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4. Tips on Keeping the Costs Down

To reduce the costs of processing:

  • find out what the council charges for. If you are charged for conversations with staff, make sure you know what you want to ask before contacting them
  • ask for an estimate of the costs
  • make sure you go through a proper AEE process as outlined in this guide
  • if the council has not sought further information within 10 working days of your application being accepted, phone them to check on progress
  • before responding to requests for further information, ensure you know exactly what is required and why
  • respond to requests for further information within the statutory timeframe of 15 working days
  • before engaging specialist advice, council is required to advise you they are engaging such specialists. Ask whether you can have your advisers provide the required information
  • if your application is being processed without a hearing, ask council staff if they will advise you of their recommendation before it goes to the decision-maker. This will allow you to comment on any proposed conditions before the decision is made and may save unnecessary objections to decisions
  • if the application goes to hearing, be well prepared.