Coronavirus – Planning law
Updated as of 22 June 2020
The Government announced today (22 June 2020) as series of changes to planning rules to help the development industry.
The Government announced that it will soon be bring in to force legislation to provide that development which has already received the grant of planning permission or listed building consent, and would otherwise lapse between 23 March and 31 December 2020, will be extended until 1 April 2021. Planning permissions that have already expired before the provisions come into force “will be subject to an additional environmental approval process before the automatic extension can take effect.
Another temporary change announced was for developers to be able to quickly agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council. Councils will have 14 days to determine applications for more flexible hours, after which time applications will be deemed to be approved. The new procedure will only be available up to 1 April 2021 and will not apply to individual houses. We await details of the necessary legislation.
A final announcement is for a permanent change to appeal procedures. Currently an appeal proceeds by one of three routes. It is determined either by written representations, hearing or inquiry. In the future Inspectors will be able to use more than one procedure to determine a particular appeal. For example, an appeal could be part written representations and another part considered by inquiry in order to consider particular areas that need cross examination. Precise details of the changes are awaited. The changes will help speed up appeals, alongside the Planning Inspectorate’s recent changes to determine some appeals by virtual hearings or inquiries.”