Covid-19 Licensing and Planning

Licensing

Re-opening

As we come out of lockdown the following documents will provide useful advice and guidance:

Advice for pubs, bars, restaurants and take-away services

What we can and cannot do

COVID-secure downloadable poster

Alcohol licensing

It is not ‘business as usual’ for the licensed trade but the licensing team remains operational with reduced staff to assist customers in navigating the current period as effectively as possible. 

This page includes information for premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003. Please see our business support and guidance page for more information on grants, funding and further Government support.  

Under the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(England) Regulations 2020 many licensed premises have been forced to close. Guidance has been produced for Businesses and premises to close during the ‘emergency period’.

Business and Planning Act 2020 - Off sales Provision

The Business and Planning Bill 2020 allows a relaxation of the off sales provision. The BPA 2020 makes the following changes:

1)      Off sales will be allowed when the premises is open for on sales until 23:00

2)      Any condition on the licence that would prevent off sales is temporarily suspended.

3)      Off sales can be allowed in an open container

4)      Deliveries can be made to a residential or business address

5)      Off sales can be made into spaced not covered by a premises licence

6)      Club certificates are not included

7)      Local authority should be notified if premises are going to use this provision and a Section 172E notice should be on display at the premises 

8)      Police have a summary off sales review process if required.

This provision will be in place until 30 September 2021.

Please read the full guidance on new temporary off sales permission.

Tables & Chairs Pavement Licence

To support businesses with social distancing the Government has passed a bill to allow tables and chairs to be placed on the pavement in front of premises serving food and drink.

Please read more details on guidance and how to apply on our street trading page.

Planning (Development Management)

The planning service is still operating however there is a reduced service. Staff are now entirely home-based, and this has had implications for the way that the service is running.  

Contacting us

Our preferred method of contact will be by email. You can either email the case officer directly where you are contacting us regarding a current case. For general queries, new cases or where you do not know the case officer please send emails to planningadmin@hart.gov.uk.

Site visits

In line with Government lockdown relaxations, Planning, Conservation, Enforcement and Tree Officers will now be able to carry out some site visits. These will be individually assessed to ensure safety of both the officers and the public. Some visits will unfortunately still not be possible, including those where officers have to enter a building in order to carry out their assessments.
Applicants are encouraged to provide comprehensive photos of the outside and inside (where necessary) of their property and/or relevant views out. If we require further photos we will be in touch. Please note however, that despite our best efforts, some applications will not be able to be determined at this time.  

Submitting applications

The preferred method of submission is via the Planning Portal. Applications submitted by paper will experience significant delays in processing. Whilst we cannot refuse to accept applications submitted we would encourage you think about whether this is an appropriate time to submit your application if it is complex or a Major application.

This applies to all types of application including planning, advertisement consent, listed building and tree works applications.       

Consultation responses

The Council already sends all consultations to consultees such as Hampshire Highways Authority, Parish and Town Councils, Tree Officer, Historic England and the Environment Agency, by email and this will continue.  However during this time, there are likely to be delays in the Council receiving consultation responses on any planning application. This may mean that we are unable to determine your application within the usual statutory timescales. 

We are continuing to send out neighbour notification letters and will continue to do so for as long as we are able. Our preferred method for submitting comments is via our online portal. If you are unable to use the online portal please email any comments to planningadmin@hart.gov.uk. There will be delays in processing any responses received by post so we would urge you to submit your comments by email or on the website.  
This applies to all types of application including planning, advertisement consent, listed building and tree works applications.       

Site notices

Officers are now allowed to carry out some site visits and this means that we are able to display site notices where required by legislation. We have now managed to display all of the statutory site notices relating to cases received since 16th March. However due to the backlog of cases requiring a site notice, there will still be a delay in the determination of your application; we will be in touch if you are affected by this. 

Planning legislation requires that for certain types of application a site notice must be displayed; these are known as statutory site notices. For other types of application including the majority of householder extension applications the Council has recently amended it's Statement of Community Involvement and will only be sending out neighbour notification letters. 

Pre-Application Advice including Duty Planner Service

The Council usually offers a paid for pre-application advice service alongside a very generic duty planning officer service.  Until further notice this service will be restricted. We will no longer be able to offer the drop-in service at the Council Offices. We will not be able to conduct any face-to-face meetings or site visits. Advice can still be given by email and by phone. It is recommended that you supply photos of your property and any relevant views with your pre-application advice request to assist us. There may be some delay’s in our response time and we will try to contact you to advise of any issues.  

Where fees are payable we suggest you contact us by email at planningadmin@hart.gov.uk first with details of your pre-application advice request and we can advise you of the fee and how to pay. 

Planning Committee and the Determination of Applications

The Council has delegated powers to officers to determine a significant proportion of planning applications. However some applications will be determined by a Planning Committee. New legislation allows Council Meetings including the Planning Committee to be held virtually. Meetings will be streamed via our Facebook Livestream page and recordings will be removed from the page the following day. 

The first Virtual Planning Committee was held on the 8th July. A list of future meetings can be viewed on our council meetings page.

Planning Enforcement

We will continue to monitor and review any allegations of unauthorised work however we are operating a reduced service. 

Listed Building Applications

The above also applies to applications for works to listed buildings. If there are any works that are urgent, please email planningadmin@hart.gov.uk for further advice. You should clearly set out what works are required, any justification and why they are urgent (for example where a structure or building is in danger of imminent collapse however you will be expected to supply the supporting information to demonstrate that this is the case). We will be able to advise you as to the next steps. 

Applications for works to protected trees

The above also applies to applications for works to protected tree. If there are any works that are urgent, please email trees@hart.gov.uk. You should clearly set out what works are required, any justification and why they are urgent (for example where a tree or branch is at imminent risk of causing harm or damage to property). You will be expected to supply supporting information to demonstrate that this is the case. The expected level of detail will vary depending on precise circumstances but as a minimum, we request that you provide photographs evidencing your concerns. If we require further information, we will contact you to advise on this.

Planning Appeals

The Planning Inspectorate has informed the Council that until further notice all site visits, hearings and public inquiries will be postponed. If you have any concerns regarding this please contact the Planning Inspectorate directly. You can read the latest information regarding planning appeals on the GOV.UK's website.

Street naming and numbering

We are able to continue our street naming and numbering services at this time although there may be some delays in processing your request. At this time we would strongly encourage you to make any application by email to streetnames@hart.gov.uk rather than by post. Any applications by post will experience delays in processing. 

Building Control

Building Control continues to be operational although remotely. General enquiries and inspections should be made using the buildingcontrol@hart.gov.uk email address. This is monitored constantly and users will be contacted as soon as possible during normal working hours.

Site inspections are available daily but will be subject to a risk based approach in terms of social distancing and completion visits will only be considered where a house sale is imminent. 

Calls and advice relating to dangerous structures should use the above email or call 01252 622122 in the event of an emergency.