Pre-application Service

The Council regrets to inform that because of current staff shortages, there are significant delays.  Householder/category E enquiries are currently suspended, until further notice. The Council sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused. 

Pre-application charges

 
    1
Fee per written response (inclusive of VAT)
2
Fee per meeting (inclusive of VAT)
A Strategic Proposals 50+ dwellings, or 5,000 sq metres + floorspace £600 £1,200
B Major Proposals 10-49 dwellings or over 1,000 sq metres floorspace £300 £800
C 5-9 dwellings or 150-1000 sq metres floorspace £200 £500
D 1-4 dwellings or 75-150 sq metres floorspace £150 Service not available
E Householder Proposals or Minor Proposals less than 75 sq metres floorspace £50 Service not available

Guidance

  1.  All enquiries should be sent by post or by email to development.control@surreyheath.gov.uk.
    Please make the appropriate payment to Surrey Heath Borough Council by cheque, or if you wish to pay by Credit/ Debit card please contact Technical Support on 01276 707100. Please note a 1.5% surcharge will be applied to Credit Card Payments (no surcharge for Debit Cards). Please state clearly the reference number given on your reply email/letter and site/property address. The case officer will not respond to your enquiry and no meeting will be arranged until the appropriate payment has been received.
     
  2. The charges apply to the gross number of dwellings or gross floorspace/change of use. For floorspace extensions the charges apply to the gross increase.
     
  3. Exemptions to fees are on a case by case basis but normally limited to proposals for state schools; locally registered community bodies and charities; and, proposals where the main purpose is to accommodate the elderly and/or people with disabilities.
     
  4. In order for the pre-application process to be constructive it is recommended that you submit scaled drawings and any other information you believe would aid assessment (for example photographs or supporting evidence/documentation). Scaled drawings should include a site location plan (1:1250), a block plan to show the boundaries of the site and floor plans and elevations (1:50, 100, 200 or 500 as appropriate).
     
  5. For category E householder enquiries the service is only available for pre-application advice on development proposals that require planning permission. There is no charge for dropped kerb enquiries. For all other householder enquiries relating to whether a householder proposal is permitted development, an application for a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development will need to be submitted.
     

  6. For highways advice you will need to contact Surrey County Council (www.surreycc.gov.uk) and this is subject to a separate charge.
     
  7. Written responses to the majority of enquiries will be provided within 21 days of the correct pre-application fee being received.
     
  8. For meetings (categories A2, B2, C2), once the correct pre-application fee has been received, the case officer will contact you within 10 working days to make the appropriate arrangements for the meeting. A category A2 meeting will be up to 2 hours duration and category B2 and C2 meetings will normally be up to 1 hour duration. Meeting notes will be issued within 10 working days of the meeting, in place of a written response.
     
  9. Meetings under categories D2 and E2 are not available unless there are exceptional circumstances to justify one. The decision as to whether a meeting request is justified will rest with the case officer. In such circumstances, a fee of £500 will be required and the meeting will be up to 1 hour duration.
     
  10. The Council will endeavour to meet the timescales specified in this note, but if the timescales are not met the enquiry will still be dealt with and no refunds will be made.
     
  11. Where requests cover more than one proposal, each proposed scheme will be charged separately at the above rates.
     
  12. The Council reserves the right to decline a request for pre-application advice.
     
  13. Fees are non-refundable unless there are exceptional circumstances to justify a refund.
     
  14. Planning Performance Agreements are primarily aimed at major and complex development proposals. These are agreements entered into by the local Planning Authority and developers to formalise a pre-application and planning application process, identifying expectations for both sides and key milestones. For agreements relating to pre-application advice they enable the costs or partial costs for providing that advice to be recovered from the developer, whilst being able to provide on-going dialogue between the parties. However, Planning Performance Agreements cannot be forced upon either party and their use at Surrey Heath will only be considered on a case by case basis.
  15. For category A and B enquiries, in particular, there may be a necessity to seek advice from external consultants, which will incur an additional charge. As part of the pre-application process the Planning Authority also encourages and expects design review for strategic proposals (i.e. 50+ dwellings or 10,000 sq metres +floorspace). Design review panels are organised by Design South East (DSE). For further information on design review charges and process, please email development.control@surreyheath.gov.uk

  16. Planning Officers can only give a professional opinion  on the merits of a pre-application scheme. It should be noted that pre-application negotiations are not a substitute for the formal planning application process and can offer no guarantees. All pre-application advice letters will contain the following caveat:

    The advice given represents an Officer's informal opinion based on the information you have supplied and is not intended to bind the Local Planning Authority's decision making powers on any formally submitted application. All submitted applications will be the subject of publicity and consultation in accordance with statutory requirements and the Council's adopted procedures. These, and any other matters which may subsequently come to light, may result in additional issues being raised that are pertinent to the determination of the application. It should also be noted that subsequent alterations to local and national planning policies may affect the advice given.