Question 05/20

Question:

Due to current events the planning department has requested applicants to agree to a extension of 12 weeks to make a decision. I for one have agreed. This may well assist the planning office but on second thoughts if decisions of a simple nature are being delayed it will also be a delay or prolong the time scale in which local tradesmen can get back to work once the pandemic is over thereby affecting local economy.
Has any directive been given to planning officers, conservationists etc, to use the utmost of common sense, perhaps better described as their experience or expertise, in order to cause no unnecessary delays when considering simple applications and thereby minimise the impact on local tradesmen and the economy?

Answer:

The Planning Service is working with agents and stakeholders to maintain a limited service.  However,  it is inevitable that delays will take place.  The officer visits to site as part of the application assessment have now been suspended on Government advice.  Responses from external consultees is likely to take longer or be suspended because of similar restrictions  Whilst business is not as usual, rother officers are continuing to work as best they can, at this difficult time, for the benefit of their customers and local community.