With coronavirus having a huge impact on most industries, it’s important to be aware of the changes and restrictions imposed on the planning system. We’d like to reassure you that the planning department at Sheldon Bosley Knight is still operating remotely and we’re able to continue delivering our usual high standard of service, without delay. While we cannot predict how external bodies (consultants, local planning authorities and the Planning Inspectorate) will cope through the pandemic, we’ll do all we can to keep your project running smoothly and update you regularly.
Many consultants will continue to work from home, where practical. Site visits for surveys may still be undertaken following protection measures, such as surveying individually, wearing protective clothing and remaining 2m away from clients. These measures mean that there may be slight delays in the processing of data and finalisation of reports.
Local Planning Authorities
Local Authorities have introduced temporary measures to allow planning applications to progress.
Planning Officers will not be carrying out site visits, instead they’ll be requesting photographic or video evidence as needed. Additionally, officers will not be placing site notices themselves but will ask applicants to display these and provide evidence to confirm.
Councils have cancelled face-to-face planning committee meetings in favour of video calls for the foreseeable, to debate reports and agree views without making formal decisions. Where possible, the Head of Planning and Housing has been granted temporary powers to determine all planning applications, including non-contentious matters.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council have granted emergency decision making powers to the Planning Department. Planning Officers will seek views in writing from committee members.
In all other respects, the Planning Team will continue to process and determine applications. The intention is for Local Planning Authorities to return back to usual governance arrangements as soon as it is feasible to do so.
The Planning Inspectorate
Until further notice, all appeal site visits have been postponed, causing some delays to the appeal process. However, the Inspectorate is continuing to process appeals and representations up until this point. The Inspectorate is working to deliver alternative procedures to process appeals, including virtual hearings and enquiries, accepting video evidence in lieu of site visits.
Sheldon Bosley Knight will continue to work with our existing planning clients and has capacity to take on new projects. If you have any queries or would like planning advice, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01789387880.