Covid-19: Green space should be a priority in local plans

The social distancing measures implemented to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) has highlighted the ‘critical importance’ of high-quality green spaces within housing developments, says Ecological Planning & Research Ltd (EPR).

The consultancy highlights that green and blue spaces have long been understood to improve human wellbeing – people with access to such amenities have lower levels of mental distress than those without, as was outlined by a Public Health England report in 2014. 

Time-limited permitted development right comes into force

A time-limited permitted development right has been published today, 9 April at 10:00 and will remain until 31 December 2020.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Coronavirus) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 No. 412 with Explanatory Memorandum has been published on Legislation.gov.

The regulations provide a new time limited emergency permitted development right and supports health service bodies and local authorities’ immediate response to coronavirus.

The right is wide ranging, allowing for

  • development by or on behalf of a local authority or health authority body for the purposes of preventing an emergency;
  • reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of an emergency; and
  • taking other action in connection with an emergency.

The right enables development including, but not limited to, change of use for existing buildings and new temporary modular buildings. The right could be suitable to provide permission for a range of uses including use as:

  • Hospitals
  • health facilities
  • testing centres
  • coroner facilities
  • mortuaries
  • additional residential accommodation
  • storage and distribution, including for community food hubs.

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.  It is expected this will be by e-mail or in writing.

Source: Planning Portal