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Welcoming new measures to help construction industry recover from pandemic

24th June 2020

We have welcomed new measures to be introduced this week to help the construction industry boost building and return to work safely.

Planning permission deadlines will be extended, planning appeals will be sped up and builders will be allowed more flexible working hours, following agreement with their local council, according to the announcement made by Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP.

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 this month alone, more than 400 residential permissions providing more than 24,000 new homes across England would have expired. The new measures will help these developments and more resume as the economy recovers.

Richard Corbett, Planning Expert and Partner with Roger Parry & Partners welcomed the announcement. He said, “This will be a huge relief to our clients who have had to put everything on hold since the lockdown started in March. We hope the Welsh Government will shortly follow suit.”

New measures?will also permanently grant the Planning Inspectorate?(PINS)?the ability to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and enquiries – 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.