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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

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency temporary modifications to the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) were agreed by Mayor and Cabinet on 10 June 2020 in order to enable the continued determination of the full range of planning applications during the public health emergency.

It was agreed that the changes to working practices would be reviewed after a three-month period following introduction. At a meeting on 16 September 2020 the Mayor and Cabinet approved the continuation of these changes for a further six-month period.

Find more details about the Mayor and Cabinet meeting and the temporary changes.

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

The planning team is supporting the Council’s COVID-19 response with several members of staff redeployed to critical services.

Due to reduced resources the duty planning officer service is being temporarily suspended. Requests for advice from local businesses will continue to be handled although response times may be longer than usual. Other pre-application services are unaffected. We are sorry for any inconvenience and will resume normal service as quickly as possible. Please check the website for further updates.

Responses to frequently asked questions on planning.

Comment on planning applications

The Council has temporarily increased the standard time to comment on full planning applications to 28 days. This is a temporary measure which has been put in place to compensate for current delays to the Royal Mail postal service in the Lewisham area. We will keep this under review. This does not affect applications for ‘prior approval’ where consultation requirements are set by Government legislation.

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.

Email updates

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