Coronavirus: view the status of our services

We are providing information for residents, businesses, and communities which we will review and update regularly. View the latest updates, advice and guidance.


Planning enforcement

As a result of guidelines introduced as part of the national drive to combat the spread of COVID-19, changes have been made to enforcement work carried out by us and other local authorities.

Pubs and restaurants

While some pubs and restaurants do not yet have planning permission to operate as takeaway premises (selling food and drink for consumption outside the premises), the rules have been relaxed to allow them to maintain a revenue stream and avoid potential closure or loss of small businesses.

Allowing a local business to run takeaway services enables residents to access goods with the minimum exposure to risk of infection with coronavirus. 

The new national guidelines mean we need to act proportionately when responding to suspected breaches of planning permission. Where possible, we will not take enforcement action that would unnecessarily restrict pubs and restaurants from temporarily providing takeaway services during the current exceptional circumstances.

Food retailers, distributors and freight industry

As a result of the new guidelines, we will take a positive approach to our engagement with companies in these sectors to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to food delivery during the current period of disruption.

This means that while we need to keep in mind our legal duties, we will not seek to undertake planning enforcement action that results in the unnecessary restriction of food and other essentials during this period.

Commercial caravan parks and sites

The regulations mean that people can remain on a caravan site or park if it is their permanent address, or if they are living there on an interim basis as their permanent home is unavailable.

We will be reviewing all these measures after three months.

Planning enforcement complaints

Our online reporting facility has been updated to ask for help in making our investigations of alleged breaches more effective during the Covid-19 emergency. 

Please provide photographs and video clips of the matter you are reporting online to planning.enforcement@colchester.gov.uk remembering to add the site details.
 

Page last reviewed: 27 March 2020