County committed to access to planning service

Karen Ledger
Karen Ledger

As part of its drive to ensure that planning services are more efficient and effective, Northumberland County Council is changing the way personal visits take place at its reception area in Alnwick.

The planning team will be offering two drop-in sessions each week in each town, where people will be able to speak to a planning officer and make general inquiries.

At the Greenwell Lane office in Alnwick, the drop-in sessions will be each Monday and Wednesday from 11am until 1pm.

Details of all planning applications can be viewed online 24 hours a day, seven days a week – www.northumberland.gov.uk – and planning files can still be viewed at County Hall in Morpeth at any time between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The county council was awarded smarter planning champion status by the Planning Portal, the Government’s online planning and building regulation resource, for its work in making information available online.

Karen Ledger, head of planning and housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “In response to a fundamental review of planning, we are looking closely at all aspects of how we deliver the service. A large proportion of people now access our services online, but we know that some still like to visit our offices in person.

“The aim of the changes across all aspects of planning are to provide the best possible services in the interests of Northumberland as a whole – including allowing applications to be processed and decisions taken within Government timescales.”