Planning applications: weekly list

Planning applications and a HB pencil
Weekly list of applications

Recently our customers have been telling us that they are concerned about the delays in getting some planning applications onto the weekly list.  We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and we would urge community councils and others to use Public Access which updates on planning applications every day.  You can use the advanced search to find the areas you are interested in or sign up for email alerts for applications which matches your search criteria.

We will continue to send out the weekly list because it is required by law but please be aware there is an in-built delay getting applications onto the list. Here’s why:

  • When an application is submitted, we have to do various checks. Sometimes the address we are given is wrong or there is no accurate address so we have to create one, sometimes we have to wait for the fee to be paid and sometimes applications are given to us late on a Friday so we have already lost some checking time.  We also have to check that permission is actually needed.  We try to get applications registered, checked and acknowledged within 4 working days but if a weekend is involved that can be nearly a week gone.
  • If the application was complete when we received it, the valid date is the date when we received it not the date we finished checking it. If it is not complete we can invalidate it and this happens in about a fifth of cases.  The valid date is then when we receive the rest of the information.
  • The weekly list is run on our back office computer system on a Tuesday morning. If an application is still being checked, it has to wait another week before it gets onto the list. So if an application comes in on a Thursday or a Friday, it will not usually make the list the following week and has to wait till the week after.
  • The 21 day period for commenting starts on either the valid date, the advert date or the neighbour notification date whichever is later. So you will usually have more time to comment on listed building consents or planning applications in conservation areas because these need to be advertised. Advert applications do not need advertised or neighbour notified so the 21 day period for comments starts when we receive it, if it is complete.
  • The weekly list is only for information and doesn’t affect the time you have to comment. We actually only have to send it to community councils but we email it to others as well because we know they find it helpful to have all the cases in one document.

We know that it’s a bit complicated. Considering the above, you can appreciate how the commenting time for some applications can almost be up by the time they are on the weekly list.  That’s why we encourage the use of Public Access to receive updates on new applications.

5 thoughts on “Planning applications: weekly list”

  1. Don’t want to teach you to suck eggs, but have you went back to basics and considered what the requirements here are?

    Some people have an interest in planning applications within their immediate area. They probably also have an interest in major planning applications over a wider area, or city-wide. They would like to be notified on these applications and decisions as they happen. That’s the ideal situation.

    They simply do not want to be forced to use the clunky “Public Access” portal on a daily basis to hunt out this information. They are time poor. It needs to be “pushed” out to them. The emailed weekly list isn’t great, but it is a reasonable compromise (ease of use vs timeliness).

    What would be ideal is the ability to subscribe to notifications within a specified geographical area, of a specified importance (national, major, local, etc). This could be implemented as an email system, or Atom/RSS on the website.

    Thanks/L (Porty CC)

    1. Thanks for the feedback. We appreciate that there are different levels of interest in planning in the City and that Public Access has some shortcomings. As well as using Public Access, people can also sign up for notices using Public Access is due a refresh which will improve its functionality and reliability. This will be similar to the version used by Newcastle City Council. We’ll keep everyone posted on progress.

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