Developers granted more time to start work following planning extension

The Government has granted a planning extension for proposed developments where planning permission was due to expire during the pandemic lockdown or later this year.

Consented sites with an expiry date between the start of lockdown (23 March) and the end of this year (31 December) will now see their consent extended to 1 April 2021. While organisations have welcomed the move, some have called for a longer extension period.

According to government figures, 430 residential planning permissions were due to lapse from 23 March to the end of June, accounting for a total of 24,800 units.

More scope for flexible working

Announcing the measure, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick also said planning appeals would be sped up and builders would be allowed more flexible working hours following agreement with their local authority.

The aim of the latter is to allow for staggered shift patterns to help maintain social distancing on construction sites.

The new measures will permanently grant the Planning Inspectorate the ability to use more than one type of procedure at the same time when dealing with appeals. Procedures can include written representations, hearings and inquiries. A pilot programme in 2019 halved the time taken for appeal inquiries, from 47 weeks to 23 weeks.

The extension of planning permission follows representation from building industry groups, who asked for a one-year extension to all current planning permissions.


Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.

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