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COVID-19 Planning update: Extension of permissions and construction hours

Wed 2 September 2020

On the 25th June the Business and Planning Bill was presented to the House of Commons to boost economic recovery and development in England as we begin to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bill comes with little surprise following Boris Johnson’s recent plans to ‘Build Build Build’ and it reached royal assent on the 22nd July 2020.

Key issues covered by the Bill include:

1)    Extension of planning permissions impacted by Covid-19
The Bill allows for the extension of certain unimplemented planning, outline planning and listed building consents which lapsed or are due to lapse between 23rd March (Lockdown Day) and 31st December 2020. 
For example, under the new legislation, full permission due to expire between the day the Bill comes into force and 31st December 2020 will automatically extend to 1st April 2021. 
For other applications and timescales relating to before the enactment of the Bill, there is a separate process as this is effectively reviving a lapsed application rather than extending a live one. 

2)    Extension of construction working hours
The Bill contains powers to allow developers to apply on an expediated basis to the Local Planning Authority to extend their working hours or conditions to planning affecting working hours. These provisions aim to ensure time lost due to the pandemic can be regained and that workers can operate at a safe social distance. 
They allow for the changes up until 1st April 2021.

3)    Pavement licenses
Businesses serving food and drink (e.g. Pubs, wine bars, cafes, restaurants and takeaways) can apply to the local authority for a pavement license within 14 days. The license would temporarily allow furniture on the street in order to serve customers and would remain in place until latest 30th September 2021. 

These extensions and relaxations will be welcomed by developers, although we would advise our clients to expect differences in terms of administration and request outcomes between local authorities as the changes are absorbed. 
Should you require any further advice, or help making an application please get in touch with planning@stags.co.uk or call our Planning Department on 01392 439046.
 

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