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Planning Customer Charter

    Our aim is to provide an excellent Development Management service through a clear focus on the following objectives:

    • Provide professionally sound, multi-disciplinary planning advice to all interested parties

    • Process all planning applications and appeals in accordance with statutory procedures and council targets

    • Involve people in taking decisions that affect them

    • Safeguard the borough’s natural and historic environment

    • Promote the economic and social well-being of the community as a whole

    • Investigate potential breaches of planning control and take appropriate enforcement action.

    At the heart of what we do is our corporate customer care promise, which has three standards:

    1. When dealing with you we aim to get it right first time

    2. When you contact the Council we aim as best we can to deliver on our promises and service specific standards

    3. We are here to help. If you do not feel we have helped you, please let us know and we will respond to your comments, compliments and complaints.

    Service Specific Standards

    1. Pre-application Advice

      •  We encourage pre-application discussions to identify and resolve problems prior to formal submission
      •  We will liaise with other services and authorities as necessary to give all-round advice.

    2. On Receipt of Applications

      •  We will acknowledge receipt of applications within 4 working days

      •  If an application is incomplete, we will notify the applicant/agent of how to correct the deficiency

      •  We aim to notify occupiers of adjoining properties (where land or property is next to or opposite to the application site) in writing within 5 days of full registration.

    3. Processing Applications

      •  The case officer will visit all application sites allocated to them

      •  Applicants/agents will be kept informed of progress if there are particular issues that may result in delay or need to be addressed

      •  The case officer will seek to enhance the quality of the submitted scheme, where appropriate, through negotiation

      •  Officers will not waste applicants/agents time on negotiations where issues of policy or principle cannot be overcome. Where this is the case, the applicant/agent will be informed.

    4. Consultation on Applications

      •  Neighbours, parish and town councils, and other consultees will be given 21 days to make representations

      •  Material changes of plans will be notified to neighbours, parish councils ward members and consultees, with a further period specified for representations

      •  On request, we will explain to any parish or town council the reason for a decision if it is contrary to comments received from that council

      •  Public copies of applications will be available within 2 days of being registered as valid.

    5. Decisions on Applications

      •  We seek to ensure that all reports are clear and concise, make full reference to policies and other material considerations, and incorporate summaries of representations received, including those from consultees

      •  Conditions attached to permissions, or reasons for refusal, will be clear and concise

      •  Our aim is to issue decision notices within 2 working days of the decision being made

      •  We will aim to notify applicants/agents of reasons for applications being deferred by planning committee within 3 working days of the committee meeting.

    6. Enforcement

      •  Our aim is to acknowledge all written enforcement complaints within 3 working days of receipt, giving the contact name and telephone number of the investigating officer

      •  We cannot promise to resolve all enforcement cases. In some circumstances we have to judge whether it is in the wider public interest to pursue the matter.

    7. General

      •  We will seek the views of service users to help us improve

      •  We are aware that sometimes we won’t meet expectations. If you have an issue that you wish us to hear about or act upon, please let us know. Our website includes a page that outlines the planning service complaints procedures

      •  And we’re always pleased when we do get it right. Our staff really value positive feedback, too


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