Government expects planning authorities in England to take “swift and positive approach to requests from developers and site operators for greater flexibility around construction site working hours.”
In attempt to help the construction sector get back to work safely and adapt its normal practices, the Government has announced they now expect local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction site working hours up to 9pm from Monday to Saturday, unless there are compelling reasons against this.
The statement explains: “This is to ensure that, where appropriate, planning conditions are not a barrier to allowing developers the flexibility necessary to facilitate the safe operation of construction sites during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to proceed at pace with work otherwise delayed as a result of COVID-19.”
It continues: “In allowing greater flexibility, the Government recognises the need to mitigate the impact that any temporary relaxation of working hours could have on local residents and businesses. Requests to extend working hours should be proportionate and should not involve working on Sundays or bank holidays.
“However, local authorities should not refuse requests to extend working hours until 9pm, Monday to Saturday without very compelling reasons for rejection. In some cases, such as in areas without residential properties, extending working hours beyond this, including allowing 24 hour working where appropriate, may be justified. In all cases, sympathetic site management should be demonstrated to mitigate local impacts and local authorities should show best endeavours to facilitate such requests.”
Read the full statement here.