How long does planning permission last for?

You may or may not be aware that planning permission expires.

How long does planning permission last for?

Planning Permission expires Croft Architecture

Generally speaking, unless otherwise stated by the planning authority on your planning permission notice you have 3 years from the date of planning permission being granted to start the development.

This was not always the case, and before the provisions brought in by the Town and Country Planning Act 1968 there was no such limitation. This led to the accumulation of many planning approvals granted which were never acted upon, and were therefore resolved by the amendment of the Act.

Implementing a planning permission

Not implementing a planning permission before it expires will mean having to apply for planning permission again. So what does it mean to implement a planning approval?

The answer to this is contained in detail within the Town and Country Planning Act, Section 56 which highlights that a development is begun on the earliest date that a "material operation" in connection with the development is started.

"Material operation" is explained to mean any of the following:

  • any work of construction in the course of the erection of a building;
  • any work of demolition of a building;
  • the digging of a trench which is to contain the foundations, or part of the foundations, of a building;
  • the laying of any underground main or pipe to the foundations, or part of the foundations, of a building or to any such trench as is mentioned above;
  • any operation in the course of laying out or constructing a road or part of a road;
  • any change in the use of any land which constitutes material development.

Be aware that local authorities if deemed necessary are able to issue a completion notice which can declare that the planning permission will cease to have an effect on a date not earlier than 12 months from the date of issue of the notice.

Outline planning permission is a little different...

With outline planning permission, there is a 3 year period from the date of planning permission in which to submit the reserved matters for a scheme, and then the approval will be extant for a further 2 years. Therefore with outline planning permissions, you have up to 5 years before implementation is needed to occur.

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