Coronavirus: changes to planning service

Determination of planning applications

Our Planning service is still determining planning applications during the coronavirus pandemic. We have a robust system to determine applications remotely.  We have the technology to be able to do this.  We have changed some of our working practices around site notices and site visits.

Planning Applications

We are currently able to register planning applications remotely, although please appreciate that for bigger applications there may be delays in uploading all the supporting information. The government lockdown has meant that the council can only accept electronic applications at the current time and we therefore request submission via the planning portal.

Planning Fees

We are unable to accept payment for any planning applications or services via cash or cheque at the current time. We would therefore request either online payment, payment over the phone, of via BACS transfer.

Site notices

We still have a statutory obligation to notify neighbours of current planning applications and we are still maintaining that part of the process. We have changed our process slightly and we have a coordinated approach to doing this, rather than have all officers out at the same time. 

While we publicise applications through the posting of notices, this is not the only way people can find out about applications in your area. We would strongly recommend that people sign up for planning application alerts on the Planning Finder website. It’s easy to use, simply register online with your details, you will be asked to select a radius from your postcode as to how far you wish to receive email notifications of planning applications in your area. 

If there is a particular application you want to keep updated on, just simply select to “follow” the application. 

Our weekly planning list is also advertised on our website. Please note that this is an additional way of knowing what planning applications are being considered in your street/area, we will still be posting site notices.

Site visits

As part of the current government advice on social distancing, officers are not making site visits to properties. 

However officers are currently reviewing what information they have available to them to make a decision, whether this be by doing site visits from the public realm, reviewing planning histories, and contacting applicants to undertake virtual site visits by requesting photographs with guidance from the officers. This is not the case for all applications but you may be asked to provide photographs.

Planning meetings

We are not currently holding planning meetings. 

In line with the government guidelines on social distancing, we are putting any pre-arranged meetings on hold but Officers are still in contact with the public; customers and applicants by other means. 

We have conference calling; email; mobiles; and virtual meetings through Microsoft Teams. We are still in touch with our customers.

Planning committees

Due to government guidelines on social distancing, we are currently not holding any Planning Committees at the Town Hall, however, we are now able to hold virtual meetings using Zoom. Please see our Council Meetings pages for all details and dates of when Committees are being held virtually.

New Tree Preservation Orders and Modified Tree Preservation Orders

During the coronavirus lockdown, copies of new Tree Preservation Orders and Modified Tree Preservations will not be displayed in St. Aldate’s offices in the normal way.  If you wish to see a copy of the new Order or the Modified Order, please contact 07483010206 and arrangements will be made for a copy to be sent to you. 

If you also wish to make comments on any new Tree Preservation Orders, email your comments to [email protected] - please quote the reference number and observe the deadline dates.

Visit our Tree Preservation Order documents page to view any new Tree Preservation Orders or any Modified Orders.