Although it is uncertain what the likely long-term impacts of the pandemic on the development industry will be, the short-term impacts are clearly significant.

The real estate development industry is looking to the Government for immediate relief in the following areas:

  • automatic extension of the deadline for commencement of development under planning permissions;
  • the introduction of a statutory review process for affordable housing and other planning obligations based on new viability considerations; and
  • extension to Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”) payment deadlines.

There are precedents for the first two elements of this from the then Government’s response to the financial crisis (the CIL was, of course, not in place at that time).

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