The impact of the Business and Planning Act 2020 on planning permissions, appeals procedures and licensing

4 August, 2020

The Business and Planning Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 22 July 2020. The property elements of interest include extensions to the time periods to implement planning permissions, changes to planning appeal procedures and pavement licensing as well as alcohol licensing changes.


Under the Act, full planning permissions that would otherwise expire in the period starting on 19 August 2020 and ending on 31 December 2020 will be extended automatically to 1 May 2021 . The same applies to the time period to implement an outline planning permission.


Full and outline planning permissions that would have expired between 23 March 2020 and 18 August 2020 can be extended to 1 May 2021. Before the extension is permitted the developer will require an additional environmental approval from the local planning authority. Granting of the approval by the local planning authority will depend on consideration of whether the Environmental Impact Assessment requirements and Habitats Regs requirements are still (they would originally have been considered at the time of granting planning permission) satisfied.


With outline planning permissions, if the time period for submitting reserved matters would expire between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 then the time period is extended to 1 May 2021.


Previously planning appeals used to be determined by only one of three procedures: written representations; hearing; or, inquiry. The Act permits, in future, appeals to be determined by a blend of procedures. For example, an appeal could be by way of written representations for the majority of an appeal but with elements requiring cross examination being considered as an inquiry.


The Act provides for a simplified pavement licence regime making it far easier for pubs and restaurants to obtain licences to place removable furniture on the public highway next to their premises. The grant of such a licence will also mean additional planning permission is not required. Such licences cannot extend beyond 30 September 2021.


The Act also modifies the alcohol licensing regime. Most premises that only have a licence for the sale of alcohol on premises will now be allowed to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.


Again, the new regime will end on 30 September 2021.


For queries and further details about these changes, please contact Jason Towell.