Interim changes to Council planning services

We are making some interim changes to planning services to help deliver current work across our planning and planning enforcement service areas following a sustained increase in planning applications. The following arrangements will be in place from 9 December 2019 until 31 March 2020:  

  • Planning and planning enforcement officers will be available to receive phone calls until 1pm each day, enabling them to focus on their high and varied caseloads in the afternoon. A voice message system is available during the afternoons.
  • The daily duty officer service, which provides free planning advice for residents, will be suspended until 31 March 2020. This is a service we have opted to provide for many years even though it is not a requirement. Suspending this service temporarily will give officers more time to manage caseloads, improving the overall service for residents and developers.
  • Householder pre-application enquiries will be unaffected and remain in place.
  • Suspension of pre-application enquiries for all Minor and Major development types to enable us to manage the high volume of existing pre-application enquiries. It is anticipated the pre-application service will resume, in full, from 1 April 2020.

We recognise the importance of planning services to residents and these changes will mean the backlog of applications, pre-applications and enforcement cases can be processed and managed. To support the improvement of services, the planning team will also benefit from an increase in the number of officers working on planning cases and this will be done through recruitment, workflow improvement and better use of IT capability.

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