Government issues draft guidance on how to apply to extend construction site working hours – words of caution to Contractors and Developers
The government issued draft guidance on Thursday 25 June setting out further detail on the proposed new route for applicants looking for a temporary extension to construction site working hours (as introduced in the Business and Planning Bill), with a view to mitigating delays to construction works as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For example the adoption into site practice of the CLC Standard Operating Procedure (currently version 4) to address the requirements of social distancing including staggered start and finish times which will have had an impact on site operating hours.
The draft guidance also sets out the considerations to which local authorities must take into account in determining such applications under this proposed new route (section 74B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990).
Local authority actions
Local authorities have 14 calendar days to consider the applications and if agreed then the hours will be temporarily revised until 1 April 2021. Interestingly if the local authority does not reply within the 14 day period they are deemed to have approved the application.
Mitigation plans/residents and noise
The draft guidance states that applicants are encouraged to provide details of mitigation plans dealing with their proposals for minimising the impact to local residents and businesses affected by the prolonged working hours, for example limiting noisy work to set hours and alternative parking arrangements.
Fees and appeals
There isn’t an application fee payable but there is a right of appeal unless the local planning authorities have agreed alternative hours, days, or dates in writing with the applicant.
The full draft guidance may be accessed here.
Words of caution
Contractors and Developers alike should note that an agreed extension to the hours of work by the local authority should be recorded by them both in writing as required by the terms of their contract to give this change contractual effect.
Contractors should also be aware that unless expressly agreed with the Developer in writing in accordance with the contract requirements, longer hours of work do not necessarily equate to an increase in the Contract Sum. So this is something that it would be prudent for the Contractor and Developer to agree when applying to extend the site working hours – what if any is the impact to be both on the duration of the contract period and on the Contract Sum payable?
Are you thinking of making an application to extend your site hours? If so, please do get in touch with our construction team for advice.