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Planning updates during the Coronavirus crisis

We will be posting regular updates to our planning service on this page during the Coronavirus crisis.

General advice:

We’re continuing to process planning applications which have already been submitted and if you are submitting a new application, please do so electronically through the Planning Portal website: www.planningportal.co.uk.

We will not be able to deal with planning applications that are received by post as our reception is now closed. We are continuing to progress pre-application enquiries but can only accept payment by credit card or online payment. We are currently able to take card payments between 10am – 12pm each day by phone (quoting the relevant case number) to 01590 646 674.

Please do not send cheques as we are unable to process them. With regard to any non-payment related matters, our main switchboard number will continue to have an automated message and voicemails won’t be picked up, so please email instead. Please send all general planning enquiries to dev.control@newforestnpa.gov.uk.


3 April

NPA Planning Service – letter to agents  

Dear Agent / Applicant,

In these unusual times, I just wanted to bring you up to date on how we are currently delivering the planning service in the New Forest National Park. Like you, we are having to adjust some of our practices to enable us to continue working. You will have already noted that we are no longer holding meetings in person and that our reception at the Town Hall has been closed.

However, I am pleased to say that we are still able to undertake most of our planning work as normal, including pre-application enquiries and determining planning applications. If you are submitting a new application, please do so electronically through the Planning Portal website: www.planningportal.co.uk. We are not able to deal with planning applications received by post and ask that you send all related correspondence electronically. Similarly, we can only now accept payment by credit card or online payment – between 10am – 12pm each day by phone (quoting the relevant case number) on 01590 646674. Please do not send cheques as we are unable to process them.

In considering planning applications, the planning officers are ringing applicants in advance of making a site visit. But we are not carrying out internal inspections of buildings or meeting with people on site for obvious reasons.

As you may have seen already, the Government introduced primary legislation last week to allow local authority committee meetings to be held ‘virtually’ for a temporary period with secondary legislation due to come into immediate effect next week. We are now looking to see if we can hold a ‘virtual’ planning committee meeting on 21 April, the date originally scheduled for the April Committee meeting. Thankfully, most of the applications we receive are determined under delegated powers (it’s been well above 90% for some time) with only a handful of cases needing a referral to the Planning Committee each month.

Regarding appeals, PINS have postponed all casework events in the near future including site visits, hearings and inquiries. They have said they will make new arrangements as soon as possible. You can find more information on the gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-inspectorate-guidance

For those who don’t always follow the application route, our enforcement team are also able to continue working and to respond as necessary to any suspected breaches of planning control.

I shall let you know more about committee arrangements in due course as well as any other future changes that might affect the National Park planning service. In the meantime, any problems or queries, then please do come back to me or one of the team.

Kind regards,

Steve Avery

Executive Director (Strategy & Planning)



Patrick
Heneghan
National Park Member

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'Read our guidance notes before applying to save yourself time in the long run.'

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