A guide to planning policy

When planning permission is required, the proposed development will need to comply with our policies as well as national policy and guidance. The policies each applicant will need to consider will depend on the location, type and size of development.

The Local Plan

The two key policy documents in our Local Plan are the Elmbridge Core Strategy 2011 and the Elmbridge Development Management Plan 2015. These documents set out our policies.

Core Strategy  

Development Management Plan

Development Management Advice Notes

These notes have been prepared to assist applicants, planning agents and developers on key matters arising through the Local Plan preparation.

National Policy

National planning policy is detailed in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This document sets out the Government’s approach on how local plans should be prepared as well as policies that we must take into account when making decisions on planning applications.

National Planning Policy Framework

The Government has also produced Planning Practice Guidance that provides more detail on the policies set out in the NPPF. This guidance is only available online.

National Planning Practice Guidance

Supplementary Planning Documents

Alongside the Local Plan policies, the Council has adopted a number of Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). The aim of an SPD is to add further detail to the policies in the Local Plan or provide further guidance for development on specific sites. They are given 'substantial weight' as a material consideration in planning decisions.

Our current Supplementary Planning Documents include:   

  • Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document 
  • Design and Character Supplementary Planning Document

  • Flood Risk Supplementary Planning Document

View and find out more about our Supplementary Planning Documents.

Neighbourhood Planning

Communities can influence the future of their neighbourhood by preparing a neighbourhood plan that sets out the vision for their local area and general planning policies to guide developments.

We have received one Neighbourhood Area and Forum application for Burwood Park, Hersham.

Find out more about Neighbourhood Planning in Elmbridge.  

Permitted Development

Some development does not require planning permission – this is known as a Permitted Development Rights. Guidance on permitted development rights can be found on the planning portal.

Access the Planning Portal

Where it is considered that permitted development rights could have a negative impact in an area they can be removed with an Article 4 Direction. This means that you have to submit a planning application for development that would normally be permitted.

We currently have an Article 4 Direction which brings back the need for planning permission for the conversion of offices to houses or flats in the areas listed below:

  • Brooklands Industrial Estate

  • Hersham Trading Estate (including North Weylands Trading Estate)

  • Molesey Industrial Estate

  • Riverdene Trading Estate

Read the Direction  

Brownfield Land Register

The Town and Country Planning Brownfield Land Register Regulations (2017) is a statutory requirement for Local Planning Authorities to prepare and publish a Brownfield Land Register and update it on at least an annual basis.

The purpose of the register is to support Local Planning Authorities with their delivery of housing more quickly and efficiently on utilised brownfield land. The register will also be used to monitor the Government's commitment to the delivery of brownfield sites.

The Council has prepared a Part 1 Brownfield Land Register and has also created an interactive map that identifies all sites entered on Part 1 of the Elmbridge Brownfield Land Register. A separate Guidance Note (Information for Users Disclaimer) has been produced to justify the Councils methodology.

Brownfield Land Register (2019) (csv)

Interactive map

Guidance Note - Information for users Disclaimer

Reviewing the Local Plan

Current policies are monitored regularly to ensure they are working correctly. Our performance in meeting local and national targets is set out in an annual report.

Previous reports can be found here.

We need to be responsive to future changes to our environment, society and economy and regularly review the evidence supporting our Local Plan. We also need to take account of planning reforms in national policy to ensure our plans are in conformity with national policy. Where necessary, we may need to change some policies or even the whole plan if they are no longer in line with national policy.

Any changes to a Local Plan will need to be consulted on and examined in public by an independent inspector.

Find out more about how the local plan is reviewed.

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