Health and wellbeing Coronavirus

Planning

Last updated 23 July

Government has asked that Councils do what they can to ensure the planning process can continue as far as is possible during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following the national lockdown the standard planning committee meetings have had to be cancelled in response to social distancing regulations and a small number of planning applications have been determined during this period under emergency delegated powers by the Chief Executive in collaboration with the Director of Planning, alongside the Chair and Deputy Chair of the planning committee. You can find details of the applications that were determined under emergency powers here.

We will now host our Planning & Highways Committee meetings virtually until further notice. Public and Ward Member participation at virtual meetings of the Planning Committee will operate slightly differently to in-person meetings. You can see further details about the arrangements for the virutal committee meetings on our commenting on planning applications page.

Representations from the public can still be submitted and they will be considered as part of the normal planning process.

Changes to construction working hours

On 13 May 2020, the government published a statement on planning and construction working hours instructing local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are compelling reasons against this.

If you wish to amend your construction working hours, you should email planning@manchester.gov.uk

We will let you know any furthers steps you need to take.

  • For modest or short-term changes to working hours we will aim to agree them informally, and we will use our discretion to avoid enforcing against a breach of working hours.
  • Where long or more significant changes may require a formal application. It is important you consider potential impacts and put forward plans to manage any concerns.
  • We will ensure that decisions are issued within 10 days where possible. 

We will consider if there are unreasonable impacts and will reject proposals where there are very compelling reasons. These reasons could include:

  • the significant impact on neighbouring businesses, residents across the city, including the city centre and other uses, such as care homes, which are particularly sensitive to noise, dust or vibration, which cannot be overcome through other mitigation
  • where impacts on densely populated areas would be unreasonable

It is important to consider people are spending more time at home and working from their home at this time. It is therefore necessary to balance their comfort and safety in their home against the desire to ensure that necessary construction work can continue to support the economy.

Which means we may ask you to do noise or other monitoring to show evidence that the impact of the extended hours on neighbours is not unreasonable. A communications plan would also be required to inform nearby residents of the working hours involved and the specific tasks taking place during extended hours specifically those that would generate noise.

Enforcement will continue to take place where complaints are received about non-compliance, where noise or other nuisances from building works are considered to be causing material interference with the use or enjoyment of neighbouring properties. This could include restricting hours of work. 

For further advice please email planning@manchester.gov.uk

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