Development Planning Advice

Do you need planning permission?

The Planning Portal provides interactive guidance on when planning permission is required.The government has also produced a technical guide for householders.

The Council will not be able to respond to enquiries as to whether your proposal is permitted development. If you wish to gain a formal decision as to whether planning permission is required then please submit an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development.

Dropped kerbs and crossovers

You will require planning permission if the vehicle crossover or dropped kerb is onto a classified road (i.e. A, B, C roads). In addition to the planning process, a site licence is required from Surrey County Council. 

Pre-application advice

If you know that your proposal requires planning permission then it is advisable that you obtain pre-application advice on the suitability of your proposal. This is a fee paid service. If you have a general enquiry not covered by this service then please email The Council does not currently provide a householder service. 

Before the end of 2020 the aim is to introduce a revised pre-application service. This will include a householder service.  The introduction of this revised service has been delayed since April 2020 due to COVID-19.

Land constraints and residential design guidance

The Council's GIS system enables you to search for land constraints, for example, if your site is located in the Green Belt or an area liable to flood. 

The Council has produced a Residential Design Guide which provides useful guidance for all types of development from householder proposals to large scale residential schemes. If your development lies within the settlements of the western part of the Borough the Western Urban Area Character Appraisal document also contains useful guiding principles. For the full suite of policy documents please see the planning policy webpages.   

Applying for planning permission

The Council encourages the submission of online and electronic applications. You can download forms or apply on-line via the Planning PortalAll fees submitted via the Planning Portal need to paid directly to the Planning Portal (The Local Authority is unable to take payments for these applications). 

To assist you with your submission the Council has produced a Local Validation List. The Local Validation List provides guidance about the level and type of information required to be submitted with a planning application. The list provides guidance about national and local requirements and the level and type of information required to be submitted with a planning application.

Viability assessments

Consistent with government policy Surrey Heath will make a viability assessment publicly available other than in exceptional circumstances. Even in those circumstances an executive summary should be made publicly available.

Information used need not contain commercially sensitive data. In circumstances where it is deemed that specific details of an assessment are commercially sensitive, the information should be aggregated in published viability assessments and executive summaries, and included as part of total costs figures.

When an exemption from publication is sought the Planning Authority requires full justification as to why the information is commercially sensitive. For example, information relating to negotiations, such as ongoing negotiations over land purchase, and information relating to compensation that may be due to individuals, such as right to light compensation. The aggregated information should be clearly set out to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority.

Any sensitive personal information will not be made public.

Planning Enforcement

If you want to report a breach of planning please complete the on-line Enforcement Questionnaire.

Further advice