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Home > Company News > Planning changes announced to support development during pandemic

Planning changes announced to support development during pandemic

Posted on: 18/11/2020

Robert Jenrick MP has announced changes to continue the support for pubs, restaurants and cafes to provide takeaway services without the need for planning permission, together with extending other temporary planning permitted development rights (PDR). This extends measures enabling emergency development by councils and health service bodies, and for emergency development by the Crown. The measures are intended to support development necessary to cope with the impact of Covid-19.

The further changes to PDR include the requirement for homes converted from existing buildings under PDR, for example from former offices, to meet ‘Nationally Described Space Standards’. This follows criticism of the quality of such new homes in Government commissioned research, published in July 2020.

The requirement for complying with such standards will only apply to new applications submitted on or after 6 April 2021, so will not require compliance for current applications or previously approved schemes. It means that such permitted development homes will likely often be subject to a higher space standards than homes approved through the normal planning application process.

The amendments, in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, also include that the demolition of concert halls, live music performance venues or theatres will now require planning permission.

Robert Lofthouse of Savills planning team in Wimborne, said: “It is understood that the Government will be rolling forward temporary changes that had been made, over the summer, to ensure the planning system operates effectively during the Covid-19 emergency and to support economic recovery. That includes ‘temporary freedoms on how planning applications are publicised, and on public inspection of planning documents’.

There is no indication yet as to whether this would also include further extending the life of planning permissions to allow for their implementation and commencement. Such measures were addressed in the Business and Planning Act 2020 that allowed for the automatic extension of planning permissions  (due to expire before the end of December 2020) to 1 April 2021. There will be many other permissions which are now due to expire in the coming months where development has not been possible to proceed and we would hope that the Government looks to continue to assist the development industry to facilitate delivery of development in these challenging times.




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