New plans to get Britain building in coronavirus recovery

The Government have announced a range of measures to help the construction industry boost building and return to work safely and which will be introduced this week.

Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started onsite. Sites with consent that have an expiry date between the start of lockdown and the end of this year will now see their consent extended to 1 April 2021. This will prevent work that has been temporarily disrupted by the pandemic from stopping altogether.

The government estimates that by the end of June 2020, more than 400 residential permissions providing more than 24,000 new homes would have expired. The new measures will help these developments and more resume as the economy recovers.

New measures will also permanently grant the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) the ability to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and inquiries – at the same time when dealing with a planning appeal, enabling appeals to happen much faster.

Last year a pilot programme tested this approach and implemented recommendations of the Rosewell Review, which more than halved the time taken for appeal inquiries, from 47 weeks to 23 weeks.

This will also help builders to quickly agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council for a temporary period. This will make it easier to follow public health guidance onsite and by staggering builders’ arrival times, public transport will be less busy and the risk of infection will be reduced.

Jeremy Oliver, Partner at Garbutt + Elliott says “The measures announced by the Government on 22 June 2020 will be welcomed by many in a sector that has been severely impacted by the recent restrictions”

For full details see the government website – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plans-to-get-britain-building-in-coronavirus-recovery