Covid-19 - Maintaining a Functioning Planning System

The Kingston planning service remains open, we recognise the positive role the service will play in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and will therefore continue to fulfil our statutory function of assessing and determining planning applications.

The Planning process has a crucial part to play within and beyond the immediate Covid-19 emergency. A high performing planning system has a critical role in supporting our future economic and societal recovery as well as supporting our future health and well-being. Therefore, we are doing as much as possible to keep the planning system working and moving forward by adopting new approaches; measuring risk and taking a pragmatic view of how we can best continue to plan and make decisions that are vital to the recovery of our communities and businesses. 

Some aspects of the planning system, including a number of processes and requirements, are affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the resultant need for social distancing. We have been exploring with a number of stakeholders the obstacles and the temporary solutions needed to get us through this period and ensure the continued functioning of our planning system.

Receipt of Planning Applications 

We continue to receive and administer the validation of planning applications. Please note that at this time we are unable to accept paper applications or cheque payments for fees. You can continue to submit applications using the Planning portal. 

Neighbour Notification / Site Notices

The planning service is resourced and set up to ensure that all requisite Neighbour Notification letters are printed and posted so that we can maintain the validation and initial processing of planning applications. 

For site notices we are taking all reasonable steps to comply with legislative requirements and we will continue to explore all options to ensure requisite site notices are displayed.

Documents for Public Inspection 

Please note that at this time the Council Offices will remain closed to the public. During this period you will be able to view planning applications on the Planning pages of the Council’s Website

Representations and amendments to applications

Please note, in line with Government advice the majority of Council staff will be working remotely. As such, every effort should be made to avoid submitting anything in paper / by letter during this time, we are unable to guarantee timescales for receipt or the processing of the information. 

If you wish to submit a representation / comment then it is strongly advised that this is done via Planning Public Access.

Alternatively, you can email [email protected] however, submitting comments via the website is preferable. Submission through the website will ensure your comments are automatically uploaded to the planning database and logged against the relevant planning application.

We will put any comments you make on the application file, which is available for public inspection and copying.

If you are making representations on an application, if you are able to do so please provide an email address and telephone number so that we can contact you if necessary.


Site Visits 

In line with Government Advice the majority of Council staff are working remotely. We are therefore unable to undertake a routine physical site visit. We appreciate that in some instances a site visit is both helpful and necessary in order to fully understand the proposed development. However, they are not always essential and there may be instances where planning decisions can be made with visual or digital evidence.

Where we need additional site specific information over and above what we have through electronic means we will get in touch with applicants to supplement that information with photographs or videos. In the current circumstances it is helpful to include such information with applications.

Decision making

Delegated decision making will continue as usual. For details of how applications which would normally have been considered by Neighbourhood Committee / Neighbourhood Planning Sub Committee or The Development Control Committee please refer to our decision making arrangements.