Extension of time announced for implementing planning permissions expiring during COVID-19 - Kuits Solicitors Manchester
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Extension of time announced for implementing planning permissions expiring during COVID-19

Extension of time announced for implementing planning permissions expiring during COVID-19

26th June 2020 - Published by Kuits planning team

The government has done much to assist planning activities during the COVID-19 crisis, including:

  • introducing time-limited permitted development rights
  • allowing virtual planning committees
  • encouraging the Inspectorate to conduct virtual appeals
  • encouraging a pragmatic approach to enforcement of CIL and section 106 obligations
  • encouraging a pragmatic approach to the enforcement of certain planning conditions
  • altering the requirements for publicity and consultation
  • delaying neighbourhood plan referenda until 6 May 2021, but given plans pending referenda increased weight in decision-making in the interim

The big hole in its assistance so far has been the lack of a method to extend the life of planning permissions.

Scotland acted in April to automatically extend the period for implementation of planning permissions that would normally lapse within six months of the act coming into force.

On 22nd June, the Secretary of State announced future changes to be introduced.

The usual expiry of planning after three years would be extended if the expiry date was between 23 March and the end of 2020. The extension would be until 1 April 2021.

There were no details given about how the system will work or what will be required to gain such an extension, but primary legislation is envisaged.

This is clearly good news for landowners and developers who have been unable to get pre-commencement conditions discharged and commence work on site during lockdown, and will allow construction to start on these sites much more rapidly than if new planning permission were required. It will also preserve the enormous increase in value gained by the grant of planning permission.

The government estimates that 400 residential planning permissions providing more than 24,000 homes would otherwise have expired by the end of June alone.

Whilst there is no detail as yet, this is a change that the real estate sector has been crying out for and the announcement that it is coming will cause a collective sigh of relief in virtual boardrooms across the country.

For more information contact Bob Sadler in the planning team on 0161 838 7991 or email bobsadler@kuits.com 

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