Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information about planning and building control

Planning and building control site visits and planning site notices

As a result of the government's announcements of measures to minimise the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it has been necessary to review our current site visit arrangements and site notices.

Case officers will carry out limited site visits and only when it is safe to do so. Officers will be following a set of detailed guidelines informed by Public Health England and our own guidance and will advise applicants as necessary whether a site visit is possible and the additional information they will require to help them assess the application. Planning site notices will be posted and will be supplemented by neighbour notification where appropriate. However please be aware that when a detailed site visit isn't possible due to social distancing reasons and the case officer considers it is essential to enable a decision to be made, then a decision will be delayed accordingly.

Whilst planning and building regulation applications will be processed as quickly as possible there will be substantial delays and we thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

For more information on our position on site visits please contact the case officer or contact building control on 01752 304343 or email buildcon@plymouth.gov.uk and planning on 01752 304366 or email planningconsents@plymouth.gov.uk.

Extension of construction hours

In line with government guidance issued on 13 May 2020 to all councils, we have set out how developers can request an extension of construction hours that are controlled by planning condition, see document below:

 Construction site working hours during COVID-19 epidemic [PDF, 75KB]

Restaurants to takeaways

Temporary hot food takeaway facilities

The government has now put in place measures to allow drinking establishments including pubs and bars (A4 - drinking establishment) and restaurants and cafes (A3) to operate for takeaway food during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This also applies to any premises which has a mixed use which includes use class A3 or A4 and also drinking establishments which have extended food provision (defined as class AA of Part 3 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

There are a number of important requirements to the temporary provisions:

This temporary permitted development is for a period of up to 12 months ending on the 23 March 2021.

You must notify the Local Planning Authority if the building and any land within its curtilage is being used, or will be used, for the provision of takeaway food. Use our online form below to do this:

Register for restaurant to takeaway

If the planning consent of the premises or land has a condition on it which restricts the provision of takeaway food or hot food takeaway, these temporary measures do not apply and takeaway food cannot be provided without planning consent. To check this, view our planning consents and planning history.

All existing planning conditions which restrict the use of the premises such as opening hours or delivery restrictions will continue to apply during the temporary period.

The temporary measure of use does not affect the use class of the land that existed before the temporary change of use.

Once the temporary measures come to an end for food takeaway (for example 23 March 2021) original use will revert back in accordance with the original planning consent.

We understand that some business may have already started providing this service on a temporary basis to support their communities which we fully understand, however given that the government has now set out the process for this to formally happen this should now be followed.

It is vitally important that the provision of food for takeaway is done in a careful and respectful manner which limits social gathering and that business do everything they can to reduce the impact on neighbours and where possible align with the other restrictions placed on the business through planning conditions. It is also the case that a business should only consider takeaway/delivery activity if they are registered as a food business with a Local Authority, further detail and guidance is available from on our food safety page.

We would strongly advise businesses follow government guidance and advice in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is available on GOV.UK.

Where there are not restrictions already in place through planning conditions we would also ask that these facilities providing temporary takeaway food are run between 8am to 9pm only to reduce the disturbance to others.

While we are keen to support these measures we will continue to deal with any issues raised by residents reported through the 'Report alleged unauthorised development' for concerns about planning requirements or 'Noise nuisance report' in the normal way. As part of any planning action which maybe taken the Council will take into account the wide matters associated with the national approach to Coronavirus (COVID-19) health concerns.

Call 01752 304366 or email planningconsents@plymouth.gov.uk if you have any questions regarding the process

Supermarket deliveries

Temporary relaxation restrictions supermarket deliveries

In light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) health concerns, the government has announced plans to assist supermarkets by temporarily relaxing restrictions on overnight deliveries to supermarkets. This is to help supermarkets to replenish stores as quickly as possible, especially for essential items that are currently in high demand.

We're committed to support this nationally agreed measure in this period of uncertainty to ensure key services, facilities and essential provisions are available to the public. In light of this, we will temporarily allow supermarkets to receive deliveries outside the hours restricted through planning conditions. We expect that supermarket and delivery companies to take deliveries in a considered manner and to do everything they can to reduce the impact on neighbours and where possible align with the other restrictions placed on the delivery of goods through planning conditions.

We will, however, continue to deal with any issues raised by residents reported through the 'Report alleged unauthorised development' for concerns about planning requirements or 'Noise nuisance report' in relation to deliveries in the normal way. However as part of the consideration of whether to take any planning action the Council will consider as part of the public interest test the wide matters associated with the national approach to Coronavirus (COVID-19) health concerns.