The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 has now been in place for one week after coming into force on 27 May 2020.

Already we are seeing clients benefit from the further measures and provisions in relation to Listed Building and Conservation Area Consents.

An article by my colleague Craig Wallace which considered the implications of the first Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 for the planning and development profession, was published on our Covid-19 Hub in April 2020. The first Act, which came into force on 7 April 2020, introduced a range of temporary powers to mitigate the widespread impact of the virus, including extending the duration of planning permissions that would have otherwise lapsed during the emergency period.

The second Coronavirus (Scotland) Act supplements the original Act and came into force last week on 27 May 2020

Comprising a range of measures across a number of issues, a notable provision introduced by the No.2 Act is an extension of time within which to implement Listed Building and Conservation Area Consents.

Those consents due to expire between the period 27 May 2020 to 6 October 2020, have now been automatically extended by the Act to 6 April 2021. This follows similar provisions in the No.1 Act for planning permissions.

The primary benefit of the temporary legislation is that affected parties are automatically afforded up to an extra ten months within which to implement listed building or conservation area consents. This will both allow for development to proceed once lockdown restrictions have been further relaxed, and importantly reduce the need for some applicant’s to resubmit proposals to the planning authority that would have otherwise expired during the period.

Coupled with the construction industry preparing for a gradual return to work in Scotland, the provisions and extensions of time provided for by both No.1 and No. 2 Acts are important steps by the Scottish Government in providing flexibility to allow for planning permissions, as well as now listed building and conservation area consents, to still be implemented beyond the immediate Covid crisis.

Whilst an automatic extension applies, applicant’s should check with local authorities if there is any ambiguity as to whether the provisions apply to their development proposals.