|The Council has published a paper with new arrangements for planning applications in the borough during the coronavirus outbreak. Planning applications will continue to be processed and virtual planning committees will be held to consider applications which would have been referred to committee pre-lockdown. See this page on the Council web site. The Society welcomes this proactive approach but has some concerns.
Although more time is being given to respond to applications (6 weeks) in recognition that residents may not become aware of them as quickly as usual, we and others have long argued that the present method of advertising applications, by relying on yellow site notices placed on lampposts, with a press notice in the Ealing Gazette for applications in conservation areas and a few important applications, is inadequate even under pre-lockdown conditions and now close to completely ineffective.
While we do keep a close eye on applications, and provide updates to our membership on some, notification is not a responsibility which should be passed on to amenity groups. We have suggested to the Council that they place these notices in other more widely available media – specifically suggesting the use of their own website, but this suggestion has not so far been taken up.
The Society continues to monitor and respond to planning applications as usual and will keep members updated through our emails and website articles. We will also monitor how the determination process operates in practice, starting with the first virtual meeting of the Planning Committee on 20th May. More details of the proposals in the paper and local reactions can be found on the EalingW5 website.