Planning permissions given a new lease of life

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Unless a planning permission states otherwise, it will expire after 3 years, within which time construction has to begin. Numerous developments due to begin this year, have been in jeopardy as a result of the health emergency which has made it difficult to get projects off the ground.

In response to this, the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has just announced that planning approvals with an expiry date between the start of lockdown in March and the end of 2020 will be extended to 1 April 2021. This will be welcome news for hundreds of developers. Indeed, it is estimated by the government that the move will give a new lease of life to more than 400 residential permissions which will provide more than 24,000 new homes. In addition, Jenrick has indicated that the appeals process will be made quicker, and builders will be allowed to operate flexible working hours (with agreement from local authorities) so as to catch up on lost time. It is hoped that the range of steps will help to save hundreds of developments from being cancelled before they’ve even started, and act as a much needed stimulus to the construction industry and the wider economy.