Plan – Build Peterborough customer service desk officially opens

full bike rack

skyline of downtown Peterborough

A Property Development Client Support Service

Peterborough, ON – Plan-Build Peterborough customer service desk will officially open on Monday, April 17, 2023, creating a coordinated customer contact point for planning and building services inquiries and simplifying how customers interact with the City for development applications.

“This is an exciting step toward a one-stop customer service model for the City of Peterborough,” Mayor Jeff Leal said. “We’ve heard from customers and we’re taking action to improve the development application process to make it easier for people who want to invest and build in Peterborough – whether that’s the homeowner looking to upgrade their house, a major developer looking to build a new residential neighbourhood, or a new industrial or commercial development that creates employment opportunities.

“This is one component of the overall Service Peterborough approach to customer service for all City of Peterborough services.”

The Plan-Build Peterborough initiative includes a dedicated kiosk for planning and building inquiries that is located in the Building Services Division on the main level, north wing of City Hall, 500 George St. N., Peterborough.

One of the recommendations that emerged from a recent review of the development application process was to more closely integrate planning and building application processes to make them more seamless and reduce the need for customers to go back and forth between City staff for different aspects of applications.

“Peterborough is experiencing remarkable growth and investment in our community. The new one-stop customer service model for development applications will make it easier for people to navigate the requirements for building new homes, commercial buildings, and employment uses. We’re working closely with the development sector to encourage investment,” said Councillor Lesley Parnell, Council’s Planning Portfolio Chair.

The City appreciates that property development can be complex and challenging, particularly from a land-use planning and building permit perspective. Often, these two areas of process must be undertaken together to allow a development proposal to move forward, which sometimes leaves property owners frustrated.

With the new Plan-Build Peterborough customer service desk starting April 17, staff will be available for walk-in inquiries regarding the types of permits and planning approvals required for certain planning and development projects, walking clients through the individual processes and advising of specific information required. Staff will also be able to advise property owners on who to consult at different stages of the development process as well as who to follow up with on the progress of applications. While technical staff such as planners and plans examiners cannot guide people in design and/or application, the City is committed to helping make the development approvals process easy to access and navigate.

In the past, this support was provided separately within the associated City Division – Planning, Development and Urban Design Division for planning and development applications and Building Services Division for building permit applications. Plan-Build Peterborough creates a concierge-type service to assist prospective applicants through the process.

“Those wishing to develop their property do not have to do it alone,” Building Services Director and Chief Building Official Dean Findlay said.

“We’re here to help applicants through each step of the process,” Planning, Development and Urban Design Director Brad Appleby said.

Plan-Build Peterborough will host Planning Wednesdays each week starting April 19, a day where a planning staff member will be at the kiosk to discuss land-use planning processes and requirements. Clients who initially contact the service and have a project that might require planning applications will be able to make an appointment to speak with Planning staff on Planning Wednesdays.