COVID 19 - DEVELOPMENT SERVICES: SITE VISITS UPDATEStroud District Council Planners have now resumed site visits where social distancing can be complied with.
Please read the full update under Coronavirus.
Covid 19 is still having an impact on the Development Management Service and our ability to consider and determine applications and carry out our other functions, such as pre-application enquiries, appeals and enforcement. However, we are doing our very best to keep the service running and would draw attention to the following important information:
1. Some planning staff are being redeployed to help with essential Council services, thus reducing the capacity of the service.
2. Making contact with the service
If you need to contact and officer or team, may we ask that you email us. Please do not telephone. If you have an application or pre-application enquiry with us, you will have the case officer's details. Alternatively, the planning pages on the website will provide you with more generic team emails.
3. Making a planning or other application
Please do not submit paper applications or letters if this can be avoided. If you do, there may well be a significant delay in our ability to process them.
We strongly advise you to submit planning and other applications electronically either via the planning portal or by email.
Comments on planning applications are best submitted via Public Access, which is easily accessible via our website.
Payments - as the offices are now closed to the public, we request that you make payments online. Please see the link below and scroll down:
We encourage you to continue to submit planning and other applications and advise you do this electronically (see below).
PAYMENTS – we are still taking payments via the telephone but request that you make payments online. Please see the link below and scroll down:
4. Site notices for planning and other applications
We will be asking all applicants and/or agents to display site notices on the application site themselves. This is to avoid unnecessary interaction with officers and also to address a possible shortage of officers to carry out this task in the future. Site notices will be emailed to applicants/agents.
5. Site visits for applications and enforcement investigations
Stroud District Council Planners are now undertaking internal and external site visits where social distancing can be complied with.
Prior to each site visit, planning officers will:
- Risk assess sites on a case by case basis and visits will only be made to those sites which officers are confident that social distancing can be complied with.
- Only undertake visits with the explicit consent of the applicant/agent. When contact is made with the applicant/agent, officers will ascertain if anyone in the household of the site to be visited has symptoms of Covid 19 or is self-isolating or in a vulnerable or shielded group as this may affect our ability to undertake the site visit.
- Organise a time and date for the visit with the applicant/agent.
- Ask for a contact number so that Officers can inform the applicant/agent when they have arrived at and left the site.
- Get prior agreement from the applicant/agent to take photos and/or videos of the site.
- Ask the applicant/agent to open up the site prior to the visit to avoid the need to touch gates etc. unnecessarily.
- Avoid contact with anyone on or surrounding the site - Officers will not engage in conversation regarding the progress of the application. If close human contact becomes unavoidable for any reason, the officer will abandon the site visit and re-arrange.
Enforcement site visits
Please note that site visits related to possible alleged breaches of planning control have also resumed. In many cases, these will not require prior contact with the land owner and/or developer, but strict safety and distancing precautions will still apply.
6. Meetings in the office and on site
The offices remain closed, however we are undertaking 'Virtual meetings' instead and we will be undertaking 30 minute site meetings for pre-application submissions where social distancing can be complied with.
Our Officers remain working remotely so please email the case officer directly or firstname.lastname@example.org for all general planning enquiries.
7. Public Access and application notification
Please use the public access system to set up an application search area for your property. This is the best way to ensure that you are notified of a planning or other application in your area of choice. We will continue to send letters to nearest neighbours, but this relies on Royal Mail. Public access provides a full-proof mechanism to ensure you are notified.