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Coronavirus - planning and building control

As part of the response to the coronavirus, it has been necessary for the planning and building control service to make some changes to the way it operates.

For details of service areas that have changed, please see below:

Building Control - Dangerous structures/ site visits
Planning applications and decisions
Planning Breaches
Duty Officer Services
Current SPD Consultations

Contacting us



Please be aware that at times it may not always be possible for specific officers to be contacted directly by phone.

We will make every effort to continue to provide a service but remote working and the inevitable short notice changes in staff availability may mean that some processes take longer than usual. We appreciate your understanding at this difficult time and we will do our best to keep all parties informed of any further changes

Planning applications and decisions

  • The Development and Strategic Development Committees will be meeting in a virtual environment to determine planning applications that are normally referred to them.  This follows recent changes to regulations affecting how council meetings can take place.  There will be no changes to the committees’ terms of reference. 

  • The first meeting in a virtual environment was the Strategic Development Committee on 21 May 2020.  
    You can watch this and future meetings live on the internet using the council's Webcast Portal.
    Details of agendas, reports and dates of future meetings are available on the committees webpage.

  • We will continue to validate, register and process planning applications.  However non-critical planning decisions may be delayed if further information is required or if we need to enter a property to carry out a site visit.

  • If you wish to make a comment on an application, please do so using the public access system  or send an e-mail to development control.  This is the quickest and easiest way to have your say.  We won’t be able to accept comments by letter that were posted after 13 April 2020.

  • We will accept late comments on applications that are received after the statutory 21 day period, up until a decision is issued.  Please contact us on 020 7364 5009 if you need any help or advice on how to submit your comments.
  • The Planning Inspectorate has advised that for new planning appeals, they are unable to accept representations sent by post. Copies of any representations we have received on the original application are always forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate to consider.
  • The drop-in duty planner advice service has been suspended. Email enquiries will continue to be dealt with and website resources remain available. You can call us on 020 7364 5009 for general planning advice. For more detailed advice, a call back can be requested and scheduled with a planning case officer.


Building Control

  • Dangerous structures can still be reported by calling 020 7364 5009 Mon-Fri 9-5pm. At all other times, the contact number is 020 7364 7070.
  • Building control surveyors will only be carrying out limited site inspections until further notice. With the exception of excavations, fire-related inspections and major structural work we will be happy to accept photographs of work that we would normally inspect. 
  • To submit your photographs, please email Building Control with a subject INSPECTION followed by the address. Attach your photographs fully demonstrating critical elements of the work. Any photos should show tape measurements of foundations, joists etc. Surveyors will assess your photos and seek to advise you on the same day that the photographs are acceptable
  • Building control surveyors will only carry out site visits and inspections as appropriate in accordance with Local Authority Building Control (LABC) risk assessment procedures.

Duty officer services

The drop-in advice service for the duty planner and the duty building control officer has been suspended. Email enquiries will continue to be dealt with and website resources remain available.  You can call us on 020 7364 5009 for general planning advice. For more detailed advice, a call back can be requested and scheduled with a planning case officer.

Planning breaches

The planning compliance team will only be making site inspections where the alleged breach involves serious and/or irreversible harm to property. See more about the changes to planning compliance.

Current SPD consultations

The High Density Living SPD consultation had been extended and will now close on Friday 15 May 2020 at 5pm.

The Planning Obligations SPD consultation had also been extended and will now close on Sunday 24 May 2020 at 5pm.

Contacting us

Please be aware that it may not always be possible for specific officers to be contacted directly by phone.

In order to allow us to prioritise queries and requests, please consult the list below and send your enquiry to the relevant address: