Many of Torbay Council's teams have adapted the way in which they work, to ensure they continue to deliver as many services as possible to Torbay residents.

In line with government guidance during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, our planning and building control teams have made some changes to the way in which they are delivering the services they provide.

Current planning applications

Planning applications which were made valid before 23 March 2020 and where necessary site visits had previously been undertaken, are still being determined. As all public decision making meetings, such as planning committees have been cancelled, additional delegated powers have been given to the Assistant Director, Planning & Transport (in consultation with the relevant elected members) for the determination of some planning applications.

Work involving the discharge of planning conditions, and some pre-application work that doesn’t require a site visit, is continuing as normal.

Our online planning service can be accessed via our Planning web pages.

New planning applications

We are currently unable to accept hard copy applications or hard copy comments, but are continuing to register and validate applications which are submitted electronically in the appropriate format. Once an application has been validated, the case officer will undertake an initial desktop assessment to identify and potential issues with the application. At present only a limited number of decision on new planning applications can be issued. However, we are continuing to review the national advice and where possible we will seek to introduce new procedures which might reasonably allow for more decisions to continue to be issued.  

Building control

Applications submitted electronically continue to be processed, as with new planning applications, hard copy applications and documents are not being accepted until further notice. The plan vetting of applications continues with decisions being made electronically.

To comply with government advice regarding unnecessary travel, building control site inspections are not being carried out, unless there is a potential health and safety issue.   

Where you continue to work with builders and developers, please ensure they are reminded to continue to contact building control at commencement and when all other appropriate inspection stages have been reached. This should help to ensure that the construction of building works can continue to be assessed.   

Building control can be contacted on or by phoning 01803 208095.

Land charges

Sadly, we are currently unable to run our Land Charges Services due to prioritising the health of individuals and the public needing to be the priority.  The Government has issued specific advice about the sale and purchase of property, and the need for flexibility during this difficult time. We will seek to resume the service as soon as is possible accounting for national advice.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Torbay Council, said “As a council we are committed to continue to run as many services as possible, with as little disruption as possible to our service users. With many of our staff working remotely, some changes to how these services are being delivered have had to be made. Where possible we are running all essential services, and in some cases have had to make decisions to freeze the delivery of some services on a temporary basis”.

For more information about planning and building control visit our Planning and Building web page.

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