All Planning Officers are now working remotely and will not be in the office until further notice due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
Any planning applications or cheques sent by post will not be validated or acknowledged until we return to the office as there will be nobody in the office to process them. All applications and payments should now be made electronically via the Planning Portal.
The Government is encouraging councils to keep determining planning applications wherever possible, especially where it will support the local economy.
Any planning applications which are called-in for determination by Development Management Committee will be delayed until further notice.
Borough councillors and town and parish councils are encouraged to only 'call-in' planning applications that truly require consideration by Development Management Committee, in order to avoid unnecessary delay and backlogs.
Existing planning applications
Wherever possible we will continue to determine planning applications.
Particularly those where:
- consultation and site visits have already taken place,
- the applications that involve limited consultation such as prior approvals, certificates of lawful development and discharge of conditions.
We will be cautious when determining newer planning applications where:
- consultation has not yet started or finished
- there have been no site visits.
Officers will use their professional experience to judge whether they can fully and properly consider all aspect of the planning application, including whether it is likely to impact on neighbours or be controversial in any other way.
If we have any doubts then we will seek an extension of time with the applicant/agent and delay making a decision until further notice. This will also allow comments to be received beyond the standard consultation period.
New planning applications
The Council will continue to validate and consult on new planning applications.
All applications and payments should be made electronically via the Planning Portal.
The Council will continue to investigate complaints about breaches of planning control, but will only visit the site where officers judge that it may be dangerous or very harmful.
Appellants should note that the Planning Inspectorate has closed its offices and cancelled all appeal site visits until further notice.
Updated: Friday 27 March 2020 (16:15)