Over 3,000 building permits extended by three years

More than 3,400 development permits due to expire this year will be extended for another three years as the Planning Authority is offering an extension to the owners of the permits.

In addition, permits that were due to expire in 2021 will also be extended by three years to 2024 while those that will expire in 2022 will be extended to 2025. The extension covers planning permits that expire this year, in 2021 and 2022.

This move, which was taken by the planning authority in light of the coronavirus outbreak, means that a total of 3,411 development permits, which will expire this year, would be able to take advantage of the extension, a planning authority spokesman told The Shift.

It is expected that thousands of other permits, which will expire in 2021 and 2022, will also be extended for another three years.

The extension, which was announced in a legal notice published on Friday, states that any development permit which, on the date of entry into force of these regulations, is still within its period of validity but which is due to expire by, or any date earlier to 31st December 2022, shall have its remaining period of validity extended by an additional three years.

In a statement, the Planning Authority said this measure was being put in place as it took into context the circumstances that emerged from the COVID-19 outbreak.

“(It) is aimed at preventing current permit holders from having to carry out a significant amount of works within short periods, once normality is restored,” the statement said, adding that the measure would ensure the rights of those granted permits are safeguarded and the burden of the works which would fall upon the community will be decreased.

Although many businesses have come to a grinding halt because of the spread of coronavirus, construction has not stopped and this did not go unnoticed. Emergency physician Jonathan Joslin made an appeal for construction around the island to stop “immediately” as a good part of households were on lockdown because of coronavirus – to prevent construction-related injuries from taking precious space at the hospital.

In a post on social media, Joslin said he could not understand how developers were allowed to start new construction works within village cores during the epidemic.

“Public health authorities are trying to enforce isolation within our homes especially for the elderly. The least the community expects is to be able to do this without construction and digging occurring next to their homes. One cannot even go out in (a) back yard (or) garden because of the dust and noise, let alone rest and recuperate if affected by the virus,” he said.

“I propose that all non-essential construction should cease immediately,” he said.

                           
                               
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