NATIONAL planning and development consultancy Lichfields has launched a unique on-line resource to assist industry professionals navigate the uncertain planning environment as a result of COVID-19.

The dedicated web resource; Business as (un)usual, is designed to support clients – and the wider development industry  –  navigate a route to development and support economic recovery.

The resource includes, as its centrepiece, an interactive map, tracking how Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across England, Wales and Scotland are delivering their planning functions in response to the restrictions on normal life.

It currently holds data for 85% of all Councils with more being added each day.

This new tool allows users to easily navigate to each and every LPA – for which data is available – to ascertain how each planning team is fulfilling its statutory responsibilities on planning applications and Local Plans, and to what extent the crisis is impacting on resources.

Lichfields say it will be updated on a regular basis and it is liaising with local councils on this.

In addition to the live map, users can also find guidance on the changing nature of the Government’s advice, regulation and legislation, and what they mean for planning and development.

It also includes practical advice on how to keep momentum in the planning system and identify potential new opportunities.

Matthew Spry, Lichfields’ Senior Director, said: “With the Government’s decision to extend the lockdown we felt we needed to develop new ways of supporting our clients and the wider development industry.

“The day-to-day reality of the planning system has changed and we believe this interactive guide will be a key tool in supporting the industry over the coming weeks and months”. Please click on to this link for access to Business as (un)usual.

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