Q&As

Does the four or ten-year enforcement time limit apply to the unauthorised conversion of a single dwelling into two flats?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/03/2018

The following Planning Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does the four or ten-year enforcement time limit apply to the unauthorised conversion of a single dwelling into two flats?
  • Time limits
  • Deliberate concealment of planning breaches

Development for which planning permission is required is defined in section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990). TCPA 1990, s 55(3) states that the use as two or more separate dwelling houses of any building previously used as a single dwelling house involves a material change of use. This means planning permission is required for the conversion of a dwelling into two flats.

Time limits

Where there has been a breach of planning control, TCPA 1990, s 171A specifies that enforcement action may be taken. However, TCPA 1990, s 171B provides that no such action may be taken:

  1. in the case of a breach of planning control consisting of the carrying out without planning permission of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over

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