Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and, in particular the heightened lock down restrictions that we find ourselves in, our normal working practices are, in many cases, on hold. Local Authorities are dealing with the processing of applications differently across the country. A number of Local Authorities have confirmed that they will not be processing Local Authority Searches or Highways Searches until further notice.
Local Planning Authorities will find themselves under ever greater pressure to process planning applications within the requisite 8 week periods and this will be more difficult than ever with staff that are unwell, under a requirement to self isolate or who are vulnerable and unable to work within the office environment.
It is therefore particularly important at this time that you consider any deadlines that have been imposed between parties in any contracts, such as those conditional on planning permission, option agreements and promotion agreements.
If these deadlines are looming, please do speak to one of our team as to how to best open negotiations with parties for extensions to these deadlines. Whilst this is affecting us all we should not assume that other parties will, when the worst is over, deal with extensions in a reasonable way and a review of these sooner rather than later is the best way forward.