The Covid-19 outbreak is an exceptional event which we know will have an impact on individuals, their families, colleagues, and businesses who we know and support. Richard and the team would like to offer reassurance to all of our existing clients that we will continue to offer an effective and safe planning service during these uncertain and changing times.
For anyone with new planning enquiries and instructions we will continue to respond to your needs in a professional, flexible manner and adhere to the advice of the Government, the World Health Organisation and best practice.
We are confident we have the framework in place to ensure an on-going and sustainable planning service over the coming weeks and months.
Our organisational planning and risk assessment has been adapted in line with government advice which we will continue to monitor in order to prioritise safety, well-being and providing our normal high quality service. We will be adapting the way we work as follows;
- As of 17th March 2020 our team will be working from home and have access to all the relevant technology and research tools.
- Richard will continue to manage the office; deal with client queries and liaise with and co-ordinate the team with the main office number still available for use. This will not affect our excellent communication and customer service and all team members can be contacted by e-mail as usual.
- Travelling will be restricted to essential and/or urgent meetings only; otherwise discussions can be held by telephone or on-line services such as Microsoft Team.
- The issues related to site visits will be assessed on a case by case basis but on most occasions we should be able to undertake an unaccompanied site visit to view the site and its context and take photographs with no meeting or discussions with the client on site. The meeting can then be followed up with communication by telephone or e-mail.
- To prevent the spread of the virus any team member showing signs of a new persistent cough or fever will be staying at home for as long as guidelines recommend and will not undertake any site visits or meetings. As our team work collaboratively we will ensure that your planning needs are supported throughout if a team member is taken ill.
- Richard will ensure that any meetings he is required to co-ordinate with other professionals to promote your scheme and planning needs, will take place remotely. In exceptional situations when this is not feasible, Richard will make requirements that the number of attendees at a round table meeting are kept to a minimum; that the meeting is time limited and all attendees are healthy and show no signs of the virus.
- Clients need to be aware that this situation may cause some delays in the work undertaken by RCC Town Planning Consultancy but we believe the above measures should ensure these are minimised. The timescales for input by other consultants we are working with, or the responses from local councils or the Planning Inspectorate may of course also cause delays.
We will continue to monitor the situation going forward and adapt our policies accordingly.