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Coronavirus: Planning service update

As the coronavirus continues to impact on all aspects of our daily lives, our planning and building control officers are now working remotely. This will have some implications for how we operate. We wish to re-assure you that we are doing all that we can to help maintain an appropriate level of service at this time in accordance with government guidelines.

How you can help us during this time

Contacting the planning service:

General enquiries should be made through our existing on-line systems or by email.

Officers can be contacted by email and planning enforcement enquiries should be made through the website in the normal way.

Meetings with Officers

We will not be able to offer a face to face service until further notice. Where meetings are considered necessary officers will contact you to arrange either a conference call or organise virtual meetings whichever is appropriate.

Submission of planning applications

These should be made using the Planning Portal website and to check whether you need planning permission to carry out certain types of development.

Postal submissions should be avoided at this time and if made may experience delays.

Site visits

For the latest update, please visit coronavirus impact on planning site visits.

Site Photograph Guidance Note

As a general guide please can you provide the following site photographs of the site:

  • Street scene showing the property in the context of the adjoining properties, including parking arrangements;
  • Views towards the proposed development from the front rear and all sides
  • Views towards adjoining or other properties abutting the site clearly showing the existing windows, materials and any level changes.
  • An annotated block plan to show the location and direction of the photographs taken together with the reference number, address and date photo taken.
  • Where considered appropriate a video may be requested;
  • A declaration to confirm that the information submitted is correct and an accurate reflection of the site and its context.

Where the proposal involves highway works or other works or changes of use affecting the highway:

Site photograph guidance

  • 1 & 2 should be taken from 2.4m back from the carriageway edge in the centre of the access;
  • A photograph of speed limit terminals in the vicinity of the site should be included;
  • Please include anything extra that you feel will provide a fuller picture of the site context and surrounding area;
  • An accompanying plan should clearly reflect the view of any photographs submitted.

Please be aware that any missing information may restrict our ability to fully assess your application and incur delays. In order to minimise any delays please provide as much information as possible including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The speed limit of the road, and location of any changes in speed limit;
  • Carriageway and footway widths of the surrounding highway network; and
  • Level of visibility achievable from the access point, noting the vertical alignment of the highway must also be considered.

Further information with respect to our requirements can be found in the Buckinghamshire Council Highways Development Management Guidance and Manual for Streets.

These temporary arrangements will remain in place until such time that the Government advises us that normal business arrangements can continue.

Site Notices

Officers are visiting site to display a site notices. Where a site notice is posted please do not approach an officer posting a site notice unless it is essential and in all  events, please follow Government advice to maintain a 2 meter distances from the officer. 

Parish & Town Council Consultations

For a temporary period, whilst the statutory 21 day period will still be given in the notification, we will in practice allow 28 days for parish and town councils to comment. Any comments should be submitted online.

Statutory & Non-Statutory Consultees

During these times, it may take longer than normal for consultation comments to be received and uploaded. We ask that you are patient during these times and that you continue to monitor the Council's Public Access website. Any comments from consultees should be submitted on line and not by post.

Neighbour / Other interested Party Comments

We ask that you do not submit any representations by post at this time and that you register on our online Public Access for Applications where you can make comments on application. We ask that you are patient as there may be a delay in posting your comments online during this time.

Planning Decisions - Extensions of Time

If our interim measures do necessitate the need for an additional period of time for the planning officer to assess and determine an application(s), then the officer may need to contact the applicant or agent to agree an Extension of Time. We would be very grateful if applicants/agents would respond favourably to any such reasonable requests at this challenging time.

Other important information

The Planning Committees that were scheduled for March 2020 have now been cancelled. Please look at our web pages for details of future Planning Committees

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Communities- new legislation

The government is to introduce some temporary planning relaxations of planning rules, so that pubs and restaurants can operate hot food takeaway services.

Furthermore, enforcement restrictions have been temporarily relaxed to allow overnight deliveries of food and other essential products to supermarkets and other food retailers.

There have been a number of government announcements including the intention to extend the life of a planning application, flexible hours on construction sites to support social distancing and changes to speed up the pace of the planning appeal process: