Planning Permissions Extended To April 2021
The government have confirmed that planning permissions that have expired between the start of lockdown (23rd March 2020) and the end of 2020 will automatically be extended to 1st April 2021.
Concerns had been raised that the expiry of planning permissions, amongst them an estimated 400 new home projects set to deliver around 24,000 homes, would slow the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
In his speech reopening the property market in May housing minister Robert Jenrick made the building of new homes a central part of the plan to Get Britain Building again and encouraged construction to expand capacity by extending their working hours up to 9pm Monday to Saturday in residential areas, and later in non-residential areas.
Commenting on the extension Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said:
“This request was put to MHCLG and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) a month ago and once again, the Government has listened to industry. Extending expiring planning permissions will secure jobs, give the supply chain certainty and ensure businesses still have a pipeline of work to deliver. It’s great news.”
MHCLG have also announced that a planning appeal pilot which reduced the time taken for appeal enquiries from 47 weeks to 23 weeks, will be rolled out. The Planning Inspectorate (PINS)will have the ability to use written representations, hearings and enquiries simultaneously when dealing with a planning appeal, so they can be processed faster.
Commenting on the initiatives, Jenrick said:
“Building the homes the country needs is central to the mission of this government and is an important part of our plans to recover from the impact of the coronavirus.
“New laws will enable us to speed up the pace of planning appeals and save hundreds of construction sites from being cancelled before they have a chance to get spades in the ground, helping to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs and create many others.”
“Taken together, these measures will help to keep workers safe and our economy moving as we work together to bounce back from the pandemic.”