I went through a lenghy ‘pre-app’ last year with a local authority planning department. It took three months for the pre-app just to be acknowledged. The planner (Mr X) was quite good and despite the conservation area status of the site he was proactive in helping me move it forward (the authority has adopted a policy of increasing residential provision by over 5000 units in the next five years). After a few months of discussions with the conservation officer and highways department Mr X gave me the green light to make the submission. Unfortunately there was a few months delay (caused by client) and by the time the submission was made, the planning officer (Mr X) had left the authority. After a few administrative errors the submission finally landed in the lap of the new area planner (Mrs X). She did not bother to read the submission form (which clearly stated that a pre-app had taken place), and set about my submission with a virtual sledgehammer. Her main concern seemed to be that access was via a public carpark, and that in allowing continued access to the (otherwise landlocked) site, the council might not be able to better redevelop the carpark site in the future. Mr X seemed more interested in providing new homes than ticking boxes, and I can’t personally see how this could be a ‘substantive objection’ but she is digging her heels in and wants us to withdraw the scheme and start a new pre-app!! The pre-app was formally acknowledged and I have now sent her copies of the emails between me and mr X to prove the pre-app took place. MY QUESTION IS, IF WE WITHDRAW THE SUBMISSION, CAN WE CLAIM BACK COSTS FOR THE TIME WASTED? iF WE PROCEED WITH THE SUBMISSION, AND SHE RECOMMENDS REFUSAL, GIVEN THE LENGTHY PRE-APP THAT TOOK PLACE, WHAT MIGHT BE OUR CHANCES OF WINNING AN APPEAL?