Planning applications: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Planning applications

If you are unable to find the answer to your query please contact us. Please note that certain enquiries will require a fee.

How much does a Planning Application cost?

The Planning Portal has an online fee calculator and a guide to fees for planning applications in England

How long does an application take to be determined?

Once an application has been registered* applications normally take a maximum of 8 weeks to be determined, with the exception of:

  • Major applications which take a maximum 13 weeks
  • Householder Prior Notification (Larger Home Extensions) 42 days

The time limit for determining an application maybe extended with agreement from the agent/applicant and the Case Officer will advise accordingly in these situations.

*See FAQ - Why has my application been made invalid?

Public speaking at a Planning Committee

If you have commented on a planning application and wish to speak at Planning Committee, please see our leaflet about who can speak at Planning Committee.

Planning Committeemeetings are normally on a Wednesday evening, in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre at 7.30pm. Agendas are available to view one week before the committee date. You can also view previous agendas and minutes.

Icon for pdf Speaking at Planning Committee [57.81KB]

How do I apply to protect a tree(s)?

In order for a Local Planning Authority to make a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) it must be expedient to do so in the interests of public amenity and the health of the tree(s).

A request for a Tree Preservation Order to be placed on trees must be received in writing (either email or letter) and must contain the following information:

  • The species of trees to be protected
  • The number of trees to be protected
  • A plan showing the location of the trees (you may download a map from the Council's Interactive Mapping Service - Maps)
  • Reasons why you consider the tree(s) should be protected

You can also submit the following to support your application to protect tree(s):

  • Photographs of the tree(s) from public viewpoints e.g. A public footpath or from the road

Runnymede 2030 Local Plan and the relevant policy(s) within it will be considered when requests are received for TPO's.

How can I help make sure my planning application is approved?

The Council offers a pre-application advice service for householders and other schemes which require planning consent. You can find out more by reading our Planning advice page.

Can you recommend architects/agents/builders?

No, the Council is not able to make recommendations for architects/agents/builders/planning consultants.

The Royal Town Planning Institute can provide details of approved planning consultants.

Surrey County Council's Trading Standards has information/advice about choosing a builder:

The Royal Institute of British Architects - RIBA (Find an Architect)

Why has my application been made invalid?

For an application to be registered as a valid application, the Local Planning Authority needs to receive a certain amount of information, which would normally include an application form, scaled plans (existing and proposed), the correct fee and any other required supporting documentation.

The Icon for pdf Validation Document [303.39KB] has more information on what is required to be submitted with applications.

When an application is initially received an Officer will look at the information submitted and if any information is missing then an Invalid letter will be sent to the agent (if one has been appointed) or the applicant explaining what is required.

Until the required information is submitted the application will remain "Invalid" and therefore no further action will be taken.  Once all the information is received the application will be registered from the date of receipt of the required information (if received at a weekend this will be the first working day after receipt).

An invalid letter is not a refusal of the application - it is a letter advising that not all the information required to make the application valid has been received.

If people want to oppose or support a planning application, how can they make their views known?

If someone would like to show their support or oppose a planning application, they can send a letter or e-mail.

You can also comment via our  planning search or via Runnymede Interactive Maps (Maps) or send a letter or e-mail to show your support or oppose a planning application.

When do I need planning permission?

If you are unsure if you require planning permission or not you can submit a Certificate of Proposed Lawfulness or view the Government's Planning Portal website.

For further information about common householder projects the Planning Portal - Do I need Planning Permission website has more information.

How will I know when my planning application has been decided?

If you have an agent working on your behalf then the Decision Notice will be sent to the agent at the address on the application form or to the applicant in all other cases.

You may also track your application via the Council's View and object or support an application or via Runnymede Interactive Mapping Service (Maps).

How do I make a planning application?

You can download the relevant planning application from the the Planning Portal website.

Who makes the decision on whether planning applications should be approved?

Runnymede Borough Council is the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The planning committee makes decisions on planning policy and most major planning applications.

The majority of minor applications are determined under Officers' delegated powers and do not therefore go to Planning Committee, unless the application is recommended for approval and

  • Three or more letters of objection have been received and/or
  • A Councillor has requested that the application go to Planning Committee

The Planning and Building Control Technical Administration Team are the first point of contact for enquiries regarding applications. You can find out more on the Planning Portal decision making page.

What is Surrey County Council responsible for regarding planning?

Surrey County Council is the responsible for waste and minerals policy and implementation and highway works including vehicle crossovers (dropped kerbs)

For further details regarding waste and mineral policy, highway works (including vehicle crossovers) please visit the Surrey County Council website.

What can I do if my planning application is refused?

There is an appeal process and details on how to appeal are included with the Decision Notice or details can on the Governments Planning Inspectorate website.

Appeals are available only to the applicant, and there is no 'third party right of appeal' for objectors to appeal against the decision to grant permission.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission, in simple terms, is like asking if you can do a certain piece of building work. It will be granted (subject to certain conditions) or refused. The Planning Portal website has more information on this and permitted development.

What is Planning Aid?

Planning Aid is a voluntary service offering free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant.

If you are a community group or an individual who is interested in finding out more about Planning Aid, visit The Royal Town Planning Institute website.

How will other people who may be interested get to know about a planning application?

Local residents and businesses close to the application site are notified in writing about a planning application.

You may view current application details, including neighbour notifications via the Council's View and object or support an application or via Runnymede Interactive Mapping Service (Maps).