Criteria for extended construction hours more robust

Published Tuesday 18 August 2020

Developers who request extensions to construction working hours, must provide much greater detail on why the extension is needed and how local disruption will be minimised under new measures.

In May 2020, the Government announced that construction working hours should be extended, in agreement with the local authority, to help progress building projects which had been halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It aims to promote safe working in line with social distancing guidance and stagger the number of workers on any building site at any time.

Now the Government has formalised the process requiring developers, who apply to extend working hours, to provide much greater detail to justify why the extension is needed and what will be done to minimise local disruption.  

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for Planning, Environment and Waste, said: “We welcome this more robust approach to requests for urgent extensions to construction working hours. Workers’ safety is important, and we will work with developers to ensure building projects can continue safely, whilst also fully addressing any concerns raised by the public.”

Under a new 74B section of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, developers must formally apply to the Local Planning Authority to amend conditions relating to construction hours, to either:

  • allow construction activities to be carried out for a longer period on a particular day; or
  • allow construction activities to be carried out for the whole or part of a day on which they would not otherwise be allowed to be carried out.

Requests to extend the hours of construction will only be refused where there are very compelling reasons to do so as set out in Government guidance; however a new appeals process has also been introduced for developers if their request is rejected.

Applications under section 74B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 should be sent to

Members of the public can also send any queries regarding the extension of construction working hours to the above email address.

The process is expected to remain in place until at least 1 April 2021.

More information is available on the Council’s website at