Planning bill paves way for extensions to permissions that have lapsed due to Covid-19

Automatic extensions of permissions that have lapsed during the Covid-19 lockdown are among a series of planning changes that are included in a new bill published this morning.

The Houses of Parliament. Pic: Getty Images
The Houses of Parliament. Pic: Getty Images

The Business and Planning Bill was presented to the House of Commons this morning by business secretary Alok Sharma.

The bill includes measures revealed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on Monday to boost the construction industry in the wake of Covid-19. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said the new measures would "enable development which has already received the grant of planning permission or listed building consent and would lapse between 23 March and 31 December 2020 to be extended until 1 April 2021".

As well as automatic extensions to planning permissions, the legislation also allows inspectors managing appeal cases to simultaneously use more than one kind of procedure and developers to modify planning conditions in relation to building site working hours.

The bill document states that the permission extension change would come into force 28 days after the act is passed, the construction site working hours proposal would come into force six days after the act is passed, while the appeal procedure flexibility would be implemented as soon as the legislation is passed.  

The bill also includes a series of changes to licensing laws to ease rules for consuming food and drink outdoors.

Meanwhile, new rules that allow outdoor markets, pop-up car-boot sales and summer fairs to take place without planning permission have also been announced today by the government.

The measures have been included in the new regulations laid before the House of Commons last night.

The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 says these provisions come into force today (Thursday 25 June).

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