Planning

COVID-19 Planning Services: Current Working Arrangements
Updated 7th June 2021

The Authority buildings remain closed and planning staff are continuing to follow government guidance to work from home as far as possible. Considering the severity and unprecedented nature of this situation we do not have any indication as to when the offices will re-open.  The situation is being kept under review and any changes to working practice will be highlighted here.

Development Management: Planning and Related Applications

Current applications including pre-application enquiries will, wherever practicable, be progressed to determination or response. If you wish to enquire about an existing application or pre application enquiry please e-mail planning.enquiries@beacons-npa.gov.uk

  • All committee meetings will continue to be held using Video Conferencing.  A link to the live stream will be posted on our website committee pages for members of the public to view.  
  • Until further notice, new applications including pre-application enquiries will need to be submitted electronically, either via the Welsh Government’s Applications Portal or via e-mail to planning.enquiries@beacons-npa.gov.uk. Such applications will be registered and acknowledged as normal, and Case Officers will contact applicants / agents to discuss individual cases.
  • We will continue to display most site notices for planning applications.  Where an Officer has deemed that a site notice is required to meet statutory requirements, but they are unable to visit site to place the site notice, in the interest of progressing such applications, applicants or agents may receive site notices in the post.  If this is requested, instructions regarding the procedure for displaying site notices will be enclosed.
  • Neighbour Notification Letters are being sent out as per our usual practice
  • As all of Wales remains within Alert Level Two restrictions (with a phased move to Alert Level One), Officers visiting sites will still be required to carry out risk assessments before embarking on their planned site visits.  External site visits will only progress where it can be determined that there is minimal risk of contact.  Officers will phone or email applicants or their agents to discuss the feasibility of a site visit taking place. Officers will request that they are afforded unaccompanied access to a site.  Officers will not enter the site if they are not able to do so unaccompanied.   Officers will leave site if they believe that their safety or that of a member of the public is being compromised. 
  • As Planning Officers are undertaking unaccompanied site visits, Specialist Officers, such as the Ecologist, or Archaeologist, may contact applicants to arrange their own unaccompanied external site visit.
  • We will NOT be undertaking any internal site visits at the current time.
  • The Authority is not able to receive cash, cheque or telephone card payments due to the impact of the crisis.  Payment for planning applications and pre-planning enquiries can be made via the planning portal or alternatively by BACS transfer.
    Planning fees should be paid at the time of submitting your planning application.  Please note we are unable to accept purchase orders and we are unable to send out invoices in respect of planning application fees.  Any other remittances or other financial queries should be sent by email to finance@beacons-npa.gov.uk

Enforcement

Enforcement complaint forms can be downloaded from our website at www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/planning/enforcement-monitoring  and submitted to us via e-mail at enforcement@beacons-npa.gov.uk. Site visits are being undertaken where possible and in line with the above precautions

We will continue to progress existing cases and whilst we will endeavour to respond to urgent matters, the timescales within the Authority’s Planning Enforcement Charter are temporarily suspended during the Coronavirus crisis. If you wish to enquire about an existing enforcement matter please e-mail enforcement@beacons-npa.gov.uk

Policy and Heritage

Policy, Heritage and Ecology Officers will continue to provide expert advice on planning and related applications and enforcement matters.  As stated above Officers may be in contact separately to discuss site visit arrangements or to request photographs of a site.  If you have a query about a policy, heritage or ecology matter please e-mail planning.enquiries@beacons-npa.gov.uk

Local Development Plan

The National Park Authority is currently still working on our replacement Local Development Plan (LDP2) although our timetable has been severely disrupted by the pandemic and now phosphate issues, we anticipate that the next phase of the LDP development will be reviewed in September 2021.

If you would like to become a consultee to the Local Development Plan review please email LDP@beacons-npa.gov.uk.

We are closely monitoring Welsh Government guidance with regard to potential new measures to support the planning process in response to the current situation and will update the website as and when any changes occur.

Please be assured that the Planning Department will do its best to continue with the Service during these uncertain times, however your patience, understanding and assistance would be greatly appreciated.