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Planning Team Volunteer

Lockdown has shown how much we all need and value the green spaces around us.  In this role you will help protect Surrey’s beautiful countryside from inappropriate development, by identifying potentially harmful planning applications.

What will you be doing?

We are recruiting several new part-time volunteers to join our Planning Team. Together we work to monitor and respond to planning applications that may be particularly damaging to the environment and the countryside in Surrey (including the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

Our Planning Application Screening volunteers provide the essential first trawl and preliminary research on potentially harmful development proposals. Those that meet certain criteria are then referred to one of our senior planners for further research and preparation of CPRE Surrey’s response.

As one of our Planning Team volunteers, you will do a weekly screen of planning applications in one of Surrey’s eleven districts (Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley, Woking).  You will do this from your home, online, and it typically takes about 1-2 hours per week. You can perform this role at any time each week that suits you. Training and guidance for new volunteers will be provided.

What are we looking for?

Previous exposure to the town planning system may be helpful. You should have good written and verbal communication skills, the ability to make sense of complex information, and up-to-date computer skills – the internet, email and Microsoft Word. You should also be detail-oriented, well-organised and reliable. You should live in Surrey and be enthusiastic about Surrey’s countryside and green spaces.

What difference will you make?

Our Planning team is comprised of several qualified professional Planners and others who are enthusiastic amateurs, who all work together to protect Surrey’s countryside from inappropriate development. In this role you will gain the satisfaction of having made a real difference in ensuring the beautiful countryside will remain for everyone to enjoy both now and in the future.

What’s in it for the volunteer?

Some of our existing volunteers have been with us for many years. Why do they volunteer with us and what might you get out of it?

  • be part of a well-respected environmental charity
  • have the satisfaction of having made a positive difference to Surrey’s green spaces, for everyone’s benefit
  • improve your knowledge of the planning system and enhance your CV
  • share your passion for the Surrey countryside and Green Belt
  • be part of a small and friendly team and form new connections with others
  • be thanked and recognised through our periodic volunteer events.

If you are interested in getting involved or would like to know more, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Julia Green, on 07867 901129 or email