We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Consulting on planning applications

Our adopted Statement of Community Involvement, (updated in March 2018) sets out the requirements for consulting on planning applications. This specifies that for householder applications, and applications for minor alterations in flats which are not in a Conservation Area, these applications will be publicised by neighbour notification letter only, with no site notice being placed at the site.

In light of the current restrictions on travel we will, therefore, be following this procedure.

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 and 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.

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 building.control@torbay.gov.uk or by phoning 01803 208095.

Land charges

We are pleased to confirm that we have been able to resume our Land Charge service. This will enable property searches in the pipeline and received since lockdown to be fully completed, to help assist with the completion of property transactions.