Ministry of Housing, Communities a Local Government has today published further measures to support house building. Specifically for the planning system, they have issued a statement that site visits and the use of digital technology and virtual meetings should become the norm in planning casework. In terms of CIL payments, LPAs can undertake temporary deferment of payments, temporarily discretion to disapply late payment interest, and the discretion to return interest already charged where they consider it appropriate to do so. These easements will not be open ended and will be removed when the economic situation has recovered. Validation of applications to continue and applications should be submitted on line. Determination timescales are not to be changed – developers should be encouraged to agree extensions of time where necessary. From 14th May, Local Planning Authorities now have flexibility to take other reasonable steps to publicise applications – these can include social media and other electronic communications and must be proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposed development. Virtual Planning committees – regulations have already been made for local authorities to hold virtual meetings – these apply to all local authority meetings up to 7th May 2021.
Alan Davies, Associate Director at Chapman Lily Planning welcomes these measures “ I hope this will address some of the industry concerns and help keep the planning system running with the minimum of delays plus allow Local Planning Authorities to continue with timely determination of applications”
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