Yesterday, MHCLG announced that they will be introducing 'measures' this week to:

  • Automatically extend the life of planning permissions that are due to expire between March and the end of December 2020 to 1 April 2021.
  •  Permanently extend the ability to use multiple procedures during the same planning appeal and roll it out across the whole country; and
  • help builders reach agreements with Councils over extending site operating hours

All of these measures are to be welcomed. In particular, the extension of planning permissions has been widely lobbied for since Lockdown began, back in March. The fact that the measures are to be backdated so that they apply to consents that have already expired is a very welcome surprise. 

The changes to appeal procedures have been on the cards for a while. They were trialled, successfully, on a small scale, as part of the introduction of the Rosewell reforms. The ability to deal with more straightforward aspects of the appeal by written reps and save the Inquiry for the most contentious issues has been extremely useful for ensuring that appeals are progressed efficiently.

We will be posting again, in more detail, once we actually have the new legislation. 

Speaking of waiting for legislation, the regulations for the CIL deferral scheme, which was promised back in May, are also still outstanding. If MHCLG just happened to publish those at the same time, we would really have reason to celebrate.