Friday 01 May 2020
The Development & Planning Authority (D&PA) have announced that the period of public consultation for planning applications, where suspended during lockdown, will need to re-start once restrictions are lifted.
Planning applications need to be publicised in order for public representations on the proposal to be made however, on lockdown, publicity for planning applications which had started was suspended. In readiness for the lifting of restrictions, the D&PA has considered representations received and has agreed that publicity will need to be re-started rather than just completing the steps which remained at the point of lockdown. Therefore, following the lifting of lockdown, all affected applications will be subject to a further 21 day site notice period and be published or re-published in the Guernsey Press.
Although the D&PA is aware that this will inevitably lead to some further delays before a decision can be reached, it is considered that this presents the simplest and fairest approach. As the difficulties in making representations on proposals was evident prior to the lockdown, the D&PA wish to enable all interested parties to have the opportunity to view and comment on submitted plans. By restarting the publicity, this will ensure that all planning decisions reached are robust and not subject to potential challenge on grounds of inadequate publicity.
Work on applications subject to this extended period of consultation is still being carried out by Planning Officers and it is anticipated that, in the majority of cases, decisions on these applications will be able to be issued very shortly after the expiry of the extended consultation period.
In respect of new planning applications submitted after lockdown began, these will continue to be processed through registration and validation stages. Anyone submitting a new planning application during lockdown will be notified either that their application is valid or that additional information is required in order to make it valid. Following the lifting of lockdown, site notices will be issued on the valid applications and the 21 day publicity period will commence as soon as the site notice has been displayed as confirmed by the site notice confirmation slip which must be returned to the Planning Service.
Preliminary assessment work will be undertaken on new applications where possible in advance of the statutory publicity which will be commenced once lockdown ends, at which point interested parties will be able to access Sir Charles Frossard House safely to view proposed plans. This preliminary work may include site visits by Planning Officers where safe to do so within Public Health guidelines.