Coronavirus updates for planning and building control

Coronavirus updates for planning, building control and local land charges

Information about planning, building control and construction activity

Council officers are predominantly working remotely but are continuing to support development happening safely in the borough.  The following summarises the Council’s commitment to maintaining services but identifies where some changes have been made.

Building Control Services

The Building Control Service will be reducing the number of ‘physical site inspections’ on small domestic projects until further notice and will have put alternative arrangements in place as follows.

Where there is an urgent need for an inspection please contact the surveyor direct where you have been given the details of the surveyor or email our generic email. We will assess your request on a case by case basis but we intend to provide a ‘virtual site inspection’ by accepting photographs and short video clips if practicable from the builder, contactor or home owner. Where you are able to, as much advance notice will be appreciated so we can positively assist and advise you.

On larger developments we still intend for an officer to visit the site where it is safe to do so particularly at the early stages of development.

All online services will continue as usual.

Until further notice we can only accept online applications and payments.

If you have any urgent query regarding your building control application please email [email protected]

Planning Service

Application submissions

  • Please endeavour to submit all applications electronically rather than via post or hand delivery where possible.

Payments

  • Please pay online rather than sending through cheques where possible.

Contacting Planning

  • The Duty Planning Phone service is currently suspended however we are still operating our email query service therefore if you have any general planning enquiries please email us via [email protected]
  • In respect of planning application submissions and enquiries relating to specific planning applications you can email [email protected] or if you have a planning application pending consideration please email your case officer. 
  • To contact specific Planning Officers, if not available via telephone please email them.

Pre-application advice
The Local Planning Authority continues to operate the discretionary service of pre-application advice and PPPA service.  

Planning Committees
The schedule of meetings is being maintained.  Committee meetings are being held virtually with elected Members, Officers, Applicants Teams and those registered to speak, with the proceedings being streamed on Facebook Live. 

Planning Enforcement
The Planning Enforcement team continues to operate at the moment with virtual investigations of potential breaches of planning ongoing.  

Please continue to report arising concerns via the 'Report It' section of the website.  A Planning Officer may contact you asking for further details before an assessment takes place.  Our responses may take a little longer than usual.  

We will focus on the matters reported which appear to be causing the most harm, but all reports will be investigated as soon as possible.

Planning Policy

The Local Planning Authority are continuing to gather evidence and views for the planned update to the Local Plan. We are really interested to hear from people and communities about the types of changes we can plan for in the Borough, including responses as to how people are living and working during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are currently working remotely and maintaining our regular planning policy functions as much as possible.  During this time new ways of engaging with residents, communities, businesses and other stakeholders with an interest in development in the Borough are being worked on, with updates to follow on the website.  We want everyone to get involved. If you would like to be kept updated about the Local Plan or other planning policy consultations, you can be added to our database or alternatively email us at [email protected]

Developer Contributions – Planning Obligations (S106) and the Community Infrastructure Levy

The team are working remotely.  We continue to be contactable on [email protected]; [email protected] or on telephone on 02033732024.

Submissions to fulfil planning obligations and notices submitted to the collecting authority in relation to CIL should be made by email rather than by post to enable a prompt response.

Payments should continue to be made electronically in accordance with the instructions given on official correspondence, payments made by cheque will not be accepted currently.

Local Land Charges and conveyancing in Newham

The Local Authority Local Land Charges Team is committed to working with you to support the conveyancing process and enable continued economic activity in the Borough.

Our working practices have changed and this will have an impact on both the statutory response to Form LLC1 and the discretionary service in responding to Form CON29 and any other optional enquiries.

The Land Charges Team will not be able to accept payment by cheque currently.  The process for making a payment by BACS can be shared by emailing [email protected] - evidence of payment will need to be provided before a Search request will be processed.

In line with our extant practices the Local Land Charges Team can accept search requests and enquiries via [email protected] or the following portals:

  • NLIS Land Data
  • TM Search Group
  • Infotrack

From 20 March 2020 we will no longer be accepting requests for searches or services by post or DX nor will responses be dispatched in this manner.

Please direct all enquiries to [email protected] and a member of the Team will be in touch.

Reponses may take a little longer than usual.

The Local Land Charges Team thanks you in advance for your support and cooperation.