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Planning and building control coronavirus update

Service updates due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Consulting on planning applications

Last updated on 6 November 2020

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.

We have been implementing this practice since March 2020 and continue to do so.

For other application types requiring site notices and/or newspaper adverts these will be displayed in the usual way.

Current planning applications

Last updated on 6 November 2020

We will continue to process and determine current applications. Site visits will only take place where necessary and where officers do not have to enter occupied buildings. If officers require access into a site, such as a back garden, an appointment will be made via the agent or applicant.

Officers may request photographs to be submitted to help in the assessment of some applications.

Face to face site meetings will only take place where they are essential and only if they can take place whilst observing social distancing and the use of face coverings. Instead, Officers will make use of media such as email, Zoom or telephone where direct contact is helpful.

New planning applications

Last updated on 6 November 2020

Hard copy application may be submitted by post but not in person. As there are limited staff on-site to deal with post hard copy applications may experience a delay in being registered. 

We are continuing to register and validate applications which are submitted electronically in the appropriate format.

At present the planning team have no staff shortages due to COVID-19, however, this may change and could impact on performance.

Building control

Last updated on 4 May 2021

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.

Site inspections will continue to be carried out where this can be done safely. If not, alternative methods for inspection may be adopted for checking compliance. Please ensure you 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

Last updated on 4 May 2021

Despite having secured temporary, increased resources in our Land Charges service we continue to be affected by an unprecedented demand for the service as a result of the stamp duty holiday arrangements put in place during the pandemic to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.   Whilst we continue to complete property searches as swiftly and efficiently as possible, there will be an inevitable delay to normal turnaround times.

Planning Committees

Last updated on 6 November 2020

The majority of planning decisions are made by officers under delegated powers. Some applications however are decided by the Planning Committee on a monthly basis.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Planning Committees takes place on-line via Zoom. The public can take part in these meetings using the Zoom link, there is also a dial-in phone option.

Information on how to join these meetings are available on the agendas