Planning and building control

Planning for businesses and professionals

We can offer a comprehensive service to existing businesses and potential investors to help you realise your aspirations for development within Liverpool.

The following does not give a definitive source of legal information but will help guide you through the process. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Preparing an application

The Planning Portal for professionals provides information and guidance about the planning process for businesses and professionals who represent them. It is a good place to look before you decide whether you need to submit a planning application to us.

You may also want to refer to our planning application process and Liverpool's local planning policies that could affect your application.

Find an agent

You will need a professional agent to submit your application and represent you, unless your application proposal is very simple and you have access to the required technical drawings and documents.

We can't recommend an agent, but the websites of the main professional bodies provide a list of their members.

You might find it helpful to look at the quality of application submitted by the agent you are considering, particularly in relation to Liverpool. You can search all previous planning applications under an agent's name via our Search and track applications page.

The following websites may help you to identify an agent:

Pre-application service

We offer a pre-application service for businesses and householders. This means you will be allocated a dedicated planning officer who will guide you through the pre-application process and provide support when you need it.


The fee payable depends on the size and complexity of the proposal. Fees should be paid at the time of the pre-application request being submitted.

  • Householder: £75 (£190 if office or site meeting is requested)
  • Advertisements or shopfront: £150 (£450 if office or site meeting is requested)
  • Minor development: £350 (£500 if office or site meeting is requested). This includes:
    • Between 1 and 9 dwellings
    • Non-residential development of less than 500 square metres or less than 0.5 hectares
    • Changes of use less than 500 square metres or less than 0.5 hectares
    • Telecommunications enquiries, tree works, listed buildings
  • Medium development: £1500 (includes one office or site meeting). This includes:
    • Between 10 and 49 dwellings
    • Non-residential development of between 500 and 2000 square metres or between 0.5 and 2 hectares
    • Change of use between 500 and 2000 square metres or between 0.5 and 2 hectares
  • Major development: £3500 (includes up to two meetings).  This includes:
    • Between 50 and 199 dwellings
    • Non-residential development of between 2000 and 10,000 square metres or more than 2 hectares
    • Change of use of over 2000 square metres or over 2 hectares.
  • Significant major development: £7000 (including up to three meetings). This includes:
    • 200 residential units or more
    • Any development exceeding the above thresholds and where a development team approach is required.
    • Proposals requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Any further requests for written advice or meetings will be charged at the rate of £100 per hour, or part thereof, per officer required to attend.

Further information about the pre-application process and the benefits it can offer to your business is also set out in our pre-application discussions guidance note:

How to access this service

You can submit an enquiry via our Licensing and Regulations portal (LAR)

Please note you will need to sign in or create an account. Once you have logged in select 'Submissions' from the left-hand menu, then 'Submit pre-application'.

Once you have registered your enquiry we will contact you to pay the fee.

You can also contact us if you are unsure what fees apply.

Sign in to LAR - Planning

Don't have an account? Register now.

Help from Liverpool in Work

Liverpool in Work can advise and support your business with the social value section on your planning application. At some stage in your application there will be key objectives and priorities which will include:

  • development of workforce and apprentices
  • engaging with the local supply chain, work placements and recruitment of local labour
  • linking with local schools, colleges and community organisations and much more.

For more information email

Our approach

Where appropriate, we offer a development team approach which outlines our commitment to you and is designed to:

  • Encourage pre-application discussions as a crucial element in delivering major regeneration projects.
  • Provide an established timetable identifying key dates and timescales in the handling of major planning proposals.
  • Involve council departments and key external consultees.
  • Set out the responsibilities of both the council and the developer.
  • Encourage consultation with the community and Members at an early stage in the development process.
  • Establish a process for the case officer to manage the development project and resolve any potential problem areas.

You can read more about the development team approach in our guidance note:

Business charter

Our business charter sets out our commitment to businesses in Liverpool outlining the standards you can expect to receive from the Planning Team.

We have consulted with the business community to find out what you would like to see in the charter, if you have any further comments about the charter please contact us.