Construction working hours

On 13 May 2020, the government published a ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours. This statement allowed Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to approve requests to extend construction working hours to 9PM Monday to Saturday. This measure is to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines.

A further updated ministerial statement on this guidance was published on 25 March 2021. 

A temporary fast track deemed consent route under section 74B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is still in effect. 

The expectations are that the local planning authority will:

  • approve requests, unless there are compelling reasons against
  • agree modest or short-term changes informally within ten days
  • use discretion not to enforce violations
  • issue decisions within 14 days
  • object only if there is a significant impact on businesses or uses (for example, care homes) and only if noise, vibration, dust cannot be overcome by mitigation.

Submitting requests

Applications for requests to extend working hours under section 74B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 can only be submitted online via the button below.

Applicants will need to provide details of:

  • the planning permission to which the application relates
  • the existing agreed construction working hours
  • details to identify the condition or approved document such as construction management plan which details the working hours
  • the proposed revised construction working hours
  • the date the revised construction working hours should take effect
  • the date on which the application is sent
  • the date on which the revised construction working hours should cease to have effect (no later than 1 April 2021).

To aid swift decision making, applicants should also provide:

  • a short justification on why extended hours are necessary to enable safe working practices on site
  • details of their mitigation plan as set out below.

Developers are encouraged to write to all local residents near and around the site, notifying them of the dates and times of the agreed hours of work and the activities they will be carrying out within those hours.

The notification should also include their site manager’s name and mobile number, so that issues can be addressed immediately. 

How we process requests

Where there is no condition on a your planning permission that limits working hours:

  • requests will be referred to the Environmental Protection Team who will assess and apply controls under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 as required.
    • In this respect, the standard working hours are 8am to 6pm Mon-Fri and 9am to 1pm on Saturday, with no Sunday or Bank Holiday working.

Where there is a specific condition in place relating to operating hours:

  • requests to extend working hours beyond 12 weeks may require a S.73 application to formally vary the condition
  • extended working hours of less than 12 weeks will normally be considered on the basis of the principles outlined above.

Where a condition is applied that relates to a Construction and Traffic Management Plan (CTMP):

  • The planning case officer will deal with the request as a temporary amendment to the CTMP without a formal change to the condition.
  • Requests will be considered on the basis of the principles set out in (3) above.

Terms and conditions

  • We will aim to informally agree to modest or short-term changes to construction working hours.
  • If approved, the end date of the temporary relaxation of the working hours will be no later than 1 April 2021.
  • We will use our discretion to avoid enforcing unless there is a clear and adverse impact* on the living conditions of adjoining residents.
  • Where the proposal is for more significant changes to working hours, we may request a formal application.
  • Proposals for extended working hours will normally be agreed unless there are very strong reasons against this, such as significant impact on neighbouring houses, businesses and or care homes.
  • We will notify the local ward councillor(s) of any submitted requests.
  • We will issue a decision within 14 calendar days.

*There should be no heavy machinery, ground working or HGV construction activity before 7.30am or after 6pm (the latter being the existing hours of construction). This will also include no vehicles parking up before these extended times.

Outside of these times, non-noise generating activity only, such as

  • bricklayers
  • plasterers
  • electricians
  • painters/decorators.

Courtesy by site operatives is paramount. No use of radios and no raised voices outside permitted working hours. Piling is not allowed allowed outside of permitted hours.

The council will review if significant complaints are received during extended hours working