Thursday 04 June 2020
England Councils are 'business as usual' as of 30th April 2020. Some delays are occurring but mainly on a more large-scale planning applications or those that require site visits or must go before planning committee. The target for determination of a typical application is still 8 weeks from validation. This target decision date is still applicable although some boroughs have a backlog as a result of furloughing staff, and therefore delays are expected. Many planning officers are working from home and are not conducting site visits, but applications are still progressing.
Construction sites across England, as opposed to Scotland, are open to builders and progress is being made in the construction industry, however there is an overall slowdown due to the uncertainty. There are some exceptions with a couple of housebuilders their projects.
The government are proposing changes to the planning system in light of the pandemic and are extending the permitted development rights, specifically conversions to D1 medical uses.
The Government has granted permission under Permitted Development during the coronavirus pandemic to allow the Change of Use fro, pubs and restaurants (A3) to hot food takeaways (A5 use class). The Government say "The measures are the latest in a series of practical steps the government is taking to support businesses and help people who need to self-isolate, as well as vulnerable groups and older people who have been strongly advised to avoid social contact outside their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus."
The measures will apply to hot food and drinks. Serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws.
Permitted development rights allow movement between one use class and another for example from a restaurant (A3) to a shop (A1) without planning permission.
The government will introduce a time limited permitted development right through secondary legislation (negative SI) to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 - drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.
Businesses will be required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends under a Prior Approval application.
4D Planning are monitoring the situation daily and will provide important updates when required. For further information or to discuss your project, 4D Planning are open for business. Please call us: 02031500183 or email:
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