Planning news and developments

This page outlines significant developments for which the County Council is planning authority. Please note that it will not include information or news about planning applications that are decided by the local Borough and District Councils, who handle matters relating to domestic and commercial planning.

Local List for planning application validation updated

What is the Local List for planning application validation?

The Local List is published by planning authorities to clarify what information is required for applications of a particular type, scale or location. Information requested must be reasonable, having regard to the nature and scale of the proposed development; and on matters that are reasonably likely to be material considerations in the determination of the application.

When was it updated?

Our Local List was reviewed in several phases across 2022 and 2023, and the revised and updated version (version 4) was approved by put the Planning and Regulatory Committee in on the 20 December 2023. The revised and updated Local List (version 4) came into force on the 3 January 2024.

How was it updated and consulted upon?

In line with the Planning Practice Guidance: Making an Application (paragraph 044: reference ID: 14-044-20140306) there was internal consultation exercise with statutory consultees and our Development Management Officers, between October 2022 and April 2023, to provide initial feedback on the previously adopted Local List. Following feedback from this initial consultation, revisions were made and a proposed new version went out for second consultation with applicants, agents, statutory consultees, non-statutory consultees, parish councils, residents' associations and other interested parties. This second consultation took place between 22 May and 17 July 2023 on the Surrey Says consultation hub online.

The responses of the consultation were analysed and incorporated into the final version, where necessary. The final version (version 4) was presented to Planning and Regulatory Committee on the 20 December 2023, where it was formally adopted. See the Officer's Report for further details - available on the committee meeting agenda item page.

What legal authority do we use to create and maintain this Local List?

The legal and regulation for this stems from the Town and County Planning Act 1990 (sections 62-64). The scope of it is determined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 44) and the method for reviewing and revising a Local List are contained within the Planning Practice Guidance (paragraphs 43 and 44).

What are the changes from the previous version?

The main changes relate to the updating of the links to references and guidance documents and some inaccuracies which have been corrected. Within the Local List document Officers have included further detail on what is required for specific planning applications such as those for non-material amendments, details pursuant, section 73 applications, prior approval for demolition and outline planning permission.

Within Annexes 1, 2, and 3 details on the requirements for the Green Belt, landscaping, and environmental amenities (such as air quality) sections have been updated. In addition, Annexes 1, 2 and 3 Great Crested Newts and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) have been included within the Ecology Chapter and Drainage and Water Supply Report has also been included within the Water Environment Chapter. Furthermore, within Annex 3, details on Special Protection Areas (SPAs) has also been included within the Ecology Section. For more detail please refer to the schedules of modification that provide a summary of the changes undertaken. The schedules of modification are available on the committee meeting agenda item page.


Woodhill Sandpit (updated 16 October 2023)

The application details can be found on our online register under planning application reference SCC Ref 2021/0150.

What is the planning application for?

This application is seeking planning permission for the importation, deposit and engineering of inert waste material to land for the purposes of stabilising sandpit faces within a historic sandpit with restoration to forestry.

The proposed development seeks to create a landform which secures the northern bank to the site in perpetuity, with gentle profiling into the southern bank. The proposal requires the importation of about 220,000 cubic metres of suitable soils and topsoil. The landform would be created in three phases over the course of four years.

Was their pre-application advice with the authority on the application?

The applicant did not apply for pre-application advice on these proposed works.

Why has the consultation with residents and consultees occurred so long after the application was submitted?

On receipt of the planning application, in accordance with Regulation 8 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority (us) considered the scheme in the context of Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017. We determined that there are likely to be significant effects on the environment as a consequence of the proposed development. Therefore, this development was classed as 'EIA development' and notice was served on the applicant that an Environmental Statement would be required to proceed with the application (under Regulation 11 of the same regulations).

The Environmental Statement is a large piece of work and, therefore, it was not submitted by the applicant until 13 June 2023. As the applicant submitted the EIA after the application was submitted, the applicant had to conduct their own publicity as prescribed by the EIA regulations prior to Surrey County Council conducting its own publicity.

What happens during and after the consultation?

The consultation process is conducted in two parts simultaneously. During the public consultation period conducted by Surrey County Council, the neighbours closest to the site were written to with an explanation of the scheme and site notices were erected around the site and an advert placed in the local press. Additionally statutory consultees, those required by law to be consulted on an application like this, and non-statutory consultees were written to. During the consultation process letters of representation and consultee comments are collected by us. Where consultees have advised that information is missing, we write to the applicant asking if they intend to provide the information. The representations and consultee comments are not published by us. However, all representations are provided to the district authorities, as holders of the official Planning Register. They may publish neighbour representations, but are under no legal obligation so to do.

Why would the Planning Authority ask for additional information?

The National Planning Policy Framework requires that Planning Authorities work positively, creatively and proactively with applicants to secure sustainable development.

We therefore consider it reasonable to discuss issues with the applicant on the application and allow them the opportunity to address any identified issues.

Also, in the event the application was refused and then appealed, it is within our and the applicant's interest to ensure that a Planning Appeal is only required to deal with matters of disagreement and not those which can be easily amended through the submission of additional information.

What happens to representations made on the application?

All representations will be considered prior to a recommendation for grant/refusal being made on the application. This includes comments made directly to us and those made to Waverley and Guildford Borough Councils.

How will the application be determined?

As the application has received a large volume of representations, in accordance with Surrey County Council's Constitution, the application will be determined by our Planning and Regulatory Committee. The date of the Planning Committee will be displayed on the website. This date could be subject to change on a regular basis over the course of determining the application.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides that if the applicant feels that the Council has not decided the application in good time, they could appeal for non-determination of the application. In this scenario the application will still be taken to committee, to find out how they would determine the application. This finding and the entire application, including representations, would be sent to the Planning Inspectorate who would then be the decision maker.

How long will the application take to determine?

Once all the consultee responses have been received, we will write to the applicant and ask them if they intend to submit any additional information which has been requested by the consultees. If the applicant chooses to submit additional information a period of publicity and re-consultation will likely occur. Therefore, the length of time to determine the application will depend on the amount of additional information required, and whether or not the applicant chooses to submit this information.

Has material already been imported or work already commenced in relation to the planning application?

We received allegations materials were being imported and works have already commenced in relation to this planning application. These matters were referred to the Planning Enforcement team, who visited the site on both 13 and 26 September 2023, and are dealt with separately from the consideration of the current planning application.

If residents have evidence that they consider shows any breach of minerals and waste planning controls is occurring at the site, they can inform the Enforcement Team who will investigate the matter. Please note, however, that works have commenced and are progressing on two planning permissions that had been granted by Guildford Borough Council (BC) on an area of the site lying within the entrance of the former Woodhill Sandpit. Materials (road planings: aggregates, not waste), have been imported for these permissions:

We are unable to take enforcement action on permissions granted by Guildford BC.

What are the HGVs on the local highways accessing the former Woodhill Sandpit? Is the route or timing dangerous?

The movement and deliveries of goods, including hours of delivery, are generally not under the control of planning regulations. They may be conditions as part of a planning permission, but as the recent movements are not in relation to the planning application we are currently considering, nor are there any existing planning conditions in place that could restrict vehicle movements, it is not a matter we can control.

Any issues with timing of deliveries (or noise from them) may be addressed by Environmental Health officer at Guildford BC.

Any concerns relating to any alleged breaches of traffic regulations should be raised with Surrey Police on their non-emergency telephone number: 101 or via the Surrey Police online contact.

Any concerns damage that may have been caused to the public highways should be reported to Surrey Highways.


Watersplash Farm mineral development (last updated 1 September 2023)

When was planning permission given?

Planning permission (reference SP12/01487) was granted by the Planning and Regulatory Committee in July 2019, subject to legal agreement, for the extraction of concreting aggregate (a mix of sand and gravel) from land at Watersplash Farm. To support this the permission also allows for the erection of processing plant and associated mineral infrastructure, the provision of a new access from the Gaston Bridge Road/Green Lane roundabout, and the temporary diversion of public footpath 53 for the duration of operations.

Permission was issued on 12 March 2020 following the completion of the legal agreement, with a condition that development must commence within five years of this date.

What limits and controls are there for this development?

This development was granted subject to 45 planning conditions. This includes conditions on time limits, hours of operation, dust, noise, traffic movements and phased delivery. There is also a Section 106 Legal Agreement to secure long-term landscape and ecological management, maintenance and aftercare of part of the land at Watersplash Farm, and the long-term monitoring of the groundwater.

Why is development only starting now?

Many of the conditions imposed on this planning permission required the developers to provide further details to us for approval prior to commencement of the development. These included details of a dust management plan, a construction scheme, an environmental management and monitoring plan, a lighting plan, and more.

What is currently happening on site?

Cemex is the site operator and they have begun to set up the site for mineral extraction. This includes:

  • Placement of the bridge over the River Ash.
  • Soil stripping to facilitate the erection of the boundary noise and visual bunds and the construction of the fresh water and silt lagoons on the eastern bank
  • Fencing of the existing public footpath.
  • Soil stripping on the western side of the site for the erection of the bunds and provisionally laying out the temporary footpath diversion with fencing.
  • The movement of ballast from the fresh water and silt lagoon areas to facilitate the surcharge of the plant area to bring it up over flood levels and the development of the two lagoons.
  • Building of a new access off the Gaston Bridge Road.
  • The building of a haul road from the Gaston Bridge Road to the plant site area.
  • The erection of the processing plant and welfare infrastructure.

The timeline for these activities is dependent on several variables, such as the weather, supply line issues, the Environment Agency, the section 278 agreement (highways work to connect to the roundabout), and the outcome of the public footpath inquiry.

Once the site is set up, Cemex's goal is to start sand and gravel extraction next summer (2024). This is when they aim to be extracting, processing, and moving mineral out of the site.

How long will the development last?

The site will be worked in four stages and progressively restored to agriculture, flood meadows, and lake and reed beds with public access. To restore the site, inert materials (e.g. soils, brick, rubble) shall be imported to fill the void space created by the mineral extraction.

The planning permission conditions state that extraction and transportation is until five years, and restoration of the site completed within six years, of the commencement date (24 July 2023).

How will the development be monitored?

We will undertake three formal site monitoring visits each year and any additional visits, as required, where concerns arise.

Cemex are required to keep records of all HGV movements and report them to us quarterly.

Where can I find more information?

How do I raise any concerns about the development?

You can contact us on mwcd@surreycc.gov.uk where it will be forwarded to the enforcement and monitoring officers, as appropriate.

For issues of immediate concern the site manager is Bill Morris, who can contacted by email on william.morris@cemex.com

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