Early in the pandemic the Scottish Government introduced emergency legislation through the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020, which included temporary changes to the planning system.
The Acts extended the duration of planning permissions, listed building consents and conservation area consents that were about to expire, made provision for publication of planning documents online rather than at physical locations and allowed committee meetings to happen without public attendance.
The temporary measures have been extended on a number of occasions by regulations made by the Scottish Ministers. Following the passing of the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill on 24 June 2021, these provisions will be further extended such that any permission that was due to expire between the 7 April 2020 and 31 March 2022 will automatically be extended to 30 September 2022.
The temporary modifications made to publication of documents and committee meetings will also be extended to now expire on 31 March 2022. Scottish Ministers will have the power to make one further six month extension by regulations, after which they will need to go back to Parliament to pass a new Act if they wish to extend the provisions again.
Developers should keep up to date with any further changes of extensions to the temporary measures to ensure that they continue to meet the relevant procedural requirements and also have sufficient time to take action in relation to any permissions or consents that are due to expire.