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Planning

Extension of construction site working hours

This guidance has been provided for residents, developers and constructors involved with major developments (the construction of 10 or more dwellings). If residents experience problems with small developments, it is often quicker to try and resolve the problem with the site direct. If this is not possible or proves unsuccessful, residents can contact the council as outlined below.

On 25 March 2021, the government announced that the written ministerial statement, published in May 2020 on planning and construction working hours, will now remain in force until 30 September 2021.

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 from 8am until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this. Sundays and Bank Holidays remain as non-working days.

We understand that extended construction hours may have an impact on nearby residents. More so than ever before, people are in their homes and we have seen an increase in the number of construction site nuisance complaints.

In line with government advice, we are asking contractors to be considerate of their neighbours and would like to thank residents for their patience during these unusual times. Our Environmental Health team is working with developers to ensure that every effort is made to minimise and control noise.

  1. Developers and agents

    Developers (or their agents) granted planning permission will:

    • Need to submit a written request (referencing the relevant application no) to vary the working hours to planning@southsomerset.gov.uk
    • Clearly demonstrate how the extension requested will help to recover any programme time lost over the last few months and facilitate work to continue on site with appropriate social distancing
    • Submit with the application/request comprehensive information on how the constructor will communicate with neighbours and ward councillors about the extended hours and their local complaints process (which will need to be available during the extended hours of operation.)

  2. Operators

    Operators of construction sites will:

    • Give neighbours who may be affected by particular work at least 48 hours’ notice.
    • Make sure that particularly noisy work is carried out within normal working hours.
    • Choose the quietest suitable equipment, keep it properly maintained and follow safe working practices (i.e. follow Best Practicable Means – BPM).
    • Tell any subcontractors to follow agreed guidelines on noise, dust and other matters.
    • Not allow workers to use radios on the site if this could cause a disturbance.
    • Avoid the need to park on the street by providing on-site parking wherever possible.
    • Keep the public roads and footpaths clean and tidy.

  3. Residents

    Residents should:

    1. Report any problem by filling in an online form
    1. If you are unable to access the online form, you may contact our Customer Connect team on Tel: 01935 462462.
    1. Keep a noise nuisance diary if the problem is not resolved straight away. 

    The council’s first action is always to discuss the situation with the site operators. While the council will step in to take enforcement action where appropriate, we often find that they are unaware of the problems they may be causing. Once it is brought to their attention, they tend to cooperate in taking action to deal with the matter.

    This guidance has been provided for residents, developers and constructors involved with major developments (the construction of 10 or more dwellings). If residents experience problems with small developments, it is often quicker to try and resolve the problem with the site direct. If this is not possible or proves unsuccessful, residents can contact the council as outlined above.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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