The interaction between private interests and state planning actors has been identified as central to facilitating development. Many authors argue that the earlier this interaction occurs, the greater the chance that development outcomes will meet the objectives of a diverse set of interested actors. An increasingly popular method of facilitating such interaction is the pre-application meeting. Drawing on the perceptions and experiences of senior council staff and development applicants, this paper explores the role and value of pre-application meetings in New South Wales. The main themes include the difficulty in defining pre-application meetings, the use of preapplication meetings as part of the assessment process, and, finally, the advantages and issues that arise with the pre-application process.