Coronavirus - what it means for Planning Services

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Staff within Planning Services are now working from home in line with Government advice. We will continue to try and ensure ‘business as usual’ as far as possible, although you will appreciate these are difficult circumstances and have seriously impacted upon our working practices and processes.

We have limited phone capabilities and considerable limitations on processing and producing any paper correspondence.  Therefore in order for us to effectively communicate with you please use our electronic channels. Please note our Customer First Centre at the Town Hall is open, but only to our most vulnerable residents.

Click here to continue to our Planning pages but we will use this page to update you of any further changes to our working practices in light of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a summary of these practices are below. 

  • Planning applications should be submitted through the Planning Portal or sent to us by email if a form has been downloaded and completed.
  • Enquires should be made via email to
  • Site visits. In order to comply with current Government advice on avoiding non-essential travel, at this point officers will not be undertaking routine site visits or meetings, or be in a position to post site notices for newly received planning applications. This will be kept under review. We appreciate this will cause concern at potential delays in decision-making and providing planning advice, however the safety of staff and customers is of paramount importance.
  • Publicity of Planning Applications. Circumstances now prevent us from continuing to post our site notices around the Borough. However you can monitor the receipt of applications through a variety of ways on our Public Access system – by using the weekly list function or by undertaking a spatial search on a specific area of interest.

Public Access also offers the function to track applications. Further details on how to do this and other things via Public Access.

  • Commenting on Planning Applications. Anyone wishing to view and comment upon applications should use our Public Access website. We ask that comments be submitted through Public Access or, if need be, by email
  • Planning Committees. At this point we are not able to confirm the situation with regard to future meetings of the Council’s Planning and Development Committee. At this stage the scheduled April meeting of our Planning and Development Committee has been cancelled. Options for alternative means of decision-making for committee items are being considered and we will update on this as soon as we can.
  • Payments. Please pay through Customer First on 232323, rather than sending a cheque in the post, as we can no longer guarantee that we will receive paper post.

To make a payment: 

  • Phone 232323 and stay on the line to speak to an advisor (the automated payments line does not handle Planning related payments).
  • When speaking to an advisor please state you are paying for a Planning Application or a Planning Enquiry.
  • The advisor should ask you for some details, name etc. and your payment information.
  • Please provide the advisor with a reference number, if you have one. If not, the address to which the application or enquiry relates will be most helpful.

With regards to BACs payments these can still be made if necessary but should always include a reference which relates to Planning, this helps our colleagues in Accounts to tie the payment to Planning Services.

Planning Services staff thank you for your understanding at this difficult time and we hope you and your family stay safe and well.