Planning permission deadlines extended to offset delays

Farmers in England with planning permission that has an expiry deadline between the start of the coronavirus lockdown and the end of this year will have consent extended to 1 April 2021.

This follows the introduction of similar measures in Scotland in April.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the extension would prevent building work that had been temporarily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic from stopping altogether. 

See also: Farm buildings: Know your permitted development rights

Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started on site, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to put development plans on hold, putting projects close to their deadline under threat.

The government estimates that without this intervention, by the end of June, more than 400 residential permissions, providing more than 24,000 new homes, would have expired.

Richard Corbett, a planning expert and partner with Roger Parry & Partners, said the announcement would be a “huge relief” to clients who had been forced to put projects on hold when the lockdown started.

“We hope the Welsh Government will shortly follow suit,” he said.

Legislation to put the new rules into place is still making its way through Parliament.

But according to the NFU, applications which would otherwise have expired after 23 July are likely to be extended automatically.

However, where full or outline planning permission or listed building consent lapsed between between 31 March and 23 July, there will be a need to consult the local planning authority to undertake an additional environment process.

No further details are yet available about how this process will work.

Permitted development

The NFU added that there was no relaxation of time limits for completion of work on permitted developments.

For example, works under Part 6 (Agricultural Buildings and Operations) must be carried out with five years of the date of prior approval or submission of information and the local authority should be notified within seven days.

The time limit for Class Q agricultural-to-residential barn conversions is stricter.

They must be completed, and the local planning authority notified, within three years.