All Planning Officers are now working remotely and will not be in the office until further notice due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
Any planning applications or cheques sent by post will not be validated or acknowledged until we return to the office as there will be nobody in the office to process them. All applications and payments should now be made electronically via the Planning Portal.
The Government is encouraging councils to keep determining planning applications wherever possible, especially where it will support the local economy.
Examination hearing sessions have now concluded and the Council has received the Inspector's interim report on the submitted plan. Meetings are scheduled for November 2020 to consider next steps, for more details please check the Local Plan hearing sessions page.
Development Management Committee is taking place via virtual meetings.
Borough councillors and town and parish councils are encouraged to only 'call-in' planning applications that truly require consideration by Development Management Committee, in order to avoid unnecessary delay and backlogs.
Existing planning applications
Wherever possible we will continue to determine planning applications. Officers will continue to visit sites from public vantage points where it is safe to do so.
Particularly those where:
- consultation and site visits have already taken place,
- the applications that involve limited consultation such as prior approvals, certificates of lawful development and discharge of conditions.
We will be cautious when determining newer planning applications where:
- consultation has not yet started or finished
- there have been no site visits.
Officers will use their professional experience to judge whether they can fully and properly consider all aspect of the planning application, including whether it is likely to impact on neighbours or be controversial in any other way.
If we have any doubts then we will seek an extension of time with the applicant/agent and delay making a decision until further notice. This will also allow comments to be received beyond the standard consultation period.
New planning applications
The Council will continue to validate and consult on new planning applications.
All applications and payments should be made electronically via the Planning Portal.
The Council will continue to investigate complaints about breaches of planning control, and will continue to visit sites from public vantage points, but may only visit inside the site where officers judge that it may be dangerous or very harmful.
Appellants should note that the Planning Inspectorate has closed its offices and cancelled all appeal site visits until further notice.
Hertfordshire Building Control continues to provide a building control service.
If you are carrying out works that require building control approval, including if you are doing it yourself, you will need to ensure you comply with building regulations. Applications for building regulations approval can be found at: https://online.hertfordshirebc.co.uk/. Please also be aware that if you are in the middle of building work, the current situation does not remove the requirement to ensure that building control inspections are carried out at the relevant intervals. Hertfordshire Building Control will advise how inspections proceed.
Updated: Tuesday 3 November 2020