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Planning Permission: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the timescale for planning authorities to determine planning applications while restrictions are in place during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government has put in place a package of measures that will help keep firms in business, and people in jobs and prevent Covid-19 from causing long-lasting economic harm. It is important that local planning authorities continue to provide the best service possible in these stretching times and prioritise decision-making to ensure the planning system continues to function, especially where this will support the local economy.

We are asking local planning authorities to take an innovative approach and explore every opportunity to use technology to ensure that discussions and consultations can go ahead. We would encourage councils to consider delegating committee decisions where appropriate. The Government has introduced legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period which we expect will allow planning committees to continue.

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