Changes to Public Engagement with Cornwall’s Planning Applications, During Lockdown

Changes have been made to how the Public need to engage regarding planning applications in Cornwall during Lockdown.

RESIDENTS of Cornwall are being urged to sign up to be told about and have their say on planning applications online – both during the current coronavirus restrictions and into the future.

The onset of the pandemic earlier this year meant many changes for everyone – not least Cornwall Council’s Planning and Sustainable and Development service.

Lockdown in March saw a plan for the team to work from home swiftly put together and, in line with current government guidance, planning officers continue to operate remotely.

Coronavirus restrictions also meant that comments on planning applications via post had to be suspended, which remains the case as the second lockdown begins, but the online process is very much still open, with the Council’s planning register available at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/online-planning-register/

It’s still the quickest, easiest and most environmentally friendly way to have your say on planning applications.

Louise Wood, Service Director for Planning and Sustainable Development at Cornwall Council, said: “Planning applications continue to be available to view on the online Planning Register and advertised in the local press in the normal way.

“The online service is a one-stop-shop for planning applications, giving residents both the opportunity to view applications and all associated documents, as well as have their say on them.

“The Council is not displaying a Site Notice for the majority of planning applications at present, but will continue to send neighbour notifications to residents abutting a site.

“Residents can also register to receive alerts via email for planning applications in their area.”  To register, visit https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/online-planning-register/#email

Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Tim Dwelly, said: “The right to comment on planning applications is fundamentally important for our residents and our planning service has remained open throughout the pandemic.

“However, with our staff working predominately remotely since March, and continuing to do so, one thing the service has not been able to do is accept comments via post.

“If you have not done so before, this is a good opportunity to familiarise yourself with our online Planning Register and use it to submit your comments.”

Using the online service is also better for the environment – saving a lot of paper as well as eliminating the need for members of the planning service’s team to spend time and materials scanning hard copy comments into the digital system.

However, the Council recognises that not everyone has access to the online Planning Register. Therefore, if you’re not able to find somebody to assist you, phone 0300 1234 151 and one of the team will help. Comments can also be sent in via email on planning@cornwall.gov.uk

Planning officers take issues into account – as long as they are material planning considerations – regardless of the sender.

Residents should be aware that the online system will be unavailable between November 11 and 13 while an essential upgrade takes place.

 

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