Planning Application Process


Before sending your planning application, you should check:

  • that it is complete
  • you have answered all the questions on the form
  • included all the necessary plans at the right scale

Failure to provide all of the documents will result in delays.

You must also pay the application fee if required. See Submitting a Planning Application

Validation and registration

When we receive your application, we will check it and if there is anything is missing or incomplete, or the fee hasn’t been paid, we will contact you.

If you do not respond within the time period stated in the letter, your application will be returned to you.

When we accept the application as valid, it will be registered and added to the planning database (planning register).

The application will be given a reference number in the format ‘MO/20YY/XXXX’ – where YY indicates the year – and assigned to a Planning Officer.

This information, and contact details for the planning officer, will be included on the acknowledgement letter that you or your agent will receive.

The application and associated documents will be available to view on our website from the time of registration.


Once a planning application has been validated, the statutory time limit for ‘major’ applications is usually 13 weeks, and eight weeks of all other types of development, including householder applications, unless a longer period is agreed in writing with the applicant.

If the application has not been decided within this statutory period, and written consent to extend it has not been given, you can take the application to appeal for ‘non-determination’.

However, the appeal process, which is independent of us, can take several months to decide.

More information about the appeal process can be found on the Planning and Enforcement Appeals page.


As part of the registration process, and depending on the type of application, we will also notify neighbours by post of your plans.

They will have a minimum period of 21 days to respond if they wish, by post, by emailing, or through this website.

Depending on the nature of your application, we will also consult all relevant statutory bodies, including Surrey County Council Highways.

Further information about the consultation and notification process can be found in the Statement of Community Involvement.

Site visit

Once registered, the Planning Officer should be your first point of contact if you have any queries about your application.

Please quote the application number in all correspondence.

During this stage of the process, the Planning Officer will make a site visit, and will only need to contact you if they are unable to gain access to the site.


After the visit and analysis of any responses from the consultation process, the Planning Officer may contact you if they think that your proposal is not acceptable, but could be improved by amendments.

If you agree with the changes, you will need to submit your revised plans and drawings within a time limit.

We may need to notify the neighbours of the revised plans, giving them a short time to respond if they wish.

Their original responses will still be relevant.

If the proposal requires radical change to be acceptable, we may suggest that you withdraw the application and submit a new application, rather than refuse it.


At the conclusion of the process, the Planning Officer will write a report on your application, referring to any relevant planning history and policies, representations from neighbours, and responses from consultees.

The report will identify the main issues and discuss each in turn, and will usually conclude with a recommendation to either approve with conditions, or refuse.

Most decisions on applications are made by Planning Officers under powers delegated by Councillors.

However, a few are referred to the Development Management Committee for Councillors to make a decision. Further information about delegation can be found on the Constitution page.

Delegated agreement

The principal categories of application that are determined under delegated powers are:

  • householder applications
  • refusals of planning permission

All other applications, except in the following cases where the recommendation is for approval:

  • residential development of four or more dwellings
  • significant departure from stated planning policy
  • non-residential development involving more than 1000 m2 (except for agricultural buildings)
  • changes of use, outside built-up areas, involving more than 1000 m2
  • change of use of shops

Occasionally, applications that would normally be delegated are referred to the Planning Committee at the discretion of the Corporate Head of Planning or at the request of a Councillor.

The delegation agreement is set out in full in the Constitution.


If your planning application is refused, you have a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

More information about this process can be found on the Planning and Enforcement Appeals page.