Colchester Borough Council is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to take action to minimise disruption and keep residents and visitors safe.
Coronavirus: updates, advice and guidance
On receipt of a pre-application, we will check to make sure it's complete as soon as possible.
To be accepted as "valid", a pre-application enquiry should contain:
If we don't have all the required information, we will notify you. You will have a set period of time to submit the missing information.
Once we have all the required information, we will contact you to advise whether a meeting is required.
We have the right to decline pre-application advice where we feel it's not necessary.
Read more on the Planning Portal
We will identify relevant policies, look for any issues to consider and research the history of the site and surroundings. We then look at your project in relation to the “desk top information” we have found.
We don't normally carry out a site visit unless we think it's necessary. If we do, we will tell you as this would incur a fee.
If you pay for a site visit upfront and we decide it's not necessary, we'll refund this fee. For example, if something is unacceptable at the start, there is nothing we need to see on site at this stage.
Taking photos of the site will help reduce our time and could reduce your costs as a site visit may not be necessary.
We may suggest a meeting if we think there is something that needs to be discussed. At the meeting we will:
If a meeting isn't necessary, we will send you a written summary of our advice.
We try to offer as much advice as we can but the more you tell us the better the advice we can give.
If you fail to tell us something that later comes to light, this may affect the outcome.
If further advice and/or meetings are required, additional fees are applicable.
We can't guarantee that your building project will receive planning permission.
We'll tell you if we would approve or refuse it as it is or if amendments will help.
Any advice given is based on the information provided by you, or that which we can assess from our own office resources, unless you have paid for a site visit (and we agree that one is beneficial).
Any views or opinions are given in good faith, and to the best of our ability, without prejudice.
The final decision on an application will be made by senior officers or by our Planning Committee and will be based on all the information available at that time.
A pre-application enquiry won't go through consultation like a planning application will.
We advise that you speak to neighbours who may be affected as earlier as possible as this could help resolve problems early on.
We will normally send you a written report within 20 working days from receipt of application.
We don't assist in writing your application. After you have submitted it, we may contact you to clarify some details, suggest a site visit or a meeting.
Usually you won't hear from us until we write to you with our final analysis.