Thanks to the pandemic and the consequent freezing of the construction section, the government has taken steps to extend any current planning permission to 2021. 

Planning Permission Deadline Extended to 2021

The government has recently announced that any projects with planning permission that expires before the end of 2020 will automatically be extended until April 2021.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘Building the homes the country needs is central to the mission of this government and is an important part of our plans to recover from the impact of the coronavirus: ‘New laws will enable us to save hundreds of construction sites from being cancelled before they have a chance to get spades in the ground, helping to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs and create many others.’

The government’s announcement that planning permission deadlines will be extended in order to prevent permissions expiring on hundreds of yet-to-be-started building projects – giving breathing space for anyone waiting contractors to start on their self-build or extension projects, delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of their plans to stimulate a post-Covid building economy, on Monday 21st June, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLA) disclosed that any projects with an planning permission expiration date between the 23rd March – the beginning of lockdown – and the end of 2020 will have their permission extended to April 2021.

extend house without planning permission
One of our current builds in Coventry

What does this mean for housebuilders?

Planning permission usually expires after three years if building work has not begun on site, meaning there is a need to apply for permission again. This extension provides relief for those affected by the pandemic who have been unable to build prior to their deadline expiring, and self builders and home extenders have no need to re-submit an application if their planning permission or consent expires by the end of the year – provided it didn’t expire before the 23rd of March.

The government has estimated that without these measures over 400 residential permissions providing more than 24,000 new homes would have expired, causing a huge burden on local councils, planners, developers and jeopardising the sector’s recovery.

Other measures announced

To avoid any further backlog caused by the pandemic, new measures to quicken the  the appeals process will also be launched, enabling planning applications to conclude faster. 

The Planning Inspectorate, the agency that deals with planning appeals, will be able to manage appeal procedures simultaneously, include written representations, hearings and inquiries. This comes after a pilot programme in 2019 that showed that this multiple-track approach halved the time for appeal inquiries to be resolved, from 47 weeks to just 23 weeks. 

In additions, site hours will be lengthened to enable builders socially distance on building sites, making it easier for them to follow government guidelines and staggering their shift patterns.

Let's get building!

Planning permission being extended to 2021 should help to kickstart the building and architectural economy again, giving would-be builders the confidence to start their project up once more. Now that you’ve got the green light to kick-start your new-build or extension, get in touch and see how we can help you!

Why Lapworth Architects?


Our 20+ years of work mean great design and good relationships with planning departments across the region, giving  our projects the best chance to get planning permission and start building.


Your budget is tailored to your needs so you’re always on top of your costs. We’re proud to offer excellent value for money for our services, from design and planning right through to build.


Our breadth of knowledge makes us an efficient and sustainable choice of local architect, and we have a vested interest in improving our built environment right here in the West Midlands.


Wherever you are with your project, if you’re looking for honest, quality advice from professionals, chat to us, leave us a message or call us on the number at the top of the page. Let’s talk!