The government announced a number of changes on 25th June 2020 to encourage the construction sector and business. These measure were incorporated within the Business and Planning Bill and the Town and County Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 and include:
This measure is hoped to boost the construction industry and particularly house building in the wake of Covid-19. Effectively the change allows development which has already received the grant of planning and which would lapse between 23rd March 2020 and 31st December 2020, to be extended until 1st April 2021.
Within the legislation is also more flexibility on building site working hours which to vary from existing planning condition.
Changes have been announced to help cafés, restaurant and pubs cope with the current trading climate and potentially serve more customers outdoors.
Amendments introduced will also reduce the cost of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls.
Pubs and restaurants will also be able use car parks and terraces as drinking and dinning areas.
Temporary changes to licensing laws will also allow more licensed premises to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.
Specific measures include a reduction in the consultation period for application for pavement licences to 5 working days from 28 calendar days. Setting of a lower fee for pavement and street café licence of up to £100.
A measure to encourage small business enterprise as the lockdown measures are slowly eased.
The regulations create a new temporary permitted development right that allows councils to hold outdoor markets without planning permission. Therefore a local authority has a greater freedom to allow market traders to setup outdoor stalls. The permitted development right is in place until 23 March 2021.
Another related change allows landowners to extend the time to hold outdoor events such as car boots, summer fairs, and motor racing events on their land. This means land owners can utilise their land for such purposes for 56 days rather than 28 days for the period running from 1st July to 31st December 2020.
It’s hoped these two measures will boost enterprise as more outdoor space can be used for longer periods.
The government have introduced changes which allow councils to refuse permitted development conversions for new residential units, if such units lack adequate natural light.
This measure is to tighten up development and hoped to improve the quality and sustainability of new residential accommodation. As part of the changes developers will have to include plans which highlight the position and dimensions of windows, doors, walls and rooms when submitting prior approval applications.
Prior approval will be refused by local authorities where it is deemed inadequate natural light is available.
The new rules will not apply to prior approvals made before August 2020
A new permitted development right was announced within the changes. This allows blocks of flats to be extended by two storeys without a need for planning permission.
Regulation 22 allows constructions of up to 2 storeys to create new flats on established purpose built detached blocks of flats. This only applies to buildings of three storeys or more in height and the extended building must not be more than 30m in total height.
Other rules state that the extension cannot be greater than 7 metres relative to the exiting roof height, and also any new storey must be no more than 3 metres in height. The right also is applicable to property built after 1st July 1948 and before 5th March 2018.The new rules comes in from 1st August 2020.
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