DEVELOPERS look set to be given more time to get their schemes started during the coronavirus crisis - with the people behind the controversial 900-home Pennyfeathers development in Ryde looking likely to benefit.

Any planning permissions due to expire during the lockdown period have been extended.

A new Business and Planning Bill currently going through the Houses of Parliament will give new life to developments on the Isle of Wight and across the country.

One of the aspects of the bill includes extending the three-year time frame planning permission is given for works to start.

Usually, if a development hasn't started within three years of approval then the permission expires but now housing secretary Robert Jenrick has proposed to extend it to help the construction industry get back on its feet after the first wave of the coronavirus.

This means if planning permission was due to expire anywhere from the start of lockdown in March until the end of 2020, it will automatically be extended to April 2021.

On the Island, this will affect the controversial planning permission for Pennyfeathers — the 900-house development near Westridge — giving it more time to get started.

Read more: Ryde Mayor calls for 'ethics' over Pennyfeathers planning change

Before the new measures, the Ryde development had to be started before September and was under pressure to get conditions attached to the original permission changed so the project could run smoothly, according to its planning agents.

Read more: When Pennyfeathers plan is going to Council

The government said the new measures will save more than 24,000 homes nationwide from not being built as planning expires.

Mr Jenrick said: "Building the homes the country needs is central to the mission of this government and is an important part of our plans to recover from the impact of the coronavirus.

"Taken together, these measures will help to keep workers safe and our economy moving as we work together to bounce back from the pandemic."

The Isle of Wight Council said it will fully comply with the new measures, which will also help speed up planning appeals, when the legislation is passed.

A council spokesperson said: "As local planning authority (LPA), [the council] is aware of the Government’s proposals as set out in the Business and Planning Bill and is tracking its progress through the legislative process with interest.

“Once the Bill becomes law, the LPA will comply with and implement legislation as required.”

Property specialists, BCM, who have a team and office on the Island, welcomed the new measures.

Charlotte Howlett, planning consultant said: “The government has listened to the industry, something which will work to secure jobs and give the building supply chain certainty at this time.”

“After planning permissions are granted it takes an inordinate amount of time to resolve planning conditions, deal with statutory utilities, financing, building regulations, tender packages and contracts and so this extension provides essential time without the need to resubmit a new planning application, which would have otherwise submitted the same package as previously granted.

"Covid-19 has had an effect on all businesses and so this allowance is a positive and proactive move to assist the industry."