Process for a planning application

Steps to take

This following steps explain what you need to do to make a planning application in Elmbridge. 

Step 1 - Check if you require planning permission and get advice

We are unable to advise whether a proposal needs planning permission. If this is your question you will need to apply for a lawful development certificate. The Planning Portal also offers permitted development guidance.

If you require permission we offer a number of ways you can get advice.

Get advice before applying   

Step 2 - Find the right application form

There are a variety of types of planning application with their own forms. By answering the questions on the National Planning Portal you will be guided to the correct form for your application which you can complete online.

If you don't want to complete your application online you can print a form instead. 

Note that the form below is not currently on the Planning Portal. 

Step 3 - Check what you need to submit

To prevent avoidable delays or refusals, you must ensure that your application submission is accompanied with all necessary reports to meet policy requirements. Failure to provide everything needed, will result in your application remaining invalid. 

View our validation requirements

You may also need to refer to our guidance on  flood risk and sustainable drainage.

Step 4 - Submit your application and pay fees

The Planning Portal has a fee calculator to help you work out the correct fee for your application. Alternatively, you can view the full list of fees on the Planning Portal.

The easiest and quickest way to submit your application is to use the Planning Portal website, where you can make your application and payment online. If you don't want to use the Planning Portal you can print a form and apply by post. 

What happens next

Once we receive your application it will go through the process below. 

View a flowchart diagram of the application process

  1. Validation
    We check your application against validation requirements. If your application is invalid, we will tell you the reasons why and explain what information is required in order to validate your application. We aim to validate your application within 5 days of receipt. If it is taking us a little longer to check applications, you will receive an acknowledgement email from the Business Support Team.
  2. Registration
    Once your application is valid, we will let you know the date your application was registered, contact details of the planning case officer and the date a decision is likely to be made. Your application will be given a planning reference and will be added to our planning search. We aim to deal with each application within the statutory time limits. Minor applications should be decided within 8 weeks, major applications within 13 weeks and 16 weeks for applications accompanied by an environmental statement.
  3. Consultation
    Once your application is registered, consultation letters are sent to nearby residents and we may put up a notice around your development site. Depending on the application type or planning constraints on site we may also need to consult other third party organisations. Our Statement of Community Involvement sets out how we consult and publicise depending on the type and location of development. The formal consultation period will normally last for 21 days, which may be extended if further consultations are sent.
  4. Decision
    After the consultation has been completed, the planning case officer will write a report taking into account local planning polices and views of local residents and organisations. The case officer will then make a recommendation to grant (with or without conditions) or refuse the planning application. The decision is either made at this stage by managers in the development management team under delegated powers, or the application is referred to area planning sub-committee or Planning Committee for a decision.

Read more about the decision making process on the Planning Portal.

Independent planning advice

Planning Aid provides free and impartial advice on planning issues.

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