Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice

NHS Test and Trace - Download the app

Construction site working hours to enable social distancing

On 13 May 2020, the government published a written ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours. This statement expects local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this.

If you wish to amend your conditioned construction working hours, you should contact us by emailing planning@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk. We will be able to tell you whether we are happy to agree amended working hours informally, or whether you need to submit a formal application, as well as through which route. Where there are modest or short-term changes to construction working hours, we hope to be able to agree them informally, and we will use our discretion to avoid enforcing against a breach of working hours. Where long or more significant changes to working hours are required, we may request a formal application. In doing so, it will be important for you to consider potential impacts and, where necessary, to put forward plans to manage concerns, drawing on existing good practice.

  • We will be supportive of reasonable requests
  • We will accept proposals for extended working hours unless there are very strong reasons against this
  • We will ensure that decisions are issued within 10 days where possible.
  • We will try and make a soft and user-friendly process where possible
  • In making our decision, we may consider where there are unreasonable impacts, but we will reject proposals only where there are very compelling reasons. These reasons could include the significant impact on neighbouring businesses or uses, such as care homes, which are particularly sensitive to noise, dust or vibration, which cannot be overcome through other mitigation, or where impacts on densely populated areas would be unreasonable.  We will consider the fact that more people are spending more time at home, including working from home. We will balance their reasonable expectations for the acoustic environment in their home against the desire to ensure that necessary construction work can continue
  • We may ask you to do noise or other monitoring to demonstrate that the impact of the extended hours on neighbours is not unreasonable
  • Provisions under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 can be used by the Environmental Health & Community Safety team if noise or other nuisances from building works are considered to be causing material interference with the use or enjoyment of neighbouring properties. This could include restricting hours of work

For further advice please contact planning@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk.