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New planning measures to boost construction industry post lockdown

Extending Planning Permission Deadlines

All planning permissions include a planning condition which requires work to begin within a specified period of time. For full planning permissions this period is usually three years from the date of the planning permission.

Outline planning permissions usually require reserved matters to be submitted within three years of the date of the planning permission, and work to then begin within two years from the date of the final approval of reserved matters.

Current legislation prohibits planning conditions on existing consents being varied in order extend these time limits.

A failure to lawfully commence work or (in the case of an outline permission) submit reserved matters for approval by the relevant deadline will result in the planning permission lapsing. A new planning permission would then be required, with all the delay and uncertainty that going through the process again might bring.

On 22 June 2020 the Government announced that development sites with planning permissions that have an ‘expiry date’ between the start of lockdown and 31st December 2020 are to have their consents extended to 1 April 2021.

As ever, the devil will be in the detail. For example, it is not clear from the announcement whether extending the ‘expiry date’ may include an extension of the deadline by which a reserved matters application must be submitted under outline planning permissions.

Planning Appeals

Pilot measures to enable the Planning Inspectorate to use more than one of the three procedures (written representations, hearings and inquiries) at the same time when dealing with planning appeals will now be made permanent.

It is hoped that this will speed up the appeal procedure at a time when the Planning Inspectorate is experiencing a backlog due to site visits and other events being postponed.

The MHCLG Press Release can be read here.

Further details are expected this week.

If you would like more information on any of the above, please email or call us on 0113 322 1915 today.


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James Cook

Commercial Property
0113 322 1915
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James Cook Blacks Solicitors LLP Leeds