Additional Environmental Approval to extend implementation date

The Business and Planning Act 2020 enables certain planning permissions and consents which have lapsed or are due to lapse to be extended.

The Act has amended the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 93 and Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 18.

Therefore, if your planning permission has not been implemented and is due to lapse between 19 August and 31 December 2020 you will automatically receive an extension to implement the permission or consent until 1 May 2021.  No further action is required.  For Listed Building consents this automatic extension covers the full date range from 23 March to 31 December 2020.  If however, you wish to receive confirmation from the local planning authority of the extension to the commencement date please email plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk, detailing the relevant planning permission reference number.

In addition to this automatic extension, the Government have provided a process to reinstate unimplemented planning permissions which lapsed between the dates of 23 March to 18 August 2020.  To do this Applicants/Agents need to submit an Additional Environmental Approval (AEA) application. 

For outline permissions, there are two main dates that need to be met in order for the permission to be classed as implemented:

  1. Submission of the reserved matters
  2. Development to commence following grant of reserved matters

The amendment to the Planning Act covers both of these areas in the following way:

  1. The submission of reserved matters by a set date will automatically receive an extension to the 1 May 2021.  This means that if the date specified in your outline decision notice to submit reserved matter details is between 23 March and 31 December 2020, the applicant will automatically receive the extension to submit the reserved matters without any further action needed.
  1. In order to extend the date to implement the decision or to reinstate an unimplemented decision that has already lapsed, the applicant will either:
    1. Receive an automatic extension to the 1 May 2021 if permission is due to lapse between 19 August to 31 December 2020.
    2. Need to submit an AEA application in order to reinstate the lapsed decision if lapsed between 23 March and 18 August 2020.  If AEA is granted then the applicant has until the 1 May 2021 to implement the decision.

The Government has produced a document with questions and answers relating to this proposal.

Applicants must apply to the Council, using the form below or providing all the information listed below in another format and send to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk

The statutory information required includes: 

  • The planning permission reference to which the application relates;
  • the number of the condition that sets out the time limits for implementation;
  • Any condition(s) or other agreements which relate to environmental mitigation or enhancement measures;
  • Whether the original permission was subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment and/or Habitats Regulation Assessment, or screening for either type of assessment.  If the answer was No then a brief explanation of why they consider it remains the case that neither of these assessments would be needed if an application for planning permission was being made now.

If the original planning permission was subject to one or both of these assessments, or screened for either, applicants should also provide details of;

  • The original assessments or screening and a summary of the key findings
  • Information on any mitigation measures secured to address environmental effects and the progress toward delivering these measures;
  • An environmental report containing a reasoned explanation of why in the applicant’s view there have been no changes to environmental circumstances which would make the original screening or assessment out of date. For further guidance on this please see the governments question and answers;
  • Any other relevant information which would, in the applicant’s view, support the case that the previous screenings or assessments remain up to date.

If the original planning permission was granted without the need for screening, but the applicant believes that screening might be needed if an application for planning permission was being made now, and that screening would show that no substantive assessment was required, the applicant should provide sufficient information to enable the Planning Officer to undertake the screening within the 28 day period.

The application will then be considered by the Planning Officer and a decision made within 28 days, although the Act allows an additional 21 days extension with prior approval with the applicant. 

Where an application is approved, the decision from the Council will advise the following:- 

  1. The reasons why the approval was granted.
  2. The date the original permission needs to be implemented by. 

Where an application is refused, the LPA will explain the reason(s) for this and there is a right of appeal under Section 78.

The Council has to ensure that all applications are completed before the 31 December 2020.  No applications can be approved or deemed to be granted after that date (except on an appeal lodged on or before that date).  This means that applicants should submit applications no later than 2 December 2020.  Where an application is submitted after 2 December 2020, the Local Planning Authority may still determine the application but there will be no deemed grant as there is not enough time for the 28 day period to elapse before the 31 December 2020.