IMPORTANT: New Legislation – Amendments to the GPDO relating to emergency development by local authorities or health service bodies (09/04/2020) …

[UPDATE: The information on this page has subsequently been incorporated into the "Other Parts of the GPDO – Summary of Amendments since 2013" page].

The following 1 new Statutory Instrument (SI) came into force on 09/04/2020 (at 10am):

New Legislation:

  • April 2020: SI 2020 No. 412 - The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Coronavirus) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 (pdf) (link).

Short Summary:

  • Part 12A Class A: This new Class allows emergency development by, or on behalf of, a local authority or health service body.

PART 12A CLASS A - NEW PD RIGHTS for emergency development by, or on behalf of, a local authority or health service body:

  • Part 12A Class A is a new Class (from 09/04/2020 onwards) that allows emergency development by, or on behalf of, a local authority or health service body "on land owned, leased, occupied or maintained by it". The development (which can be a change of use or operational development) must be for one of the following purposes:
    - "(a) preventing an emergency".
    - "(b) reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of an emergency".
    - "(c) taking other action in connection with an emergency".
  • This Class does not apply to the following:
    - Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
    - Scheduled monument or military explosives storage area.
  • This Class does apply to other types of land, including article 2(3) land, a listed building (note: this does not remove any requirement for listed building consent), and a safety hazard area.
  • The main requirements of this Class are as follows:
    - The height of any new building can not exceed 1) 6m where any part of the new building is within 10m of a boundary, or 2) 18m or the highest part of the roof of the original building (whichever is greater).
    - The height of any enlarged or altered building can not exceed 1) 6m or the highest part of the roof of the original building (whichever is greater) where any part of the enlarged or altered building is within 10m of a boundary, or 2) 18m or the highest part of the roof of the original building (whichever is greater).
    - No part of the development can be within 5m of the boundary of the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.
    - Any "moveable structure, works, plant or machinery required temporarily and in connection with and for the duration of the development" can not be 1) within 5m of a boundary, or 2) within 10m of the boundary of the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.
  • If the developer is not the LPA, then the developer needs to notify the LPA "as soon as practicable after commencing development".
  • This Class is subject to conditions stating that 1) any use of the land (for the purposes of this Class) must cease on or before 31/12/2020, and 2) within 12 months from the date on which the use of the land ceases, any building, works, plant, machinery, etc must be removed and the land must be restored to its previous condition (note: if the developer is not the LPA, then the developer and the LPA can agree a different state).
  • Note: Paragraph A.3 defines "emergency" and "health service body", and the Explanatory Memorandum (link) to SI 2020 No. 412 states that "local authorities" are "as defined in section 78(7) of the Coronavirus Act 2020" (link).
  • Note: The Explanatory Memorandum (link) to SI 2020 No. 412 states the following:
    - "The country is undergoing a time of critical challenge for its health and care services in responding to the spread of coronavirus. To enable local councils and health service bodies to respond and provide facilities to limit its spread, treat, test, care for and manage the recovery of an extremely high number of patients and to provide additional mortuary facilities where necessary a new time-limited national permitted development right is being introduced. This right recognises that the detail of any development required will not necessarily be known in advance and as such provides a broad right that recognises the emergency nature of the responses required. The right will enable development including, but not limited to, the change of use of existing premises; erection of temporary buildings, structures, plant and machinery; vehicle parking and storage space.".
    - "The right recognises the serious nature of the call on the public sector and the need for a broad right. It recognises that both local authorities and health service bodies are accountable public bodies who will make choices in terms of the location and nature of any new facilities that are both necessary and proportionate in the public interest. As publicly accountable bodies, they are expected to make reasonable judgement as to the benefits and impact of development in particular locations for the provision of additional facilities. The right therefore enables local authorities and health service bodies to carry out development which could include, but not be limited to, the change of use of existing buildings such as conference facilities and university buildings, the erection of temporary buildings or structures, including on land owned, leased, occupied or maintained by the health service bodies or local authorities or on their behalf, to provide health facilities such as temporary hospitals, coroner facilities, mortuaries and testing units. It also allows the change of use of existing buildings and land, the erection of temporary buildings or structures for associated storage facilities, distribution centres for food and other commodities, and the provision of plant, machinery and hard surfaces for parking and storage. The right also allows for the change of use of existing buildings such as hotels to provide temporary accommodation for staff, volunteers in the health sector and those who may be homeless.".
    - "Any premises changing use will retain their original use class during the period of when the permitted development right in the Order is used and therefore the building and the land within its curtilage remains in its previous lawful use. For the avoidance of doubt, after the relevant period, premises or land would revert to its original use. This will not impact on any permitted development rights that the premises have under their original uses.".
    - "There is no application process, and health service bodies and local authorities who are not the planning authority are required only to notify the local planning authority of the use of the development on a site as soon as practicable after commencing development. We expect this will be by e-mail or in writing.".

Other Sources of Information:

  • April 2020: Explanatory Memorandum to SI 2020 No. 412 (pdf) (link).

Updates to the Planning Jungle website: