Important planning news

This area will keep you up to date with the latest planning news.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS)

With effect from 6 April 2015 all major applications (developments of 10 or more dwellings or equivalent non-residential or mixed development) are expected to have sustainable drainage systems for the management of run-off, unless demonstrated to be inappropriate. The Council has amended the local requirements for a valid application to include the submission of a validation checklist to support surface water drainage.

Further information:

Ministerial statement

National Planning Policy Framework

National Planning Policy Guidance

Technical standards for sustainable drainage systems

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Changes to our pre-application advice service

The Council has introduced a formal pre-application planning advice service for which a charge will be payable. The fee payable will vary depending on the scale of the development proposal.

Further information can be found here.

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Duty Planning Officer Service

A Duty Planning Officer Service is available between 11:00am and 2:00pm Monday to Friday at the Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking.

This is a free service to assist local residents and businesses with straightforward or general planning enquiries. Please note that the duty planning officer will be unable to advise you on the prospects of success of a planning application. A formal pre-application process has been set up to deal with such requests for which a fee is payable.

Should you require a formal determination of whether planning permission is required a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development should be submitted to the Local Planning Authority.

The specific role of the duty officer and queries undertaken as a part of this service are limited to:

  • General advice on explaining current applications - this will include measurements, etc.
  • Advice on completing the application form
  • Advice on the planning process and procedures
  • Advice relating to the validation of planning applications
  • Explanation of planning applications
  • General advice relating to permitted development (but not related to a specific site)
  • Advice on where to find information
  • General guidance on the Council's policies and standards

The following queries cannot be undertaken under the duty service:

  • Detailed pre-application planning advice. There is a formal process for this Please see our pre-application advice page.
  • Updates on the progress of specific current applications (you will need to contact the case officer directly)
  • Checking if an application about to be submitted is valid - the application will be passed to Planning Business Support to process application where those checks will be made.
  • Giving an opinion on plans for a particular property or site
  • Advising you of the authorised use of a particular property or site

No appointment is necessary to see the Duty Officer but normally no more than 10 to 15 minutes is available for each enquiry. There may be a queue of people visiting to see the duty officer. Please bear with us as we only have the resources to provide one duty officer available at one time.

Planning applications and associated documents are available to view online. If you wish to comment on a planning application please use our online comment facility.

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New rules for home extensions

For a period of three years between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2016 householders will be able to build larger single-storey rear extensions under permitted development. The size limits will double from 4 metres to 8 metres for detached houses and from 3 metres to 6 metres for all other houses. There is a neighbour consultation scheme for these new larger extensions. Further information is available here.

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New Planning Fees

Planning fees in England increased by 15% with effect from midnight on 21 November 2012. The fee schedule is available here.

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Changes to regulations and policy

National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 27 March 2012 and came into effect immediately. The NPPF replaces existing Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) and Planning Policy Guidance (PPGs), for further information please refer to Annex 3 of the NPPF.

Development Plan

The Woking Core Strategy was adopted in October 2012 and can be viewed and dowloaded on the Council's dedicated Woking 2027 website.

The latest planning policy news is available here.

Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012

New regulations for tree protection came into effect on 6 April 2012; these do not reduce the level of tree protection but make the tree preservation order system simpler to administer, easier to understand and fairer for tree owners.

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Samples of materials

Please ensure that you contact the case officer dealing with your application to make an appointment before bringing samples to the Civic Offices. We are unable to accept samples brought in without an appointment.