Keeping planning permission alive
Keeping planning permission alive

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Keeping planning permission alive
  • Time limits for implementing planning permission
  • Reasons for preserving planning permission
  • How to keep a planning permission alive
  • Planning obligations
  • Action by the LPA
  • Options if permission expires

Time limits for implementing planning permission

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. However, the normal periods which apply are:

  1. in the case of full planning permission, development must be commenced within three years of the grant of planning permission, or

  2. in the case of outline planning permissions, applications for any reserved matter must be made within three years of the grant of outline planning permission, and development must be commenced within a further two years of the final approval of the last reserved matter (see Practice Note: Discharging reserved matters conditions on outline planning permissions)

If either a full or outline planning permission is granted without an express condition limiting the time period for implementation, a condition imposing the standard time limit is deemed to have been imposed. See Practice Note: Planning conditions—key points. There is no requirement that a development be completed by a certain date. See Practice Note: Implementing planning permission.

Reasons for preserving planning permission

There are a number of reasons why developers might