Planning & Development
Part 3 of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 provide changes for the calculation of time limits relating to Planning & Development and was enacted on the 27 March 2020. It amends the Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended), the Building Control Act, the Derelict Sites Act 1990, the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 and the Planning & Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016.
The period for calculating time is disregarded on the date the Act came into force and ends when a specified order is made under the Act by the Government, who can specify a later date or extend the order previously made as many times as is necessary but not later than the 9 November 2020.
On 29 March 2020 the Government made an Order under Section 251(A) 4 of the Act that the period of 29 March to 20 April inclusive can be disregarded when calculating time under the Acts.
The normal planning period of 8 weeks within which a Planning Authority determines a planning application is extended by three weeks and two days i.e. a total of eleven weeks and two days.
The additional 23-day extension means that an interested person will have the normal period of five weeks, together with an additional period of three weeks and two days i.e. up to 8 weeks and 2 days in total to participate in the planning process.
Planning applications can still be made and may be posted to the relevant principal office of the Local Authority, even where such public offices are closed.
Planning applications that were submitted at least five weeks prior to the date of commencement of the Order i.e. up to 21 February 2020, shall be subject to the minimum period for public consultation can be decided but the period for deciding these applications may be extended up to the duration of the Order i.e. by a further three weeks and two days.
Any application that has been submitted less than five weeks prior to the commencement date of the Order cannot be decided until after Monday 20 April 2020 to ensure the five-week period for public participation is completed.
Any application that was submitted five weeks after the date of the commencement order cannot be decided until the five-week period for public participation has been completed i.e. after Monday 25 May 2020.
A submission can still be made on any planning application lodged with the Planning Authority no less than five weeks prior to the commencement of the Order i.e. after Friday 21 February 2020 and for the duration of the Order. In addition, submissions may be made during the remainder of any five-week period the commenced prior to the commencement of the Order.
In the case of oral applications made within the duration of the Order submissions may also be made for a further five-week period to 25 May 2020.
Professional advice should always be taken before acting on any of the matters discussed. Please contact a member of our team should you wish to discuss this topic further.