In a short release yesterday MHCLG announced measures to further boost the construction industry, and smooth the path of the industry gearing up once more. The headliner, from a planning perspective, is that we will be following Scotland's lead by extending planning permissions to prevent expiry. The extension will apply to permissions due to expire between the start of lock down (23 March 2020 - which feels like a long time ago), and the end of the year. Permissions in that category will be extended to 1 April 2021.
As reported by Planning Magazine (https://www.planningresource.co.uk/article/1687210/mhclg-confirms-automatic-extensions-planning-permissions-due-expire-lockdown) further details are to follow but should take the form of provisions in a new 'Coronavirus recovery' Bill which will be fast-tracked through to Royal Assent.
Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started onsite. Sites with consent that have an expiry date between the start of lockdown and the end of this year will now see their consent extended to 1 April 2021. This will prevent work that has been temporarily disrupted by the pandemic from stopping altogether. The government estimates that by the end of this month alone, more than 400 residential permissions providing more than 24,000 new homes would have expired. The new measures will help these developments and more resume as the economy recovers.