At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the Scottish Government acted swiftly to extend the duration of consents and implement other measures to ensure the continuing operation of the planning system, while lockdowns and restrictions on construction work and physical distancing were in place.

The Chief Planner's letter (July 2022) confirms, however, that these temporary measures will cease from the end of September 2022.

The key points are as follows

  • Planning permissions, listed building consents and conservation area consents due to expire between 6 April 2020 and 30 September 2022 will expire on 31 March 2023.
  • Planning documents including EIA reports will again require to be made available at physical locations after 30 September 2022.
  • Physical public events as part of pre-application consultation must resume after 30 September 2022, (at the same time as changes to the PAC process come into force, as discussed here).

Implications for developers

Relevant permissions and consents that are not implemented by 31 March 2023 will expire unless further steps are taken to preserve them.

In the current climate of materials shortages, supply chain delays and rising inflation, developers will likely be keen to start on sites well in advance of the March 2023 deadline.

From a legal perspective, we are mindful of the need to ensure that any changes to designs that may have occurred in the intervening period are adequately covered off by the consents (either existing or new, as required).

Equally, attention should be paid to the timeline for triggering obligations under planning conditions and / or Section 75 agreements.

Should you require further information or advice in relation to the time limits discussed above, please get in touch with your usual Brodies planning contacts.


Victoria Lane

Senior Associate