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Planning Portal: COVID-19 Business Continuity Statement

by on March 17, 2020

Updated: 25/03/2020

We are mindful that applicants, agents and local authorities rely on us to enable the planning and building control application process across England and Wales. We want to offer every assurance that we are taking appropriate measures to ensure that we remain open for business and deliver our services effectively to all our customers, while protecting the health and well-being of our employees and their families.

As the spread of COVID-19 increases, we want to provide transparency and share with you the measures we are taking to ensure business operations continue. This is being reviewed daily in line with government guidance and advice.

Business Continuity Plan

The Planning Portal has a COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan to ensure we can maintain operations, service and support functions. This plan is being executed to support ongoing government guidance. Our response team, made up of board members and key department heads, is currently meeting daily, and we are working hard to ensure you receive the level of service you are accustomed to whilst adhering to any governmental emergency measures.

Our Operations

We have two locations across the UK and our IT infrastructure enables us to remain in touch with our customers and distribute work across these locations. In line with government guidance, we have put in place home working for all staff. Our Bristol office is now closed. The Birmingham office is open for very limited hours for essential work which cannot be completed remotely.  Work is being undertaken by core staff on a rota basis to minimise their risk of exposure.

The online application service continues to operate normally.  All online, telephone and BACS payments are being processed in accordance with our terms, but it is likely that payments made by cheque will incur some delays during this time. Instead of a cheque payment, we would encourage you to use alternative payment options so that your application submission is not impacted.

Our service desk remains open for customers but in order to manage the volume of calls efficiently, customers are asked to email us rather than phoning: Customers can request a call back by emailing us.

Virus control

The safety of our staff is paramount. In line with government guidelines, our staff are not travelling unless absolutely essential and where this is the case, taking all necessary measures to minimise risk of infection and transmission.

Any changes to this statement will be updated accordingly.

  1. Angela Higham permalink

    Tried to ring for advice. I have been left a property which is empty at the moment but going on the market soon. My problem is the next door neighbor adjoining the property has knocked the existing party wall down without my knowledge and built a wall using breeze block about a foot further into my garden than the wall he knocked down. This wall is an eyesore. I would not have agreed to it had o been asked

    • Portal Director permalink

      Hello Angela,
      you will need to contact your local planning authority for advice and they will be able to help.
      If you don’t already have them, you can find their contact details by using our local authority search tool here:

    • Mohammad permalink

      The new law states that class a1/a2/a3/b1
      Are all now class E, does this mean I don’t have to apply for change of use or make a planning application if I want to change it into a class A3/restaurant ?

      • Hi Mohammad,

        The existing rights for permitted development (including changes of use) will continue to use the previous (e.g. a1/a2/a3/b1) Use Classes until the end of July 2021.

        The need to apply (or not) will depend on the specific circumstances of the existing building (for example, location and current use) as well as the amount of floor space you want to change the use of.

        I would therefore recommend that you contact your local planning authority for advice, they should be able to confirm if you need to apply. I also note that Building Regulations approval may be required.

        If you don’t already have them, you can find their contact details by using our local authority search tool here:

  2. Robert Morton permalink

    I cannot submit my planning application on behalf of my client as I have nominated my client as being the payee, but it does not seem to have registered. Very annoying, how can I move the thing on.

  3. Richard Power permalink

    I am struggling to find the online form for the discharge of conditions on a planning application that has been approved (subject to conditions). Can you put me out of my misery and send me a link please?

    • sarahchilcott permalink

      Hi Richard
      Once you’ve logged in, go to ‘Start an application’. You need the ‘Approval of details reserved by a condition’ form, which you’ll find in the list under ‘Existing consents’. I hope that helps but if not, let us know.

  4. Will Planning Consent expiry dates be extended if its not possible to make a start during Covid-19

    • Portal Director permalink

      Hello Alan,
      Scottish Government has done this, and several industry bodies (including the RTPI) have called on England to follow suit, but no statements have been made by ministers or MHCLG at this time.

      We are continuing to monitor government announcements, are in regular contact with MHCLG, and will look to communicate any developments in this regard going forward.

  5. Derek White permalink

    my local Planning authority says that (as a local resident) I am not allowed to see the comments submitted by internal or statutory consultees to a particular planning application nor are these available to view on line. What is the current law and practice surrounding this in England please ?

  6. Warren Hope permalink

    A client is saying that the system won’t accept his post code which he has checked and it is correct. Can he get passed this?

    • sarahchilcott permalink

      Hi Warren, Please ask him to contact our Support team on 0333 323 4589 and they will be able to help him.

      • Warren Hope permalink

        Thank you Sarah, I will pass this on to the client.

  7. Joanne permalink

    Would like to submit an application for the variation or removal of a condition. How can I do this please? I have paper copies but wish to do it online, is this possible? Arun is my local Council.

  8. Mike Egerton permalink

    Accessing our planning application – PC crashed and now the application says locked for editing. How can this application be unlocked.

    • Portal Director permalink

      Hi Mike, the Planning Portal service desk can help with queries on using the online application system. You can email our service desk team at or call 0333 323 4589. Available Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

  9. permalink


    We would like to install a velux window in our property which is listed, it would be a medium sized window. Do we need planning permission for this?

    Thanks, Isobel.

  10. Guy Anthony permalink

    Hi I want to apply fork planning permission to change garage roof from flat to pitched roof what is the fee to apply for this

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