Issue details

16/00130 Introduction of a pre-application charging scheme for sustainable urban drainage advice


In 2015, the County Council became a statutory consultee to the planning authorities in Kent responsible for providing technical advice onsurface water management including sustainable drainage matters.  This includes consultation for full and outline applications as well as secondary consultation in relation to reserved matters, discharge of conditions and variations. This advice is considered as part of the determination of planning applications


As a result of the new consultee role, a number of ‘potential developers’ are seeking pre- application advice from the County Council on SuDs matters prior to the submission of a planning application to the borough and district councils. 


This discretionary engagement provides an opportunity to shape development at an early part of the development process and can lead to quicker decision making and higher quality development.


Providing this service will obviously cost the authority in staff time and other resource.   Unlike other parts of the GET Directorate and other local authorities, the cost of this pre-application advice is currently not met by the developer.   However, with current financial pressures on the public purse, it is proposed that the service seeks to recover its costs.  


How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes


The decision will underpin policies within the Strategic Statement ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes by supporting and facilitating new growth in the Kent economy and the creation of a high quality built environment.  In addition, the work has a role to play in the delivery of the Kent Environment Strategy and the Kent and Medway Growth and Infrastructure Framework.


Financial implications:


The proposal would recover the costs of providing pre-application advice to developers on sustainable drainage matters.

Legal Implication

The Local Government Act 2003, section 93 enables local authorities to charge for discretionary planning services.

Equalities Implications  

An Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) has been undertaken to support the work.   It concluded that the introduction of the charging scheme is unlikely to have any specific adverse or positive impacts upon the identified ten characteristics

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 14/11/2016

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Sharon Thompson, Head of Planning Applications 03000 413468 Email: Tel: 01622 696131.


The proposed scheme is to be discussed at the Kent Developers’ Group in December 2016.


The proposal will also be discussed at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 17 November.


Financial implications: Lead officer: Sharon Thompson Job title: Head of Planning Applications Phone number: 03000 413468 E-mail:

Legal implications: 16/00130


Agenda items