How planning consultation works

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Council offices are currently operating with restricted access. Should you wish to view an application please call the Customer Services team in advance of coming to the Council so that we can discuss your needs.

Applications can be viewed online by searching under the address or application number. 

If you don't have access to the internet at home, your local library may provide access.

Some applications may also be viewed locally by arrangement and you should contact your parish or village council for further information.

The standard consultation period for an application is 24 days from the date of the consultation letter and/or the date from which any site notice or press advert was placed if applicable.

Public consultation

We invite comments on all planning applications made within the district by:

  • Consulting neighbours by letter (those who immediately adjoin the application site).
  • Asking applicants to post a notice on the application site describing the proposal.
  • Publishing notices of certain applications, such as those within a conservation area, in the local paper.
  • Consulting the County Highways Authority, parish or village councils, the Environment Agency, other statutory and non-statutory consultees etc.
  • Allowing public speaking by the applicant/agent, an objector and a representative of the parish council at committee meetings for those applications that are not determined under delegated powers.

Commenting on planning applications

Comments should be made in writing within 24 days of the date of notification, unless otherwise stated and a decision will not be issued within this consultation period. Any comments received will be taken into consideration when the planning application is assessed. We will take account of all comments made up to the time of a decision. Comments can be made either:


When assessing planning applications, we are required to have regard to our development plan, and to any other material considerations. The development plan comprises our current and adopted planning policies, and any ‘made’ neighbourhood plans; these should be your starting point. When commenting it is recommended that you keep to these material considerations, as anything else cannot be taken into consideration.

Examples of matters which we can take into account:

  • Local, strategic and national planning policy.
  • Appeal decisions.
  • Case law.
  • Flooding.
  • Parking.
  • Ecology.
  • Highway safety.
  • Residential amenity e.g. undue loss of privacy.
  • Design, appearance and layout.
  • Landscape.
  • Trees, listed buildings, conservation areas and other Heritage Assets.

Examples of matters which we cannot take into account:

  • Effects on property value.
  • Loss of a view.
  • Private rights e.g. right to light, covenants.
  • Neighbour disputes e.g. over land ownership or boundaries.
  • Objections on grounds of business competition.
  • Matters covered by other legislation e.g. building regulations.
  • The reputation of the applicant/developer.
  • Nuisance caused by building work e.g. hours of work.
  • Speculation about future development.

Please address your comments to the Chief Planning Officer quoting the application number eg TA/2013/1234. When you enter the planning application in the search box on our website please don't include TA/ but use the two sets of four digits as set out on the consultation letter/advert, as highlighted in bold above for example and separated by the /.

Planning officers will not respond to questions raised in consultation responses or acknowledge receipt of comments received. However, your comments will be published on our website which confirms receipt. 

Comments will be made available for public inspection and copying. Any comments marked confidential or made anonymously may not be taken into account.

Comments on live planning applications will be published on this website. Anything that might lead to offense or action for defamation may result in non-publication or redaction, so please ensure any comments are restricted to planning matters only.

Delegated decisions

The Chief Planning Officer or other authorised planning officers consider and make the decisions on most planning applications received, even if they are the subject of objections by the public or other bodies.

Any applicant or objector can approach their ward councillor to ask for an application to be referred to the Planning Committee. Whether the referral leads to the application being taken to the Planning Committee will be at the discretion of the Chief Planning Officer, in conjunction with the Chairman and Vice Chairs. A councillor request does not guarantee the application will be taken to the committee.

Planning appeals

In the event of an appeal against our decision or the non-determination of an application, your comments will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and the applicant as part of the appeal process.

You may also be invited to comment further, as well as attend a Public Inquiry or Informal Hearing (usually held at the Council Offices, Oxted) to make your views known in person to an independent Planning Inspector, who is appointed to act on behalf of the Secretary of State in making the decision.