Need advice before you make an application?

We are now operating a pre-application enquiry service for resident householder proposals, including dropped kerbs. If you would like to submit a request, please complete our pre-application advice form. This is a letter based service only for existing residents in the district.

Due to limited resources, our planning officers are currently managing a maximum of ten pre-application cases each at one time. We will acknowledge receipt of all enquiries and each enquiry will be allocated a reference number, which should be used in future communications. Applicants can check their status by e-mailing

New enquiries will be allocated to an officer in the order we validate them as ready to be assessed, rather than the order they are received. An update will be sent to the applicant/agent once the enquiry is allocated to a planning officer and we aim to issue a written response on the proposal within 28 days.

To help our planning team manage the current high volume of planning applications, as well as a backlog in enquiries, all other levels of our pre-application service remain suspended until further notice. We will review this regularly and fully reinstate the service as soon as we can.

Our planning portal gives advice on which developments need planning permission. Anyone applying for planning permission will need to check the planning history of the site to see if you are able to develop your property.

If you need advice or updates on existing planning applications, please e-mail the planning officer managing your enquiry. Please note our officers are still working remotely, so face to face appointments aren’t available at the moment.

If you think your proposed development could have flooding or other environmental impacts, you should contact the Environment Agency or Natural England. More information is available online, including advice on major developments requiring an environmental permit. Advice for major developments, Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and developments requiring an environmental permit is also available online. Applicants can also contact the Environment Agency by e-mailing

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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.

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.