Jenrick tells English councils to relax planning controls over deliveries

English planning authorities have been instructed to avoid enforcing controls that "unnecessarily" restrict the time and number of lorry deliveries to retailers and distributors of food and other "essential" deliveries during the coronavirus disruption.

Lorry deliveries: planning controls to be relaxed. Pic: Getty Images
Lorry deliveries: planning controls to be relaxed. Pic: Getty Images

Many supermarkets and distribution centres in England are subject to controls that restrict the time and number of deliveries from lorries and other delivery vehicles, particularly at night.

These include planning conditions necessary to make the development in question acceptable to local residents who might otherwise suffer from traffic, noise and other local amenity issues as a result of deliveries.

On Friday, however, housing secretary Robert Jenrick issued a written ministerial statement "to make clear that as a matter of urgency local planning authorities should take a positive approach to their engagement with food retailers and distributors, as well as the freight industry, to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to food delivery over the period of disruption caused by the coronavirus".

The statement went on to say that "local planning authorities should not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting deliveries of food and other essential deliveries during this period, having regard to their legal obligations".

Jenrick said the government would review "the need for the flexibility outlined in this statement after the pressure from the coronavirus has reduced, and it is the intention to withdraw it once the immediate urgency has subsided".

Similar instructions have already been issued by the Scottish government.

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