Q&As

I have secured planning permission but am not in a position to carry out the development before the time limit for commencement expires. What can I do to prevent having to apply for a new planning permission?

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Published on LexisPSL on 03/12/2013

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

  • I have secured planning permission but am not in a position to carry out the development before the time limit for commencement expires. What can I do to prevent having to apply for a new planning permission?
  • Time limits for commencement of development
  • Satisfy pre-commencement conditions at the outset
  • What is a material operation?
  • Extent of works
  • Keep evidence
  • Beware of triggering planning obligations
  • Risk of action by the local authority

Time limits for commencement of development

Full planning permission is usually granted subject to a condition requiring the development to be started within a specified time period, typically three years from the date of the permission. If the development has not commenced within the specified time period, the permission expires and the developer must apply for a new planning permission.

If development is not commenced in time, a new permission must be applied for, adding to the time and costs of the development. It may also jeopardise future development of the land because there may be a change in the planning policy or political context, meaning that permission may not be obtainable for the same project.

Satisfy pre-commencement conditions at the outset

Before implementing permission, you should firstly ensure that all pre-commencement conditions are discharged. Carrying out a material operation before all such conditions are discharged may make the whole development unlawful.

In Henry Boot Homes, it was held that works begun in breach of a planning condition did not amount to a lawful implementation of the planning permission.

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