Modification of planning conditions relating to construction working hours

The Business and Planning Act has introduced a new route for applicants seeking to extend construction site working hours for a temporary period up to 1 April 2021. Full guidance on extending construction site working hours. The following advice issued by Central Government in May also still stands:

On 13 May 2020, the government published a written ministerial statement on construction working hours. This statement expects local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this. They have produced a construction update Q&A based on the published statement.

An applicant must apply online with the proposed new hours and time period sought.  They should also provide a short justification as to why extended hours are necessary to enable safe working practices on site and the activities that will take place during the new hours and an assessment on the impact of noise on sensitive uses near the site with details of any mitigation proposed.  There is no application fee.  

The council must determine the application within 14 days or the applicant will have deemed consent for the requested change.  The Council and Applicant can agree, in writing, different hours/time period to that applied for.  There is no requirement for publicity.

Granting permission - Reasonable and proportionate changes to construction hours should be approved where they support safe construction working in line with social distancing guidance and enable construction sites to operate, unless there are other compelling reasons against the change.  After 1 April 2021, or earlier as approved, original conditions over construction hours will resume.

Refusing permission - Applications may be refused for example where certain sites may be particularly sensitive due to their location or proximity to other uses which will be sensitive to additional noise and disruption.  There is a right of appeal under S78(1) (ab) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  Applicants can also reapply instead.

What information does an applicant need to provide?

Applicants will need to provide details of:

  • the planning permission to which the application relates.
  • the existing agreed construction working hours.
  • details to identify the condition or approved document such as construction management plan which details the working hours.
  • the proposed revised construction working hours.
  • the date the revised construction working hours should take effect.
  • the date on which the application is sent.
  • the date on which the revised construction working hours should cease to have effect (no later than 1st April 2021).

To aid swift decision making, applicants should also provide:

  • a short justification on why extended hours are necessary to enable safe working practices on site.
  • a list of the primary construction activities, expected to take place during the extended working hours, including plant and equipment to be used
    a proportionate assessment (where relevant) of the likely impact of noise upon sensitive uses near to the site (e.g. dwellings, hospitals and, care homes).
  • details of their mitigation plan as set out below.

Note that applications can only be made online.