Planning Customer Charter

Customer Charter- Planning Services

Serving you as the Customer

We will:

  • Be friendly, approachable and professional
  • Use straightforward language and avoid jargon
  • Do our best to resolve your enquiry there and then and let you know what happens next if we can't
  • Use your feedback to develop our services
  • Guide you through our website so you can enjoy the convenience of dealing with us on-line
  • Apologise if we get it wrong and put it right

We will not:

Always be able to give everyone the outcome they want, but we will operate with transparency and always seek to explain why decisions have been reached

Performance Standards

We will:

  • Acknowledge queries received to Planning@breckland.gov.uk and confirm receipt
  • Respond to call-back requests logged via the Council's Customer Contact Centre with 2 working days
  • Keep you updated of progress
  • Look to deal with your request the first time you contact us, but if we can't, we'll provide you with intended timescale for response
  • If you contact us looking for information, we will help you to find it by making as much information as possible available on our website, and show you how to find it.

We will not:

Always be able to solve your problems. Planning legislation has limitations in its scope and control and therefore we will not always have the right powers to deal with your questions of concerns. In these circumstance we will signpost post you to the right support

Pre-Application

We will:

  • Encourage you to obtain pre-application advice wherever possible, and provide a variety of options to allow you to do this
  • When we receive a written request for pre-application advice; confirm safe receipt, tell you who is dealing with your query and when you can expect a response
  • Provide advice in a positive and proactive manner that guides you in what additional work might be needed to enable us to reach a positive conclusion on your proposals (if it is possible to do so)

Validation of Planning Applications

We will:

  • When we receive an application from you, we aim to tell you whether it is valid or not within five working days
  • Look to contact you quickly to resolve small technical errors or omissions to avoid delays

Commenting on planning applications

We will:

  • Follow all current national guidance on the consultation and advertisement of planning applications

We will not:

  • Enter into a dialogue or be able to provide detailed answers to all questions raised at the consultation stage. The high level of correspondence generated by some applications means that it is not possible to provide individual responses to all correspondence, therefore we will ensure that all points are addressed in the Case Officer's report so that there is a transparent record of how each issue was considered.

Reaching our Decision

We will:

  • Ensure all decisions will be made in accordance with the relevant legislation but also taking into account other material considerations
  • Act in a positive and proactive manner and look to find solutions. Where amendments or changes to a scheme could potentially turn an unacceptable proposal into an acceptable one, we will offer the applicant an opportunity to making these changes
  • Show how the points made at the consultation stage have been taken into account in reaching any decision
  • Publish a copy of the officer's report so it is available to view on our website within 48 hours of the decision

Enforcing breaches of planning control

We will:

  • Take any allegations of breaches of planning control seriously
  • We aim to keep all parties in the enforcement process informed of our actions, and advise them of the outcomes of any investigations