Planning service still working on applications
Local businesses and home owners waiting for planning consent for future projects are being assured that the coronavirus epidemic will not stop decisions being made.
Richmondshire District Council’s planning team is still working on applications, and delegated decisions – around 90% of all applications - are being made as normal. Permissions that need to come through the committee process will take longer as all council meetings have been cancelled until the legislation to allow a system of holding ‘virtual’ meetings can be brought in.
“It is important that we try to continue to process planning applications within statutory timescales and provide the best service possible in these stretching times,” said Corporate Director, Callum McKeon.
“We are prioritising our decision-making to ensure our planning system continues to function, especially where this will support the local economy. However we urge people to be patient as committee decisions may take a little longer than normal as we are all working through this difficult time.
“The Government is to introduce legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period, so we will look to use this system for planning committee when we can.”
He said that support for pubs, cafes and restaurants and to ensure access to food, new national Permitted Development Rights (PDR) enables them to operate temporarily as hot food takeaways (A5 use class). To give greater flexibility, the PDR also seeks to cover cold and pre prepared food and will allow for takeaway and delivery. The pub, restaurant or café will remain in its current use class during this period. The PDR will be time limited to 12 months (23 March 2021) and beyond this time, a planning application would be required for continued use as a takeaway.