Need advice before you make an application?

We are pleased to announce the re-launch of our pre-application service as of 15 June 2020. Please note that all such enquiries must use the new pre-application form and follow the schedule of the services and guidance notes attached to the form. Any submissions made on the old form will be returned and not actioned. To request advice, please use the following pre-application advice form. Due to COVID-19, any meetings requested will be virtual only and site meetings will have to follow strict social distancing rules applied by the Council. It remains at the discretion of the Council whether meetings or site visits are held.

Our daily duty officer service, which provides free planning advice for residents remains suspended until further notice.

If you want to know whether you need planning permission without going through our informal advice service, you can check the planning portal which sets out what does and doesn't need permission (called permitted development rights). You will also need to check if the permitted development rights from the subject property have been removed and this can be done by searching the planning history of the site.

Planning and planning enforcement officers for existing planning applications can be contacted either by e-mail or telephone though please do note that they are working remotely and may not immediately be able to respond.

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Charges apply to all meetings or exchanges of correspondence for all extensions, new build, conversions or change of use proposals.

Charges do not apply to proposals involving improving access for disabled people to their homes or for advice on enforcement matters. Parish or village councils will be allowed a 50% reduction in the charges in respect of their own proposals. No guarantee of a particular decision or even recommendation can be given.

Advice from Surrey County Council as the Highway Authority can also be obtained for a fee. The County Council's charges are in addition to our charges.

Before meeting developers or their agents, we expect them to think carefully about their proposals and to provide us in advance with the following basic information:

  • Description of the proposed development and schedule of users.
  • A site location plan (scale 1:1250) with site boundary indicated.
  • Photographs and sketch drawings showing the site as existing, indicating buildings, trees and schedule of existing uses.
  • Outline of proposal (on plans scale 1:200 or similar).
  • Sketch drawings showing height/scale of development.
  • For larger sites, other information may be required including information related to any necessary Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Results of any preliminary consultations carried out by the prospective applicant with service providers such as highways, drainage, health and education.

Our pre-application advice request form for residents developing their own homes will ask you to confirm:

  • The required information has been provided (proposed plans and completed application form).
  • You have submitted payment.

Once this has been received, you will receive confirmation by e-mail, which will include the case officer’s contact details.

Advice for householder enquiries will be provided in writing only. No meetings or site visits shall take place.

Our pre-application service also relates to non-residential forms of development. Due to COVID-19, any meetings requested will be virtual only and site meetings will have to follow strict social distancing rules applied by the Council. It remains at our discretion whether meetings or site visits are held.

If you are using this service, you should be aware:

  • Any advice given by council officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal response or decision for any future planning applications.
  • Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith, based on existing planning policies and standards, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any future formal planning application which will be the subject of public consultation and ultimately decided by the Council.
  • Little or no weight should be given to pre-application advice for schemes submitted more than one year after the advice being issued. The responsibility for checking that advice is still current rests with the prospective applicant. This period may be reduced if a material change in policy at either national or local level is introduced.
  • Any advice given in relation to the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response under the provisions of the Local Land Charges Act 1975.

Results of such meetings will not be available for public inspection. We may be required to supply copies of correspondence to any party making a Freedom of Information request.

All fees are inclusive of VAT (20%)

Service Level

Service Category

Fee

Advice type

1

Householder Service existing residents of site/property address on page 1)

£100

Letter only service

2

Householder Service (prospective residents of site/property address on page 1)

£256

Letter only service

3:

3(a)

3(b)

3 (c)

New dwellings (1 – 4 units)

 

£256

£395

£535

 

Letter only

Letter and meeting or site visit

Letter, meeting and site visit

4:

 

4(a)

4(b)

4(c)

New dwellings (5 – 9 units or where unknown, where site area is 0.5ha or less):

 

 

£470

£700

£840

 

 

Letter only

Letter and meeting or site visit

Letter, meeting and site visit

5:

 

5(a)

5(b)

5(c)

New dwellings (10+ units or where unknown, where the site area is over 0.5ha)

 

 

£800

£1200

£1340

 

 

Letter only

Letter and meeting or site visit

Letter, meeting and site visit

6:

 

 

(a)

(b)

(c)

Non-residential development where floor area is less than 1000sqm (or where the floor area is unknown, where the site area is less than 0.5ha)

 

 

 

£470

£700

£840

 

 

 

Letter only

Letter and meeting or site visit

Letter, meeting and site visit

7:

 

 

(a)

(b)

(c)

Non-residential development where floor area exceeds is over 1000sqm (or where the floor area is unknown, where the site area is over 0.5ha)

 

 

 

£800

£1200

£1340

 

 

 

Letter only

Letter and meeting or site visit

Letter, meeting and site visit

8

Other types of development (i.e. adverts, telecoms, shop fronts etc).

£256

Letter only service

If you receive pre-application advice by letter or at a meeting and you have been charged for that advice, you may want to submit follow-up information. If you do this and do not request a further meeting we will decide if the nature of the follow-up request is simply requiring confirmation that any amendments made match the advice given. If this is the case there would be no further charge.

If your follow-up request comprises a scheme substantially different from the original request or contains significant new information we need to consider then a further fee will be required. The fee will be assessed in the same way as if this were a new request.

If you want to know whether you need planning permission, you should check the planning portal which sets out what does and doesn't need permission (called permitted development rights). You will also need to check if the permitted development rights have been removed and this can be done by searching the planning history of the site.

Once you have done this and you think planning permission is not required, you should submit an application for a certificate of lawfulness for a proposed development, so we can consider your proposal formally and give our opinion.

Please contact planning and planning enforcement officers on existing planning applications by e-mail as they are no longer in the office to take calls.

For all other enquiries, please contact us using our contact us form. Straightforward enquiries will be answered as far as possible, but if you need detailed and site specific advice you will need to use the pre-application advice service.

Going ahead with development work without confirming the works are permitted is entirely at your own risk. 

For the CIL, pre-application advice will provide the opportunity for the applicant/developer to understand whether their development will be liable for the CIL, as well as the potential payment which their development may incur. It will also provide the opportunity to discuss any exemptions which their application may qualify for and the process.

Parts of Tandridge District are located within a buffer zone of the Ashdown Forest (which is currently 7km) including parts of Felbridge and Dormans Park and surrounding areas.

The Ashdown Forest is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the EC Birds Directive and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EC Habitats Directive, as well as being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

As a result the area is afforded a high level of protection under European and national legislation and Regulation 61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 requires that before development is permitted an assessment is made to establish whether the development is likely, to have a significant effect on such sites.

A Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) has been produced by Wealden District Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Lewes District Council, Tandridge District Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

New households within the buffer zone are likely to generate additional visits to the Ashdown Forest and without appropriate mitigation measures, harm its nature conservation interest.

We are working with Wealden District Council, as the planning authority where the Ashdown Forest is located and the other affected authorities on a Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) strategy and an Inter-Authority Legal Agreement has been signed by the Conservators of the Ashdown Forest and Wealden, Lewes, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Tandridge District Councils.

This provides SAMM tariff guidance documents for these local councils which outlines the level of financial contribution required from new residential development to contribute to the SAMM mitigation strategy.

We are likely to require a contribution to be made towards the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG) or other recreational areas which will encourage people to visit other spaces rather than the Ashdown Forest.

Before these mitigation measures are established, including the identification of a SANG, we will refuse any proposals within the buffer zone on nature conservation grounds.