The government are introducing new measures to boost the building industry and planning including:

  • Extension of planning permission deadlines, saving hundreds of construction projects’ permissions from expiring
  • New changes to speed up the pace of the planning appeal process
  • Flexible working hours on construction sites to support social distancing, helping people return to work safely

Extension of Planning Permissions

Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not commenced.

The government is proposing measures that will enable planning permissions that would have expired between 23 March and 31 December 2020 to be extended until 1 April 2021.

Speeding up the Planning Appeal process

Section 319A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 currently only allows planning inspectors to switch between procedures, not employ more than one at the same time for an appeal.

Most planning appeals are decided by the written representations procedure.  Under this procedure, the inspector considers written evidence from all the parties who have an interest in the appeal.

A hearing is an alternative procedure which involves the submission of written evidence by the main parties and an informal hearing once all the written submissions have been received.

The public inquiry procedure is used for more complex cases where legal issues will need to be considered. The main parties usually have legal representatives to present their case and to cross-examine any witnesses.

New measures will permanently grant the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) the ability to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and inquiries – at the same time when dealing with a planning appeal, enabling appeals to happen much faster.

Find out more about the different types of planning appeal here.

Flexible working hours on construction sites

The government propose to introduce a new fast track route to apply for changes to planning restrictions on construction hours to allow longer hours to support safe construction working.

It is proposed that authorities would have 14 days to determine applications, after which time they would be deemed to be approved.

The proposals will only enable requests to extend hours up to 1 April 2021, and will not apply to construction work on individual houses.

Please contact us to discuss your plans to get Britain building.