Posted: Mon 6th Apr 2020

Planning decisions on hold in Gwynedd due to coronavirus pandemic

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 6th, 2020

Most non-emergency planning decisions are set to remain on hold as Gwynedd battles the spread of covid-19.

As councils pour resources into front line services in a bid to to protect public health and maintain essential tasks, the cabinet member for the environment has confirmed that most non-essential decisions will take a back seat for the time being.

With site visits and the placing of statutory notices taking a back seat, the planning department’s efforts will now be concentrating on any applicants which facilitate temporary developments for key services such as health.

Due to the ongoing efforts to maintain social distancing, the planning meeting scheduled for March 23 was cancelled, with the next planned meeting on April 22 expected to follow suit.

“It is unlikely that we will be able to process or make decisions regarding any new planning applications, including those which have been submitted recently, due to the practical risks and also the difficulty in conforming with statutory requirements,” said Cllr Gareth Griffith.

“In addition, we cannot ensure that a full response is given to new or recent applications regarding pre- application advice.

“This means that it is unlikely that we will be able to process or make decisions regarding any new planning applications, including those which have been submitted recently, due to the practical risks and also the difficulty in conforming with statutory requirements.

“In addition, we cannot ensure that a full response is given to new or recent applications regarding pre- application advice,” added Cllr Griffith, conceding it was “unfair” to hold any public consultations or expect the public to respond to them, given the current circumstances.

He also confirmed the possibility of planning service staff being eventually redeployed to support other essential services that deal more specifically with public health issues, if deemed necessary.

“We would like to stress that information which is provided to the Service is monitored and priority is given to urgent matters, such as matters which facilitate key services mainly, and possibly urgent enforcement cases where practicable and necessary.

“We will be encouraging everyone to submit their information to the service electronically, in order to avoid the need for officers to attend offices when that is not essential.

“We will be reviewing the situation regularly in order to respond to any change to this emergency situation or any new information.”

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter



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