New arrangements for contacting the Planning service at South Somerset District Council have been put in place to allow the team to deal with a current backlog of planning applications.
The arrangements, which will commence from Monday 25 June until further notice, will give Planning Officers more time without interruption to allow for catch up and avoid demand failure whilst maintaining a good level of customer service.
Incoming direct calls to the Planning service will only be answered between 9.00am – 10.00am and 4.00pm – 5.00pm daily. During all other hours, calls will go to voicemail and be actioned when the Planning Officer becomes available.
The Duty Planner service will only operate from 9.00am until 1.00pm daily. Duty Planner calls are received by calling 01935 462462. After 1.00pm messages will be taken and passed to Planning Officers to action.
Should you need to contact a known Planning Officer who is dealing with a case that is currently live, we advise you email the Officer direct.
Until further notice, there will be no Planning Officer cover for walk-ins at the Brympton Way, Petters Way Wincanton and Chard offices. If you are coming to any of the offices looking to speak to a Planning Officer, a message will be taken and emailed to a specific Case Officer or to the Duty Planner.
Councillor Angie Singleton, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning said, “We want to ensure we offer a good level of service to customers and residents whilst dealing with the current backlog of applications and to do that, we need to ensure Officers have sufficient time to deal with applications.
“We understand it can be frustrating when you can’t immediately get through to who you need to speak with, but this new arrangement will allow Officers to register and assess applications quicker. If you need to discuss an issue about an application that is already live, it’s advised to email the Planning Officer direct who will then deal with your email when time allows. We thank you for your understanding of the current situation and your patience with this matter”.
There is a comprehensive guide to the Planning service at South Somerset District Council online. If you are looking for advice or guidance, please visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/planning. Current or previous planning applications can be viewed at www.southsomerset.gov.uk by entering the planning reference or a keyword into the Planning search box on the homepage.