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Changes to our planning service

There have been changes to our planning service due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Temporary changes to our Statement of Community Involvement and Scheme of Delegation

On 9 June 2020, the Strategic Planning committee agreed to temporarily amend our Scheme of Delegation.

The Scheme of Delegation now states that:

  • Applications with five or more objections must go to the planning committee for decision. Previously, applications with three or more objections would go to the planning committee.
  • Applications with an amenity society objection will be reviewed by the Chair who will decide whether it is referred to the planning committee for a decision.
  • Applications with five to nine objections will be reviewed by the Chair who will decide whether it is referred to the planning committee for a decision. The changes to the Scheme of Delegation to be reviewed by the Strategic Planning Committee after a three month period following introduction.

On 10 June 2020, Mayor and Cabinet agreed changes to the Statement of Community Involvement to allow virtual meetings and more electronic communications.

The changes are as follows:

  • Invitations to planning committee meetings, other communications and information relating to planning committee meetings (including publication of agendas) will be carried out electronically wherever possible.
  • We will make it explicit that if you want to speak at planning committee meetings you need to register and submit a written copy of your speech in advance of the meeting.
  • A new online format for Local Meetings.
  • We will review the changes to the Statement of Community after three months.

Proposed extension of temporary changes

We are not yet in a position to resume in person planning committees. Therefore we are proposing a further six month extension to the temporary additional delegations, at which point the temporary arrangements will be reviewed.

The proposed temporary extension to the Scheme of Delegation will be presented to the Strategic Planning Committee on 3 September 2020. The extension of the temporary arrangements in the Statement of Community Involvement will be presented to Mayor and Cabinet on 16 September 2020.

Trees on Private Land

From Monday 2nd November 2020 we will be changing how we deal with tree submissions. We now have a Fast Track service and new validation procedures

Planning applications

You can still submit an application, but it may take longer than usual to process. Applications can only be submitted via the planning portal or by emailing planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

Please note: Due to the current public health situation planning officers are not conducting site visits so you will be asked to submit photographs of your property to enable your planning application to be progressed.

Business and Planning Act

On the 22 July 2020, the Government issued the Business and Planning Act, this provides guidance on:

Extension of construction working hours

The Act allows a developer to make an application to temporarily extend construction hours until 9pm Mondays to Saturdays until 1 April 2021. Applications must take into account the Government issued guidance.

The Council will make a case by case appraisal on each request that is submitted taking into account the context of each individual site and overarching importance of protecting residents amenity.

Extension of certain planning permissions

Lapsed planning permissions between 19 August 2020 and 21 December 2020 are now extended automatically until 1 May 2021.

Lapsed planning permissions between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 2020 are also extended to 1 May 2021, this is subject to Additional Environmental Approval being granted. Developers should refer to the Government issued guidance before making an Additional Environmental Approval application.

Please email planning@lewisham.gov.uk to discuss any changes.

Duty planner meetings

All face-to-face pre-application and duty planner meetings have been cancelled. Advice will now be provided via telephone or video call (appointment only). Planning officers may request up to date photographs of sites, rather than making a visit.

Design Review Panel meetings have been postponed or cancelled as appropriate.

Comment on planning applications

Please note: Due to current temporary working arrangements, there may sometimes be a discrepancy between dates published on different media for the submission deadline for comments on planning applications. If there is such a discrepancy we will always accept comments from members of the public until the latest published deadline.

Comments on planning applications should be submitted via the planning portal or by emailing planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

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