Planning and Development coronavirus information Important information about changes to our services Following the recent government announcement in response to the coronavirus outbreak, we have had to make some changes to the way we work. The Planning and Development service is continuing to operate as effectively as it can under the circumstances, however, there may be some delay in validation and registration of planning applications at this time. We require that all applicants, agents and interested parties observe social distancing rules and do not approach officers in any circumstances if they see them carrying out their duties. Planning officers are continuing to work on and assess current valid applications and are contactable on their usual email addresses and phone numbers. Site visits Officers will carry out unaccompanied outdoor site visits where social distancing rules can be observed but please be aware officers will not enter any dwellings or indoor premises. This means that some applications will not be able to progress if a site visit cannot be carried out safely and this will be assessed on a case by case basis. To enable officers to assess applications you may be asked to provide photographs of your property. Representations and amendments to applications Where interested parties have made representations and amended plans have been received, we may carry out a targeted re-consultation by email where this is appropriate and if we have contact details. If you are making representations on an application, make sure you give us an email address and telephone number so that we can contact you if necessary. Decision making Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and current workload and staffing levels, there are some delays at the present time in the processing of householder planning applications. Your application is currently being held until a planning officer is available to commence the assessment process. In the current circumstances, you should expect your decision will take nearer 12 -15 weeks rather than the normal 8 week target period. The Planning and Development Management Committees are taking place virtually on a monthly basis every second Thursday. Public speaking rights at remote Committees will operate as closely as possible to the procedures in place when meetings are held at the Town Hall. If you are an applicant or have commented on an application which is to be considered at Committee you will be contacted in the usual way to enable you to register to speak. If you wish to speak at the meeting, you should register your interest by 4pm on the Tuesday before the Committee and you are requested to submit a written statement timed to three minutes by midday on the day of Committee. The statement will be read out on your behalf by a planning officer should you not wish to speak using video conferencing at the remote Committee or as a back-up if you are unable to connect to the meeting due to a technology failure. Guidance notes on how to join the meeting and virtual meeting etiquette will be issued once the speaker is confirmed. Planning enforcement complaints During this period only urgent planning enforcement complaints will be investigated where there is evidence of significant harm. Complaints relating to house extensions or garden buildings will not generally be considered urgent at this time and planning compliance officers will not enter properties or gardens. General enquiries and queries If you have a general planning query, the general planning telephone number (0161 912 3149) is currently being answered by our customer call centre— Access Trafford—who are taking a high volume of calls at the moment. You can find answers to the most frequent queries either on our Planning Pages or on the Planning Portal, both these sites provide a range of planning information. If you still need to contact us, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, though there may be some delay in responding to you.