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 the following link and searching under the 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 consulter 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.
  • 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 as with county, parish or village councils, the Environment Agency 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:

  • Through the application on the website.
  • By e-mail to
  • By letter to the Council Offices, Station Road East, Oxted, Surrey RH8 OBT.


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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 e.g. TA/2013/1234. Please note that when you enter the planning application in the search facility on our website that you do not include TA/ but just input the four digits of the year, follow by / and then the end numbers.

No correspondence will be entered into about the merits of a planning application and comments will not be acknowledged. Planning officers can’t give any more information apart from what is included in the application.

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 by the Council, 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 then 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; a Councillor request does not guarantee that the application will follow this course.

Planning appeals

In the event of an appeal against the Council's decision, 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.