North York Moors

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Planning service

In the light of updated government advice we are implementing a number of measures to reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus. This will inevitably mean a reduced and less accessible planning service so we ask applicants and the public to bear with us in this period of uncertainty.

Whilst we will still continue to deliver a planning service, the following approach will apply until 31 May:

Officers will not be office based but can be contacted by email or telephone to provide pre-application advice or for ongoing correspondence on an existing planning application; face to face meetings will not take place. Please use existing contact details provided on our website or leave a message on the answerphone service on our mainline number (01439 772700). If you wish to be contacted by telephone, please remember to leave your contact number.

Unfortunately we are not able to access postal correspondence during this period so communication must be by email or telephone.

Unaccompanied site visits by planning officers will still need to take place so they can photograph and assess the proposal and the officer will be in contact by phone or email to notify when this will take place. Please let us know if this is acceptable to you. We will also be sending Site Notices via email to agents/applicants asking them to display the notice at the applicati on site.

All physical meetings have been postponed though national legislation has been enacted to allow virtual planning committee meetings to take place using computer/video link. We expect the Planning Committee meeting on 21 May to take place in this way. As 95% of planning applications are decided through officer delegation, this is not likely to impact significantly on the timely determination of planning applications.

Planning Committee - 21 May

The National Park Planning Committee recognises the need to balance continuing decision making on planning issues so that developments are ready to assist an economic recovery together with public engagement on the most contentious developments.

Whilst all Planning decisions are currently delegated to the Chief Executive/Director of Planning, it is with a caveat that those most contentious applications will still be dealt with by a North York Moors Planning Committee.

Whilst current stringent lockdown arrangements prevent actual face to face meetings, the May Planning Committee will be a virtual Planning Committee undertaken by use of the Authority’s chosen video conferencing platform ‘Lifesize’ with a public streaming facility to enable the proceedings to be watched.

The Authority has produced a Virtual Public Meeting Protocol, which sets out how the North York Moors National Park Authority virtual committee meetings will operate. The Protocol can be accessed on the Meetings and agendas section of the Authority’s website.

Public speaking (3 minute slots) will be facilitated with speakers having the ability to take part for their speaking slot. An email will be sent out to objectors/supporters/Parish Town councils who have already commented on those most contentious planning applications to be determined by the virtual May Planning Committee. Those that formally register to speak will be sent a further email the day before the virtual Planning Committee meeting is due to take place with a link to join the meeting and supporting guidance.

To ensure the virtual Planning Committee meeting is conducted in an open and transparent manner it will be live streamed to the public. A link will be published under the relevant Planning Committee heading of the Meetings and agendas section of the Authority’s website in due course.

Future planning meetings will be reviewed depending on any changes to lockdown and social distancing arrangements.

Any queries, please contact Mark Hill, Head of Development Management  by email