Planning delays at Torridge Council

Frustrating times for house buyers and people applying for planning permission as extra workload post-lockdown creates delays …

Torridge District Council are making customers aware that high work volumes are having a direct impact on the turnaround times within the Planning and Land Charges Services.

Workloads have peaked post lockdown due to a combination of changes implemented by the government to stimulate economic activity (i.e., the stamp duty suspension) and lifestyle changes within the wider population as people seek to move to more rural locations. This has resulted in large increases in both new planning applications and land charge search requests.

Prior to this surge in demand, Torridge’s Planning Service was achieving a 99% service standard in terms of determining planning applications on time, and the Land Charges Team were achieving their lowest turnaround times for 3 or 4 years. In the short term this excellent level of service cannot be sustained.

Torridge Monitoring Officer Solicitor, Staci Dorey, said: “the Council apologises in advance to our customers who will have to wait longer than expected for planning application decisions and land charge searches to be completed.

Our professionally trained officers will continue to do all that they can to process applications as quickly as possible, but I am sure that everyone can concerned can appreciate that these are not services were corners can be cut.

The decisions taken by officers working in these key services have a direct impact on our local environment and on individuals’ lives and we will focus on ensuring that the public can rely 100% on the decisions we make.

We ask the public to be patient and not chase officers for progress reports during this hectic period as every interruption leads to further delay.”

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