In light of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we have continued to adapt how we deliver our planning service while our staff are still working remotely.
We have seen an increase in new applications and pre-applications being submitted and this, combined with the way we are having to work with limited access to systems, means that it is taking longer than usual to determine applications and respond to enquiries. We are doing our best to minimise the impact so thank you for bearing with us.
Please find further details about the impact on delivery below.
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- Our offices remain closed to the public. All staff are continuing to work from home, with restricted access to some of our systems at times.
- In terms of phonecalls, we would ask that you either email your case officer direct or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you back.
- We are now able to accept hard copy correspondence via post, however this remains under review depending on national and local restrictions. We would prefer all correspondence to be electronic where possible. Please email email@example.com
- Meetings of the Planning and Access Committee and Local Review Body will be held online and webcast live. Further details can be found on the Planning and Access Committee webpage.
- Meetings are not taking place face-to-face. We can accommodate video calls by arrangement if needed.
- Essential unaccompanied site visits are taking place, both for planning applications, development monitoring and enforcement visits.
COVID-19 impact on delivery
- All planning staff are continuing to work from home, with restricted access to some of our systems at times. This means that it is taking us longer than normal to determine planning applications. We are doing our best to minimise the impact so thank you for bearing with us.
- Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some applications were unable to be progressed as not all statutory publicity could be carried out, and site visits were not possible for some time. We are now working through the backlog of cases, combined with an increase in new applications, so things are taking longer than usual. For now, we are not able to turn applications around in the times we aspire to in our Planning Service Charter. Officers are prioritising planning applications over other workload and are actively progressing cases.
In order to help us at this time, please:
- Submit your applications and any additional documentation electronically where possible. Either through the e-planning portal or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. While staff are working remotely, we have limited access to post so posting anything could delay your application.
- Ensure your planning application meets minimum validation standards. Please read our guidance on how to submit a valid application. Over half of all applications we receive are incomplete and correcting this with applicants/agents is a big draw on our time.
- Collate and submit any additional documentation requested electronically through the e-planning portal. Receiving information in separate submissions takes us longer to process.
- Submit your payment via the online planning fee form or by BACS transfer – we cannot accept cheques or phone payments at this time.
- We can continue to receive and respond to pre-application enquiries (see forms on our planning applications advice page) on the basis of a desktop only assessment. We will not be able to respond in the times we aspire to in our Planning Service Charter, and we will be limiting the amount of detail in our responses – focussing on the principle of development rather than design detailing which can be assessed as part of a planning application.
Planning History Searches
- We are currently unable to access historic planning records in our archives, either in paper form or microfilm. If you require a planning history search for applications prior to 2009 please email email@example.com and we will add your request to a list and contact you again once access is permitted.
Access Authority Service status
- Our offices are closed to the public and staff. All staff are continuing to work from home, with restricted access to some of our systems at times.
- In terms of phone calls, we would ask that you either email your case officer direct or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you back.
- Meetings are no longer taking place face-to-face. We can accommodate some conference calls by arrangement using Skype for Business.
- Essential site visits are taking place.