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Introduction to town and country planning

How does the planning system work in Surrey?

Planning applications relating to building new homes or offices, house extensions etc, are usually decided by the district and borough councils. If the development is large or likely to affect the road network, then the district or borough council may ask for our comments. We will make a recommendation on whether permission should be granted, or granted with certain conditions attached, to the district or borough council which makes the final decision.

We decide on three main types of planning decisions:

  • those relating to mineral extraction like sand, gravel or clay. Policies to control mineral working across Surrey are set down in the Surrey Minerals Plan, which was adopted by the council in July 2011.
  • those relating to the handling or disposal of waste from homes and commercial premises. The policies to decide these are held in the Surrey Waste Plan, which was adopted by the council in May 2008.
  • those involving developments which are needed so we can provide specific services to the people of Surrey - like schools or fire stations.

Handy guides to planning

There is a publication which will introduce you to the planning system in England and which indicate where and how you may influence planning policies and development control decisions:

  • The handy guide to planning, published by Urban Forum in 2006. Single paper copies are available free to all voluntary and community sector groups, or they are £4.95 each with discounts for bulk purchases, from Urban Forum, 33 Corsham Street, London N1 6DR, tel: 020 7253 4816, fax: 020 7253 4817, email: