Impact of Covid19 on planning enforcement

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Planning enforcement is still operating.  But we may not fully investigate matters where significant harm cannot be shown.  We will let you know what we intend to do:

We have a high number of enquiries at present. Please bear with us as it may take longer to respond.

There may be some delays:

  • to investigations
  • where cases are referred to Court for action.

The Courts have a backlog of all criminal cases nationally.  This means our cases could be delayed while we wait for Court availability.

Where we may not take action

Construction sites

Some building sites may be operating later in the evening.  The Business and Planning Act 2020 permits this.  A developer can request to extend construction working hours for a temporary period.  This means hours can be:

  • extended to 9.00 pm Monday to Saturday
  • extended until 1 Apri 2021.

The Government expects these requests to be:

  • a fast tracked deemed consent process
  • approved by local planning authorities.

Caravan parks

Under the current lockdown, caravan sites have to close except where:

  • this is someone’s main residence
  • the person cannot return home
  • it provides accommodation or support to the homeless
  • it is essential to stay there for work purposes.

The planning permission for the site must permit these or it must be agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

Temporary camping sites

The Government gives permitted development rights for persons to use land for temporary uses such as camp sites:

  • for up to 28 days in any calendar year
  • without the need to submit a planning application. 

These rights will not apply in areas where there is an Article 4 Direction.  An Article 4 Direction removes these permitted development rights. Please note that the 28 days has been extended to 56 days at present.  This will be:

  • until 31 December 2021 and
  • to help support businesses. 

Some small scale camping sites may benefit from permitted development rights.  They must be affiliated to an exempted organisation such as the Caravan and Camping Club.  A site licence is not always required for these.  Other exceptions include:

  • ‘pop up’ sites unless they become more regular or permanent
  • sites used for agricultural work activities
  • other groups or activities such as travelling showmen.

Where planning permission is required a number of factors will apply.  These affect whether planning permission or a site licence is granted and include:

  • the location of the development
  • is it sustainable
  • impact on the landscape including the impact of any designated areas such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • highway safety
  • impact on the amenity of neighbouring sites
  • how the site is laid out and
  • whether the number of pitches is appropriate.

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