Development Management service customer charter

Customer Protocol

The Wirral Council Development Management Service aims to provide excellent customer service and to help us do this we have published this Customer Charter.

The purpose of the Customer Charter is to outline how we will engage with our customers, our service commitments and also what we expect from our customers.

When you use the Council’s Development Management Services we will:

  • always treat you politely and with respect
  • provide additional support to customers who need it to access our services
  • ensure our buildings are accessible, welcoming and clean
  • hold any information you provide securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act
  • dispose of any information we hold about you securely and in accordance with our document retention policy when we no longer have a need to keep it. Provide a secure network facility to protect any personal information that you provide when applying or paying for goods and services on-line
  • apologise if we get things wrong and do our best to put things right
  • let you know the person you are dealing with
  • clearly explain why we are making decisions and be open to alternative points of view.  Be friendly, approachable and easily contactable in accordance with the Council’s customer service standards, in person, by phone or online. Encourage you to use the Council’s  pre-application advice service at the earliest stage of development to increase certainty in the application process for developers and embed high quality design in development proposals
  • we recognise that because planning is required to make balanced decisions weighing the advantages and disadvantages of development proposals and we may not always be able to give you the outcome that you want. However, we will give your views full and careful consideration in an open and transparent way
  • be open-minded, creative, and focused on providing constructive solutions whilst recognising that there may be occasions where development proposals are contrary to the development plan and may not be supported

To help us to help you we expect you to:

  • give us the opportunity to investigate and resolve enquiries in accordance with the Council’s customer service standards and complaints policy
  • treat us politely and with respect. We will not be able to help you if you are aggressive, threatening, violent or use bad language – we do record calls if necessary. We will inform you if it is necessary to record a call
  • provide constructive feedback on our services. Let us know what we can do better and just as importantly, let us know when you’ve received excellent customer service.  Submit high quality plans and provide all relevant supporting information for your application or enquiry in a timely manner
  • involve an architect and/or professional planning agent or friend to help you if needed.  We can provide a translator if needed although we may need to make an appointment to provide this service
  • keep your appointment time, or let us know, with as much notice as possible, if you cannot make a pre-arranged appointment
  • design and deliver high quality sustainable development and build in accordance with approved plans and conditions
  • follow our policies, guidance and procedures and use our pre-application advice service
  • recognise that we are required to work within a statutory framework and meet Government targets
  • make best use of electronic methods of communication and use the website to access guidance and reports on all aspects of our service
  • use the Planning Portal to submit and pay for planning applications
  • use our online services if you wish to make comments on planning consultations

Customer Service Standards

  • under normal circumstances we will answer your telephone call within 15 seconds
  • we aim to return any voicemail messages left on the same, or next, working day
  • if you write to us, we will respond as quickly as possible, and in all cases within 15 working days.  However, due to the very high volume of representations we receive in connection with planning applications we are not able to respond to each of these individually.  Instead, all material planning considerations set out in any representations will be taken into account by the case officer as part of the process of determining the application and will be summarised within the case officers report
  • at our reception points we will see you to discuss your enquiry within 10 minutes under normal circumstances. Please note there will be no face to face contact during the Covid-19 epidemic
  • we will try to resolve your enquiry at point of contact, or tell you within 15 working days what actions we are taking. We will keep you informed of the progress of your enquiry
  • we will respond to all complaints as quickly as we can, and in all cases within 15 working days, or explain why a reply may take longer