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Business and Planning Bill: Modification of Conditions relating to Construction Working Hours

In the second of our series of articles discussing the Business and Planning Bill, Sarah Bonser considers the provisions that will permit the relaxation of construction working hours.

The Business and Planning Bill will introduce a number of measures designed to promote economic recovery and growth as the country eases out of lockdown.

One of these provisions (Clause 16 in the Bill) provides for a fast track route to amend planning restrictions on construction working hours in order to support safe construction working in line with social distancing guidelines.

What may be modified?

Clause 16 inserts a new s74B into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 pursuant to which any person with an interest in land, or a person acting on their behalf, can make an application to the LPA to modify a condition, or document approved pursuant to a condition which specifies the times during which construction activities may be carried out.

The condition or approved document may be modified in one or both of the following ways:

  • to allow construction activities to be carried out for longer on a particular day
  • to allow construction activities to be carried out on part of or the whole of a day on which construction is not currently permitted.

Exclusions

The provisions do not extend to mining operations and the “relevant development of a dwelling house”.

How to make an application

Applications must be made electronically to the LPA and provide sufficient information to identify the permission and condition or approved document to which the application relates.

The application must specify—

  1. the date on which the application is sent
  2. the proposed modifications
  3. the date from which it is proposed the modifications should take effect (which must be a minimum of 14 days from the day after the application is made),
  4. the date at the end of which it is proposed the modifications should cease to have effect (which must not be later than 1 April 2021), and
  5. the times which are specified in the condition or approved document as it has effect when the application is made as times during which construction activities may be carried out.

Effect of an application

LPA’s may, on receipt of an application

  • modify the condition or approved document in accordance with the application
  • refuse the modification
  • subject to agreement with the applicant, determine the application with amended commencement or cessation dates or amended times during which construction is permitted.

If the LPA do not give notice within 14 days, the condition or approved document will be deemed to be modified in accordance with the application.

There is a right of appeal in respect of a refusal of an application.

Guidance

LPAs must have regard to Guidance issued by the Secretary of State when discharging the functions outlined above.

Draft guidance has been published which includes

  • What LPAs will need to consider when assessing applications
  • The circumstances under which an LPA may consider refusing an application
  • Specific considerations for EIA developments or habitats sites
  • Consultation and publicity considerations

The draft guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/construction-working-hours-draft-guidance

If Invicta Law can be of any assistance with getting your authority ready, get in touch. We’d be delighted to assist. For further advice in respect of planning matters please contact our Planning and Highways team: on 03000 415863 email Sarah.Bonser@invicta.law (for Sarah Bonser) or 03000 03000 415139, Nagla.Stevens@invicta.law (for Nagla Stevens).

Contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute professional or legal advice. Invicta Law cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

 

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