Published date: 14 April 2020

COVID-19: Town Planning Update

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Government and Local Planning Authorities are looking at ways to maintain Planning and Development Control activities. The NHS Property Services (NHSPS) Town Planning team have gathered the below update of the latest information for different town planning areas relevant to our buildings and projects.

Although the main purpose of this note is for reference by NHSPS colleagues, we hope this will also be helpful for our customers and partners in other health service organisations around the country.

The following update covers:

  • Permitted development rights – A new time-limited permitted development right for the provision of additional temporary health and local authority facilities in response to COVID-19.
  • Council decision making – new powers for local authorities to hold public meetings virtually.
  • Planning applications and pre-application enquiries – expanding remote working for planning officers to enable ongoing services, and the hurdle of public consultations.
  • Planning policy consultations & call for sites – encouraging the continuation of consultations, albeit over an extended period.
  • Appeals – Planning Inspectorate guidance on how it will continue to operate remotely.
  • Enforcement – Written Ministerial Statement urging pragmatism on restrictions of essential deliveries which may be part of the response to COVID-19.
  • Neighbourhood Planning – provisions within the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling postponement of electoral events, including Neighbourhood Plan referendums.
  • Elections – May 2020 local elections postponed until 2021.

Read the guidance

Note: following significant changes to town planning policy during August and September 2020, we have made some changes to our original document.

Read the guidance

Want to know more?

For more tailored advice and support in relation to specific requirements, please get in touch with the NHSPS Town Planning team.