COVID-19 GUIDELINES & ACHIEVING APPROVAL GOALS

Anyone who would like to adapt there current home or look at buying a piece of land to create the perfect home then please do get in touch I will be happy to help.

All applications will be worked on as quickly and efficiently as is feasibly possible by the council to bring your dream to an approval prior to construction.

We are working to adhere to the current guidelines so should you wish to discuss a current project in further detail please get in contact to discuss your options.

Validation of applications

Local planning authorities will be working online to satisfy planning applications to allow for the most beneficial response for all applications submitted. This is to support the latest social distancing guidelines. Each Authority will be making this clear on their websites. However, paper applications can still be submitted and validated. All applications are taking on average between 7 & 14 days to be validated.

NOTE: Priority will be given to the validation of any urgent COVID-19-related applications for planning permission and associated consents.

Determination timescales

The determination timescales for planning applications set out in the Development Management Procedure Order 2015 will remain the same so a standard Planning Application will take between 8 & 12 weeks for a determination date depending on the complexity of the project, although the timescales may not be met in all circumstances.

Publicity and consultation for planning applications

The local authorities have said from Thursday 14 May there was an introduction of temporary regulations to supplement the existing statutory publicity arrangements for planning applications, listed building consent applications and environmental statements for EIA development in response to the coronavirus.

Local planning authorities now have the flexibility to take other reasonable steps to publicise applications if they cannot discharge the specific requirements for site notices, neighbour notifications or newspaper publicity. These steps will notify people who are likely to have an interest in the application and indicate where further information about it can be viewed online. These steps can include the use of social media and other electronic communications and must be proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposed development.

Guidance to accompany these regulations has also been published to highlight what alternative publicity local planning authorities could undertake. In particular, if local newspapers are not circulating in their area, authorities should seek to use local online news portals in the first instance.

Virtual planning committees

The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 were made on Thursday 2 April 2020 and provide the power for local authorities to hold virtual meetings. These regulations apply to all local authority meetings up to 7 May 2021.

To ensure planning decisions continue to be made, local planning authorities should take advantage of these powers to hold virtual planning committees – rather than deferring committee dates. They should also consider using ‘urgency powers’ within their constitutions to give senior officers delegated authority to make decisions.

Local Authorities are working with the Planning Advisory Service to provide practical advice to local authorities through online guidance and web-based training on how to manage planning committees and continue decision-making during this time and their latest guidance can be found on the Planning Advisory Service website. As part of this work, the Planning Advisory Service will be engaging authorities to learn about their practical experience of virtual planning committees.

Where to go for additional information

GOV.UK provides a single point of government advice on COVID-19. The public services section contains advice from the Planning Inspectorate on casework and examination handling, and we will be adding to this as guidance is updated, so please check the page regularly. Best practice advice and links are also available on the Planning Advisory Service website.

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