Planning

COVID-19 Planning Services: Current Working Arrangements

The Authority buildings are now closed and planning staff are working from home. In light of the severity and unprecedented nature of this situation we do not have any indication at the moment 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.

The Planning Service including Development Management, Enforcement, Policy, Heritage and Administration will endeavour to continue operating as far as is practicably possible during these challenging times.

In this respect, while matters are the subject of continuous review, this is the current situation;

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 are now being held using Video Conferencing.  A link to the live stream will be posted on our committee pages for members of the public to view.   We are currently considering public speaking arrangements and will provide guidance on our website nearer to Committee dates.
  • 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 are now able 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 usual practice
  • As of the 20th May the restrictions on Officers visiting site have been lifted.  However site visits are progressing only 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 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 Officers are undertaking unaccompanied site visits specialist Officers, such as the Ecologist, or Archaeologist, may contact applicants to arrange their own unaccompanied site visit.

  • 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
  • Please send all invoices, remittances and other financial queries by email to finance@beacons-npa.gov.uk

Enforcement

We are still receiving enforcement complaints electronically (including via our online complaints form), and 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 NPA is currently still working on our replacement LDP (LDP2).  Our existing Delivery Agreement and Community Involvement Strategy, set out publication of the Deposit LDP June/July of this year.  This is becoming to be increasingly untenable.  We will not be issuing any future consultations until we are satisfied that they would not be compromised by the current or future restrictions on movement.  All LDP consultees will be contacted as and when we are clearer on the timetable amendments that may be necessary as a result of the coronavirus crisis.  If you would like to receive such a notification please contact LDP@beacons-npa.gov.uk

Planning Policy Consultations

The current consultation on the Brecon Town Plan will be extended indefinitely, a closure date will be issued following lifting of movement restrictions.  Any queries should be sent to placeplans@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.