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Are permitted development rights now in existence for the creation of emergency medical facilities?

Yes. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Coronavirus) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force on 9 April 2020 giving permitted development rights for emergency development. The permitted development right is available to local authorities and health service bodies (as defined) on land owned, leased, occupied or maintained by it for the purposes of:

  • Preventing an emergency
  • Reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of an emergency
  • Taking other action in connection with an emergency

It could cover, for example, the temporary change of use of buildings into a Nightingale Hospital or the establishment of a testing centre.

The permitted development right is not permitted in certain instances and is subject to a number of conditions including the notification of the local planning authority and the cessation of the use before 31 December 2020.

Further detail of the permitted development right is available at the link below.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/412/made