How coronavirus is affecting planning
We were already well prepared for agile working, operating a paper light planning application process. Most of our staff are now working from home, but can be contacted as normal via email or phone during working hours. A number of staff are working flexibly around childcare - please leave a message and they will get back to you as quickly as they can. We will of course be keeping staffing levels and workloads under constant review in light of any cases of self-isolation and childcare needs.
A small number of our planning admin team are in the office to register post, scan documents and print. However, as most applications can be registered remotely, please help us by making electronic submissions. Hard copy applications and postal comments are still being received, but there could be a delay in getting these logged as they have to be scanned in at the office. Please also be advised that we are unable to offer case history copies or other printing requests at this time.
We are continuing to consult on planning applications and consider any comments made. We will not be sending hard copy plans to parish and town councils in addition to electronic consultations. If you are unable to view plans then please contact the case officer to discuss.
Site visits by officers will only be carried out once the applicant / agent has first been contacted to discuss the suitability of a visit and whether arrangements can be made to accord with up to date advice on social distancing. Case officers will then make a judgement as to whether a site visit can be made in a safe way – if this is not possible we will discuss the potential for alternative ways of assessing the site or in appropriate cases request your agreement that consideration of the application be paused.
In accordance with the latest advice on social distancing, we are unable to have face to face meetings, so we are asking customers not to come into our offices. Your case officer will contact you to discuss alternative arrangements which could be via phone call or video conferencing.
Read about our Development Management Committee for updates and information about meetings.
All of these arrangements will be kept under review and we would like to thank you for your co-operation during these challenging times.