Coronavirus advice - planning and building control
See how our planning and building control services are still operating but with some temporary measures are in place.
Published: 18 January 2021
Last updated: 9 April 2021
General enquiries should be made through our website or general email addresses as normal. Officers are contactable over email or by telephone and can also arrange and participate in conference calls using Microsoft Teams and Skype.
Update April 2021 – Our planning teams are continuing to restrict site visits. If a site visit is considered essential, reasons for this must be discussed and arrangements agreed in advance with the relevant case officer. This will be kept under review in line with the most up to date government guidance.
We do not want our customers and staff to be put at risk at this time and will continue to avoid face to face meetings and site visits which involve entering a property where a virtual meeting and/or desk-based assessment are sufficient to assess proposals. Applicants should provide comprehensive site information including dated photographs/videos of the inside of a property and/or relevant views out. Where this is not sufficient to determine the application, we will assess the need for site visits on a case-by-case basis.
Site visits will only be undertaken where we have agreed they are essential and can be undertaken safely. In these cases, and in advance of the visit, applicants must email confirmation that the visit will be undertaken in line with the latest government and HSE guidance and set out the terms by which site visits are to be undertaken, making reference to our site visit protocol:
Planning applications should be submitted online via the Planning Portal. Applications submitted by hard copy will experience delay in processing.
Currently only consultation responses sent electronically, either by e-mail or submitted online, will be accepted.
Planning committees are currently being held fortnightly as remote meetings. Members of the public and interested parties are welcome to address the virtual committee. Instructions on how to access the meeting as part of the audience are published with the agenda.
On 25 March, Ministers wrote to local authorities to explain that temporary powers permitting remote meetings in the Coronavirus Act 2020 will not be extended after 7 May 2021. We are currently reviewing arrangements for committee after this date.
Temporary changes to legislation
A number of temporary changes to national policy and legislation including new permitted development rights have been introduced in response to the pandemic. Find out about changes and new permitted development rights.