Planning constraints

The following planning constraints are relevant to planning control in the borough and will have an impact on your planning application.

You can find out about designations and constraints in your local area by viewing our interactive map. By accessing this Local Plan map, you will be able to find out the planning constraints that are relevant to your application.

Outlined below are the most common constraints. However, you should be aware there may be other site specific constraints which may also be relevant to your application.

The definitions below are neither statements nor interpretations of law and should not be used as a source for statutory definitions.

Conservation Area

An area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Read Chapter 11 of our Local Plan to find out more.

For details of Conservation Areas within the borough of Guildford, and more information about these areas, see Conservation Areas.

Article 4 Direction

This direction can be placed on buildings or land and removes some or all of the building's or land's permitted development rights. For example, it can restrict the ability to remove existing windows or to erect fencing. See Article 4 Direction

Listed buildings

A building or structure of special architectural or historic interest. Listed buildings are graded I, II* or II with grade I being the most important. Listing includes the interior as well as the exterior of the building, and any buildings or permanent structures (for example, walls within its curtilage). Read Chapter 11 of our Local Plan to find out more.

See listed buildings for further information.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

An area designated as being of high visual quality and beauty by Natural England. Together with National Parks, AONB represent the nation's finest landscapes which are afforded rigorous protection. Read Chapter 10, Policy RE5 of our Local Plan to find out more.

Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV)

An area designated by the County Council as being of high visual quality, worthy of conservation. Read Chapter 10, Policy RE6 of our Local Plan to find out more.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

A site identified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000) as an area of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features (basically, plants, animals, and natural features). Read Chapter 12 and Appendix 4 of our Local Plan to find out more.

Special Protection Area (SPA)

Special Protection Area is a site classified and protected by the Conservation Regulations 1994 ('The Habitats Regulations') which derive from European Directives 92/43/EEC Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and 79/409/EEC Conservation of wild birds. Read Chapter 12 of our Local Plan to find out more.

Sites of Natural Conservation Importance (SNCI)

An area (non-statutory) designated by the Surrey Nature Conservation Liaison Group as being of county or regional wildlife value. Read Chapter 12 of our Local Plan to find out more.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

These are SSSI sites which have an additional designation to maintain or restore priority natural habitats and wild species. Together with SPAs, they are part of the European Union's 'Nature 2000' network of important habitats. Read Chapter 12 of our Local Plan to find out more.

Flood Zones and non fluvial flooding

Areas are categorised by the level of flood risk, where flood zone 3 is land at high risk of flooding and flood zone 1 is land at low risk of flooding. Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk (Annex D) sets out in relation to flood zones any information which is required as part of a planning application (for example a flood risk assessment or a sequential test). It also sets out which land uses are appropriate in individual flood zones. Our Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) provides maps of the flood zones, flood depths, Basingstoke Canal flood risk and other sources of flooding (e.g. surface water flooding).

Note: A planning application on a site within flood zone 1 (lowest risk) which has an area of over 1 hectare is required to be supported by a Flood Risk Assessment addressing other sources of flooding.

Further information can be found on the Environment Agency's website.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

This is an order by a local planning authority which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the planning authority's permission.

If there are protected trees on the development site, details of any works affecting the trees must be included as part of your planning application, together with supporting information, for example, an arboricultural survey and tree protection measures.

If the development does not require planning permission you must make a separate application for proposed works to protected trees.