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At present, we are still continuing to process planning applications to help keep the local economy moving, although it is possible that officers may be re-allocated to Covid-19 support work at short notice.
Following the Governments guidance, Planning Officers are now working from home, so please communicate with them via e-mail. Our procedures have also had to change, please see below
- Do not send hard copies of applications or documents to the offices, email them to email@example.com to avoid delays in handling this work.
- Site visits have now been stopped and therefore we are relying on our postal neighbour notification to fulfil the consultation requirements and comply with legislation. Documents are available to view on the web as usual
- Site notices will only be put up for statutory applications to comply with legal requirements such as listed buildings, prior approvals and major development. For these, site notices will be sent to the applicant/agent directly for them to display on site.
- There will be no face to face meetings will be arranged until further notice
- To avoid further delays when submitting applications, include photographs of the site and surroundings, ideally these should include the existing buildings and contextual shots of adjacent properties and the adjoining land looking both into and out of the application site, this will really help the Planning Officer with their assessment.
- We have and will continue to have a high percentage of applications dealt with under delegated powers
- Planning committees are currently on hold pending a review of the position and awaiting Governments proposals for handling committees in the Coronavirus Act for handling committees; these require the issuing of Regulations by the Secretary of State that have yet to be published. We will advise you if this impacts on your applications.
As you may be aware, the Planning Inspectorate is also affected, and is publishing updates online.
We have not heard from otherstatutory bodies that we are required to consult on planning applications, butinevitably, there may be some delays.
We have been asked about the likelihood of the government automatically extending the deadline for implementing permissions. This is not something that is within the control of the Council and would require the Government to change the planning legislation. As Parliament is now in recess, it would appear unlikely that there will be any changes on this aspect in the foreseeable future.
The service may in due course be hit by further restrictions imposed by the Government, or by sickness, and we thank you for your continued support and understanding at this time.