information is required to give advice, you will be referred to the chargeable pre-application advice service. Further details of this can be found on the Do I need planning permission (pre-application advice) web page.


Advice given by the Duty Planning Officer is based on the information provided and without the benefit of a site visit nor full knowledge of the particular circumstances or history of the property or site. Any advice given by the Duty Planning Officer does not indicate any formal decision by the Council as a Local Planning Authority. Any views of opinions expressed are given in good faith and to the best of ability, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, taking into account any views of interested parties and consultees, which may be forthcoming in a formal application process. The formal decision maker(s) are therefore entitled to make their own judgements on acceptability without being bound by previously expressed views.

Should you require a formal determination of whether planning permission is required a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development should be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for consideration.

Advice on when planning permission is required is only valid on the day it is given and any changes in legislation may ultimately change whether permission is required or not.

Share this page:

Last updated: Wednesday, 21 October 2020 4:01 pm