On 13 May 2020, the government published a ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours. This statement allows Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to approve requests to extend construction working hours to 9PM Monday to Saturday. This is a temporary measure to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines.
The Government has also put in place a temporary fast track deemed consent route under section 74B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
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.