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Extensions to permitted hours of operation

Business and Construction Industry Guidance
Requests for extensions to permitted hours of operation, including construction

The Council recognises that business and the development industry will seek to maximise their operational capacity, whilst deploying the infection prevention measures needed to allow them to resume activities as lockdown is eased. In some cases, these operational hours are regulated through a Condition attached to the planning permission for the development.

In line with Scottish Government Guidance, (which is available here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19---planning-procedures---chief-planner-letter-may-2020/) the Planning Service will consider the extension of operating hours, by means of a temporary agreement. However, this may not be appropriate in all cases and will be at the discretion of the Service. Each request to operate longer hours will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Any agreement to extend operating/construction hours is on the basis that our agreement can be withdrawn at any point should activities create significant issues for adjacent residents or businesses. The onus therefore rests with the operator to ensure that any activity that takes place within the extended operating hours does not create significant detrimental impacts for occupiers of adjacent properties.

Consideration of requests will be a matter of judgement in most instances and primarily focusing on:

  • Proximity to noise sensitive receptors
  • How contentious the issue of noise was during the assessment of the planning application
  • Any known history of noise issues at the site

Agreement Parameters

  1. This process must be initiated by the operator and must be submitted in writing to development.central@fife.gov.uk
    Wherever possible the request should be accompanied by a completed Extended Operational Hours Request Checklist
  2. Any agreement to extend hours will be issued in a decision letter which will be published online.
  3. The agreement can be withdrawn at any time by the Planning Service by writing to the operator advising them accordingly
  4. Any initial agreement will expire on 7 April 2021. Thereafter, consideration may be given to a further 6-month period – in line with the timescales established by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020.
  5. Extended hours will generally only be permitted between 7am and 9pm, Monday to Saturday. There may be occasions where the remoteness of the site or type of activity can justify working beyond these hours. In most instances where there are noise sensitive receptors nearby, there should be:
    1. No working on Public Holidays and
    2. No working on Sundays
  6. Before commencing the agreed extended hours, the operator will provide neighbours with the contact details for the site manager, who will be the first point of contact for any complaints so that they can intervene to address the issue that has been raised. In the event the site manager can not address the concerns raised, the escalation route will be to the Planning Service.

This agreement process does not replace the legislative provision made by Section 42 of the Town and Country Planning Act. The operator can elect to formally apply to vary the terms of a Condition under Section 42 and thereafter contest any decision reached through the normal appeals process.