Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started onsite. Housing Minister Robert Jenrick has announced that planning permissions which were due to expire between the start of the coronavirus lockdown on 23rd March 2020 and 31st December 2020 will be extended to 1st April 2021. This will prevent work that has been temporarily disrupted by the pandemic from stopping altogether. There is no further detail at the moment about how this will be implemented and whether it will apply to all planning consents.
The government estimates that by the end of this month alone, more than 400 residential permissions providing more than 24,000 new homes would have expired. The Planning Inspectorate will also be given new permanent powers to use more than one procedure (written representation, hearings and inquiries) at the same time when dealing with an appeal, in order to help in speeding up the appeals process.
More detail is available in the MHCLG press release of 22nd June 2020.