July has certainly been a busy month for UK Parliamentarians insofar as passing a raft of legislation relating to planning in order to mitigate against the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The following acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments have been passed:

  • The Business and Planning Act
  • The Community Infrastructure Levy (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020
  • The Town and Country Planning (Spatial Development Strategy) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
  • The Infrastructure (Publication and Notification of Applications etc.) (Coronavirus) (Amendment Regulations) 2020
  • The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations) 2020
  • The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Amendment (No.3) Order 2020
  • The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Amendment (No.2) Order 2020
  • The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
  • The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
  • The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020

With regard to planning and development, the following has been introduced as a result of the above legislation:

  • Extensions to time limits for implementing planning permissions
  • Streamlined application process to allow for the variation of approved construction hours
  • Streamlined licensing applications for pavement seating outside pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants
  • Ability to use a “hybrid” appeal process
  • Electronic inspection of Development Consent Orders, Environmental Impact Assessments and Development Plan Documents without the requirement to provide a paper copy for a temporary period
  • Deferral of CIL payments for small and medium developers with a turnover of £45 million or less
  • Introduction of new Commercial, Community, and Education and Learning Use Classes where no planning permission will be required for changes of use within the same Use Class
  • Changes to the General Permitted Development Order to allow:

    • upward extensions of blocks of flats to create additional homes subject to prior approval
    • upward extensions of up to two storeys above existing dwellings to provide more ancillary living accommodation subject to prior approval
    • upward extensions of up to two storeys above existing dwellings to create additional homes subject to prior approval
    • the demolition of vacant buildings and their replacement with new homes subject to prior approval   

  • Changes to the General Permitted Development Order to ensure that certain development proposals are assessed in terms of the provision of natural daylight into habitable rooms where changes of use to residential are proposed;
  • Changes to the General Permitted Development Order relating to temporary uses of land and the holding of markets by local authorities

A summary of each of the above pieces of legislation and what they allow you to do is provided below.

Should you wish to discuss the options that may be available to you in further detail and how we can assist, then please contact a member of Knights' Planning team.

THE BUSINESS AND PLANNING ACT 2020

THE COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CORONAVIRUS) (AMENDMENT) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2020

THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY) (CORONAVIRUS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2020

THE INFRASTRUCTURE (PUBLICATION AND NOTIFICATION OF APPLICATIONS ETC.) (CORONAVIRUS) (AMENDMENT REGULATIONS) 2020

THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) (AMENDMENT) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS) 2020

THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (GENERAL PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT) (ENGLAND) AMENDMENT (NO.2) ORDER 2020

THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF PLANS AND PROGRAMMES (CORONAVIRUS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2020

THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (LOCAL PLANNING) (ENGLAND) CORONAVIRUS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2020

THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT AND MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (ENGLAND) (CORONAVIRUS) REGULATIONS 2020

Conclusion

We hope that you will find this note helpful given the array of recent changes to planning processes that are likely to be in place for the foreseeable future. Further changes are also anticipated or appear likely to be necessary and further update commentary will be published on this website in due course.

If you have any questions or need assistance with any new planning/development projects, then please do not hesitate to contact Knights' Planning Team.