Planning Services customer charter
Planning Services aims to create an impact by improving the quality of the built and natural environment while protecting the Borough's heritage, enabling both economic development and the provision of homes.
In achieving these aims we will focus on balancing sustainable growth and regeneration while supporting increased quality of life, capturing all opportunities for the Borough.
Planning Services covers a range of development related functions:
We aim to:
- provide guidance on 80 per cent of Building Regulation Full Plan applications within 15 days.
- provide decisions on 100 per cent of Building Regulation Full Plan applications within two months.
- make 99 per cent of site inspections within one working day of requested date.
- visit 95 per cent of suspected dangerous structures within two hours of notification.
We will also endeavour to provide clear, concise and professional advice during our meetings with our clients and customers.
We aim to provide 85 per cent of official land charges search results within five working days.
Pre-application advice is provided (subject to the appropriate fee) for all forms of development. This will include a site visit and a written response and, when required, a meeting.
The team will endeavour to determine the majority of planning applications within the following nationally set timescales:
- 60 per cent of major applications within 13 weeks.
- 65 per cent of minor applications within eight weeks.
- 80 per cent of other and householder applications within eight weeks.
Enforcement of Planning Control
The Enforcement Team investigates alleged breaches of planning control and determines whether or not it is expedient to take any action.
We recognise the importance of keeping individuals up to date with our progress. Some investigations can take longer than others, but we will endeavour to contact you at key stages in our investigation.
- acknowledge your complaint within three working days.
- update you on our progress within 10 working days of the site visit. The update will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. If we are not able to visit the site within the agreed timescales, we will let you know.
- update you at key milestones thereafter e.g. you will be advised if a planning application is invited; when a planning application is received; when the Council issues a notice etc.
- update you when we close the file in which you have an interest.
While we aim to meet these guidelines on all cases, we have a committed target to meet these timescales in 80 per cent of cases.
Design and Conservation Team
We will provide design advice on major applications.
The Conservation Team advises on applications relating to the historic environment. These cover those relating to buildings and sites within the historic environment, including listed and locally listed buildings, conservation areas and proposals affecting their settings.
The team also undertakes conservation character appraisals and engages in full consultation with borough and parish councillors, amenity groups and the public.
Technical advice is also given on appropriate repairs and alterations to historic buildings/assets, including those owned by the Council.
We will provide a high quality urban design and landscape service which will include:
- design and delivery of environmental enhancement projects using negotiated capital receipts (planning benefits).
- prepares the core part of the Local Plan and prepares new site allocations and development control policies by policies in line with the Local Development Scheme.
- provides clear, professional advice to the public, other Council services, partners and others.
- contributes to, and influences, the preparation of national and other strategic guidance and plans on behalf of the Council.