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Coronavirus - Planning and building

Planning service

We have had to adapt some of our processes and procedures to maintain the safety of our team and our clients.  Our offices are now closed but staff are working remotely and electronic applications and pre-application responses will continue to be processed. We can assess samples from photographs, manufacturers details and also hold video conferences.

Our consultations will all be electronic as we reduce paper handling as much as possible. Anyone wishing to make comments on applications should do so on line or by e-mail.

Council meetings are now taking place virtually. Find out how to take part in one of the virtual meetings.

Site notices and visits

Site Notices will wherever possible be posted out for applicants to display. Officers will be using photographs, google earth and other media to undertake as much of the site assessment as possible remotely. If a site visit is required we will ring you first to make sure you are happy for us to attend. We will not be entering properties and will require social distancing to be in place. We will not be attending site visits to vulnerable premises such as care homes or where applicants have advised that they are not happy for us to be there. In circumstances where the lack of a site visit is preventing a proper assessment, we will seek an extension of time to determine the application. If no such extension is agreed we are advised that such applications can be refused.

Permitted development rights

There are new permitted development rights for some businesses to operate as takeaways. In order to enable shops to be re-stocked, we will not be enforcing planning controls over delivery hours etc  until this crisis is over.

Building Control

We are able to carry on providing our statutory function during this challenging and unpredictable time. We are implementing the following measures that we hope will ensure our customers experience an undisrupted service until the Government advises us that business practices can return to normal.

Pre application discussions will be carried out by telephone or by other means of communication, no site visits or meetings will be carried out until further notice.

If you have any questions get in touch at:  or call 01993 861651.

For the latest advice, please visit the Public Health England website.

Applications and fees

Applications for building control services should be submitted online at

Fees can be paid as follows:

We cannot accept paper copies of applications or cheque payments at this time

Plan checking

Service will continue as normal, using electronic methods.

Building control site inspections

To ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff and any person who they will come into contact with on site, we are amending our approach to site work:

External inspections

Where possible and when the inspection can be carried out in accordance with the latest Government guidance on social distancing, we will carry out site inspections of external works such as foundations, oversite, super-structure, etc.  Where this is not possible we will carry out the inspection by using photos or other means the builder can send to us. 

Intermediate site inspections

Where possible we will undertake virtual intermediate inspections using photos or other means the builder can send to us. It will not be possible for inspections to be carried out on occupied dwellings until further notice.

Completion inspections

We will not be carrying out any completion inspections until further notice

Dangerous structures

Dangerous structures will be considered a priority and we will endeavour to undertake these works. Photographs should be provided wherever possible so that a risk assessment can be carried out by the ‘inspecting’ surveyor.