On 11 May 2020, the Scottish Government introduced the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill - which will introduce changes to support essential public services and provide flexibility for businesses.
As currently drafted, the Bill will extend the time period for implementation of listed building consents (required for works to listed buildings) and conservation area consents (required for the demolition of unlisted buildings within conservation areas).
We previously advised on the extension of the time period for implementation of planning permissions by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. In line with those provisions, the Bill provides that listed building consents and conservation area consents which would normally lapse during the period between the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020 coming into force and 6 October 2020, will instead lapse on 6 April 2021. Scottish Ministers will have the power to amend those dates by Regulation.
The extension only runs from the date on which the Act comes into force, and so consents which have lapsed since lockdown commenced cannot be revived.
The changes will provide further relief for developers in Scotland. Unlike in England, where construction sites are beginning to reopen, the advice in Scotland remains that people should stay at home.
The Bill was examined by the Scottish Parliament's COVID-19 committee on 13 May 2020 (Parliamentary stage 1). Amendments will be considered by the Committee on 19 May 2020, and the Bill is expected to be voted on by Parliament on 20 May 2020. If passed, it will come into force the day after it receives Royal Assent (which took 5 days for the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020).
One issue currently facing the development industry is the statutory expiration of planning permissions which have not been implemented within the specified time period. The Act addresses this by extending the time period for implementation.