Several planning related COVID-19 measures have been extended by the Government and announced that some could become permanent.
- The right that was introduced last March, allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to provide a takeaway service, will be extended until 23 March 2022 (still with notification to the local planning authority required and being subject to licensing laws), with a view of this becoming permanent law.
- Time limits within the existing right for temporary use of land for holding a market or motor car and motorcycle racing were doubled from 14 days to 28 days, and from 28 days to 56 days for any other purpose; this is now due to be extended by another year until December 2021 – coming into force as of 1 January 2021.
- Temporary measures allowing emergency development by councils and health service bodies from 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2021.
- Temporary changes to ensure the planning system continues to operate effectively and to support economic recovery. This includes temporary freedoms on how planning applications are publicised, as well as on public inspection of planning documents.
The above measures come into force on 3 December 2020, with the exception of the provisions in relation to temporary use of land. There is no direct reference to extending legislation that has extended the life of certain permissions, consents and reserved matters approvals. Similarly, there has been no reference made to extending the life of certain prior approval decisions.