The delivery of the planning service continues to follow the latest Government advice regarding coronavirus.
In line with recent government guidance, we would ask that applications be submitted online. This will assist remote working by reducing the amount of staff time required at the offices to process paper applications.
Application Processing and Meetings/Site Visits
Planning Officers continue to do a large part of their work from home. While we will still aim to process an application within the normal determination period, where delays do occur and in line with current arrangements, we will contact applicants/agents to seek agreement for a formal extension.
With regard to Government social-distancing advice, we are seeking to avoid face-to-face meetings and restrict site visits where possible. Officers will suggest conference calls and other similar means of available technology where necessary. This can include the submission of up-to-date video and/or photographs of the site/location with the application to assist remote working. When a site visit is required, it will be carried out in accordance with the following Protocol Site Visit Protocol.
Following the expiry of legislation that allowed for the Council to hold remote online meetings, the Planning Committee function is returning to meet in person in the Council Chamber. There are various restrictions in place though and limits on the number of persons that can attend. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be broadcast on line. More information on these matters is available here.
Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes
The Government has relaxed permitted development regulations for 12 months so that pubs and restaurants (Class A3 and A4 uses) can operate temporarily as hot food takeaway outlets without needing planning permission for a change of use. Find out more here. Owners of such businesses must notify the Local Planning Authority if they are intending to change the use of their premises to a temporary use for the "provision of takeaway food" during the 1 year period from 24/03/2020 to 23/03/2021 and can do so, in writing, by emailing DevelopmentManagement@dover.gov.uk identifying the business name and address and when the hot food takeaway use commenced. At the end of the temporary period those businesses will be required to revert to their original lawful uses.
Where planning permission was previously required to place furniture on the public highway, this is currently no longer required: (a) Where a pavement license has first been obtained from the Council; and (b) for the duration the pavement license is in force. This is a temporary measure introduced by the government with licenses not being valid beyond 30/09/21. Operators of pubs restaurants and cafes can contact the Council’s licensing team for more information by emailing email@example.com
Delivery restrictions to retailers
The Government has relaxed restrictions on the times that deliveries can be made to shops. It is vital that deliveries of food, sanitary and other essential products can be made as quickly and safely as possible. Find out more. Minimising disruption to the supply chains on which our communities depend is vitally important so the Council does not propose to take action that would affect deliveries of essential supplies at this time.
For planning enforcement purposes, during this time, bearing in mind the relaxing of planning rules and the government’s drive to ensure food chain supply to the nation, where there is a breach of planning control, due consideration will be given to the proportionality of pursuing any action. It is unlikely that any action will be taken which could affect food supplies. Alleged breaches of planning control can be notified by contacting Planningenforcement@dover.gov.uk or through the Councils website following the links https://www.dover.gov.uk.
Queries and advice on noise control should be directed to the Environmental Protection Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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