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  • Helen Winkler

Emergency PD rights introduced in response to CV

New legislation, which came into effect on 9th April 2020, permits emergency development by, or on behalf of, local authorities or health service bodies on land owned, leased, occupied or maintained by these bodies, which is needed as part of the emergency response to the coronavirus. The legislation will end on 31st December 2020 after which land and premises will need to revert to their original use unless planning permission is sought.

Bodies named under the order include local authorities, NHS trusts, the National Health Service Commissioning Board, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, the Health Research Authority, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Human Tissue Authority, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The Explanatory Notes states that the new permitted development (PD) right enables such 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.’ It also allows buildings, such as hotels, to be used as temporary accommodation for the homeless, health worker staff and volunteers.

There are a number of conditions which would need to be complied with, for example this does not remove the need for listed building consent should that be considered necessary, and there are restrictions on PD rights for development proposed within specified proximity to the boundary curtilage of a dwelling, or beyond specified heights.

Works in the West Midlands which spring to mind allowed under the new provisions include the temporary Nightingale Hospital and mortuary at the NEC/ Birmingham Airport.


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