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Pre-Consultation on Planning Applications

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Pre-Consultation under the Planning Act

ss. 22(3.1), 34(10.0.1), 41(3.1), and 51(16.1)

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Description of Pre-Consultation

There are two different ways in which pre-consultation can occur and applies whether the municipality, planning board or Minister is the approval authority:

  1. Applicant(s) can choose to pre-consult with the respective municipality, planning board or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), as applicable, at any time prior to submitting their application for initial feedback.
  2. Applications that could be subject to pre-consultation include: official plan amendments; zoning by-law amendments; site plan control; and subdivision/condominium applications. Pre-consultation helps ensure that development proposals align with local planning policies.


Pre-consultation between the applicant and the municipality/planning board, prior to the specified application being formally submitted, can help ensure a complete application and provides opportunities for early feedback and information sharing on the proposed concept.

Depending on the type of application, municipalities/planning boards have the option to require pre-consultation with applicant(s) by passing a by-law.

Potential Benefits

  • Ensures that all relevant planning policies have been conveyed to the applicant early in the process.
  • Permits municipality/planning board or MMAH to advise applicant of municipal incentives or initiatives. This could help “shape” the proposed development to benefit from those programs.
  • Through early municipal feedback, an applicant has an opportunity to refine proposed concept prior to submitting a formal application.
  • Enables municipalities/planning boards or MMAH to reinforce complete application requirements (e.g., studies that may be needed to support an application).
  • Informs municipality/planning board or MMAH of upcoming development.
  • Allows municipalities/planning boards or MMAH to promote sustainability considerations by providing comments early in the design process of the proposal.
  • Helps streamline development review when applications are submitted, which may support economic development opportunities.

For more information:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
(416) 585-6014

Municipal Services Office

Central (Toronto)
(416) 585-6226
Toll Free: 800-668-0230

Eastern (Kingston)
(613) 545-2100
Toll Free: 800-267-9438

Northeastern (Sudbury)
(705) 564-0120
Toll Free: 800-461-1193

Northwestern (Thunder Bay)
(807) 475-1651
Toll Free: 800-465-5027

Western (London)
(519) 873-4020
Toll Free: 800-265-4736

Note to User: This InfoSheet deals in summarized fashion with complex matters and reflects legislation, policies and practices that are subject to change. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice in connection with any particular matter and should not be construed as legal advice by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The user is solely responsible for any use or the application of this information. As such, this Ministry does not accept any legal responsibility for the contents of this InfoSheet or for any consequences, including direct or indirect liability, arising from its use.

Produced by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Provincial Planning Policy Branch
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