Published on 30th March 2017

a builder surveying a building

Quick appointments, weekly surgeries and fast-track applications will form part of an improved planning service which is launching on 3 April 2017.

The borough council is offering an enhanced ‘pre-application advice service’ to help with projects such as household extensions, commercial developments and listed building alterations. 

Weekly appointments with planning officers will give residents the opportunity to discuss their proposals and receive advice on how they can improve their chances, if necessary, on gaining planning permission.  This can save residents time and money.  Surgeries are also held for those wanting advice on matters relating to conservation and listed buildings.

Businesses may also wish to meet with planners to discuss small scale commercial development or change of use which will give them any information or advice they may need to assist them with a planning application.

When it is known that a planning application is required, a pre-application can be submitted to officers and this is often the best way to understand the acceptability of a project before a full application.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety said:  ‘’Our enhanced service means that residents and businesses can receive the information and advice they need which will hopefully save them time and money in the long term. The planning system can be over-whelming and we are keen to break it down so that it’s simple and easy to follow.

‘’We will work with applicants to achieve our aspiration of delivering high quality development for our town and for this to happen, we encourage them to talk to our team. Importantly, effective pre-application discussions often result in quicker determination period.’’

Tracey Crews, director of planning added: “We have looked hard at the ways in which we can support our customers. I am delighted that we are now in a position to offer this enhanced service, supported by a forward-thinking and positive planning team. We hope that members of the public and other interested parties fully engage with the refined service to help deliver consistently high-quality development for the town.”

Fees vary depending on the service. Visit our planning pages for more information.  


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