What happens after a planning submission
This page provides information on the procedure after you have submitted a planning application.
Now that you have submitted your planning application the Council is required by law to follow set procedures:
- The application is registered.
- Letters are sent to neighbours most likely to be affected by the application.
- The views of other relevant bodies (e.g. the Highway Authority) are also sought.
- The site is inspected by one of our planning officers.
- The proposal is assessed against Government guidance and Council Policy.
- Other material considerations, such as the effect on neighbours, or highway safety are
- The Council may seek amendments to the original application.
- Permission is granted (with or without conditions) or refused.
If you wish to discuss your application, a duty planning officer is available at the Town Hall from 9am to 12 noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Step 1 - The application is registered
When your application was received at the Town Hall it was entered onto our planning database. This plotted the application against a geographic map of the Borough and gave us details of the surrounding area.
The Council's letter of acknowledgement will have told you whether your proposal is to go before the Planning Committee or be determined by the Head of Building and Development Services. Officers determine approximately 90% of applications under arrangements approved by the Council.
The 10% that are decided by Planning Committee are generally larger proposals such as new housing estates, office developments and other commercial proposals.
All applications are publicised, sometimes by means of site notices and advertisements in the local press. However, the most frequent method is to send letters to those neighbours, including businesses, most likely to be affected.
A list of all planning applications received is also published on a weekly basis. This is made available for public inspection at the Town Hall and at Help Shops and Libraries throughout the Borough.
Step 2 - Letters are sent to neighbours most likely to be affected by the application
The Council will tell your neighbours about any application you make and it is therefore wise, as well as courteous, to tell them what you plan to do. If you have not already told them, it may be best that they hear from you first!
Neighbours may express support or objection in writing or Email to any planning application and their views are taken into consideration when the application is assessed.
If your proposal would overshadow a window that has been there for 20 years or more you may affect your neighbour's "right to light" and they could take legal action against you.
This is a private matter that will not be dealt with by the Council, and it is best to take legal advice if you think this is a possibility.
If your proposal encroaches onto neighbouring land (for example, by the eaves or guttering overhanging a boundary) you may not be able to proceed without your neighbour's agreement, even if you have planning permission.
Similarly, you will need your neighbour's consent if your builder will need to enter their land at any stage.
If you intend to carry out building work which involves
- work on an existing wall shared with another property
- building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
- excavating near an adjoining building
the Party Wall Act 1996 may be relevant.
If there is any doubt about where the boundary lies between your land and your neighbour's you should try to find out as soon as possible.
The deeds to your property may help. An amicable common-sense agreement with your neighbour is always best. The Council cannot give a ruling on ownership and therefore will not intervene in this private matter.
Step 3 - The views of other relevant bodies are also sought
If the application is considered to have an affect on roads, traffic, or floodplains for example then the views of agencies such as the Highway Authority and Environment Agency are sought.
In many parts of the Borough there are active Residents Associations who are consulted. The Borough Council also consults Horley Town Council and Salfords and Sidlow Parish Council on applications within their areas.
Step 4 - The site is inspected
A planning officer will come and inspect the site of the application to gather all relevant information about it and the surrounding area.
It is not possible to give prior notice of the inspection, so please advise the Council if access cannot be gained without you being present.
Step 5 - The application is assessed against Government guidance and Council policy
The Government has set out strict planning guidelines and regulations that we must follow by law.
Some areas are subject to stricter controls, e.g. the Green Belt, conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, residential areas of special character, etc.
In addition to this the Council has its own planning objectives, which are
- Preserving local character - what makes a place what it is
- Protecting the green belt and urban open spaces
- Preserving and enhancing our historic areas and buildings
- Improving design - new buildings should be of the highest architectural standard and look like they belong here
- Sustainable development - limiting traffic generation and other environmental damage, such as flooding, by new developments, and promoting greater energy efficiency
- Giving the community an opportunity to participate in planning for its future
For further details of the planning policies that may be referred to in assessing your application, see our section on planning policies.
Step 6 - Other material considerations, such as the effect on neighbours, or highway safety are also considered.
This is where the views of neighbours and relevant bodies are taken into consideration.
Step 7 - The Council may negotiate amendments to the application.
During the assessment of the application and in order to reach a positive decision wherever possible, the Council may wish to negotiate on some points of the application.
In order to minimise delay in reaching a decision the following principles will be applied:
- Where the development is considered unacceptable in principle, the Council will not seek to negotiate on matters of detail;
- The Council will normally only afford one opportunity for amendments to be made before proceeding to a decision;
- In requesting amendments, planning officers will give their assessment of the proposal and its relationship with the surrounding area and may summarise any relevant third party comments if necessary;
- The planning officer will set a time limit for the submission of amended plans;
- Officers will make a judgement on whether amended plans should be the subject of further consultation and neighbour notification. It is the Council's practice to do this where practical;
- Where planning officers consider that a proposal is unacceptable and that a necessary amendment would profoundly change the nature or content of the scheme, you may be asked to withdraw the application and make a fresh submission. If the application is not withdrawn, a decision will be made on the basis of the application as it stands.
Step 8 - Permission is granted (with or without conditions) or refused
If the application is for minor work a planning officer will normally make the decision.
If it is a major planning application then the application, accompanied by a report by a planning officer outlining all material considerations and including comments from neighbours and other relevant agencies, goes before the Planning Committee. However, the Council's rules allow the Head of Building and Development Services to refuse planning permission on major schemes, so not all major applications go before the Committee.
Planning Committees are normally held every four weeks and the public is welcome to attend. In some cases, members of the public can speak on planning applications - details are available at the "Planning - Planning meetings - Speaking at planning meetings" section of the web site. The Planning Committee Agenda is published one week before the meeting. See the section on Council Meetings - Agendas and Minutes for further details.
You can appeal against a refusal or against any condition of approval. The law does not give a right of appeal to anyone else. For more information on appeals please see appealing against planning decisions.
The enforcement team, with the assistance of development management staff, undertake monitoring of on-going development. However, it is very important that those who obtain and implement a planning permission take full responsibility for compliance with that permission both in respect of compliance with the approved plans and any imposed planning conditions.
A valid commencement of a planning permission can only take place if the following steps have been undertaken:
- firstly, full discharge of all pre-commencement conditions, i.e. those conditions requiring something to be done before development works commence
- then, commence building work on the ground which is in accordance with the approved plans, before the expiry date of the permission.
If development proceeds without complying with the above then this will render the permission invalid and the whole development would be unauthorised which clearly has serious implications, and could result in enforcement action being taken.
It is also very important that any amendments to the approved scheme are notified to the planning case officer for the original application. This will allow discussion about the amendments and advice can be given on the need for further approval prior to work commencing.
Some revisions may be such that can be considered either as a non-material or minor material amendment. Other more significant changes may require the submission of a new application for full permission.
Further information and guidance regarding amendments is available on the Post planning decision amendments page.
Non-compliance with Planning Conditions
Where conditions imposed on a planning permission have not been complied with, the developer/applicant will be requested to comply with the requirements of the permission. Failure to do so may ultimately result in the issuing of a Breach of Condition Notice or an Enforcement Notice, depending on the circumstances.
The council has produced further information in the form of flow diagrams to illustrate and confirm the responsibilities of an applicant or developer in complying with the terms and conditions of a permission. If you have received planning permission for a development, please familiarise yourself with the decision notice and this guidance before commencing any works on site.
A copy of the Discharging Condition Checklist Diagram and the Developer Responsibilities Diagram are available below.
- Developer Condition discharging checklist (PDF document [354.7Kb])
- Developer Responsibilities diagram (PDF document [292.2Kb])
Further information about the Council’s enforcement role is available on the about planning enforcement page.
List of weekly planning applications - decisions and appeals.
Last updated : 18/10/2012