Implementing planning permission
Implementing planning permission

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Implementing planning permission
  • Statutory time limits for implementing planning permission
  • When development is begun and material operations
  • Was the permission implemented lawfully, and in time?
  • Breach of pre-commencement condition
  • Implementing multiple planning permissions
  • Temporary automatic extensions of planning consents in England

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak—see: Temporary automatic extensions of planning consents in England. For further updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Planning and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

Statutory time limits for implementing planning permission

Planning permissions do not last forever. Sections 91 and 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) require that every planning permission must contain a planning condition limiting the time within which the permission can be implemented. Local planning authorities (LPAs) have discretion under TCPA 1990, ss 91 and 92 to grant planning permission for such periods as they consider appropriate. The usual position is that:

  1. in the case of a full planning permission, development must be commenced within three years (in England) or five years (in Wales) of the grant of permission unless a planning condition states otherwise

  2. in the case of an outline planning permission relating to land in England, any application for the approval of a reserved matter must be made not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date of the grant of outline planning permission and the development to which the permission relates must be begun not later than the expiration of two years from the final approval

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