Local planning authority as applicant for planning permission to itself
Local planning authority as applicant for planning permission to itself

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

  • Local planning authority as applicant for planning permission to itself
  • Relevant statutory provisions
  • Local authority responsible for determining a planning application submitted by an ‘interested planning authority’
  • Local authority responsible for determining a planning application where the interested planning authority is not intending to develop the land by itself or jointly
  • Determination by the Secretary of State for objected relevant demolition in a conservation area—England only
  • Effect of planning permission granted to an interested planning authority on or after 23 February 2018 in England
  • Procedure for obtaining planning permission and preventing conflicts of interest in determining applications by an interested planning authority

Local authorities are not immune from having to obtain planning permission to develop land. The grant of planning permission by any local authority to itself has always been an area of criticism, particularly as the grant of planning permission to develop land can have a significant effect on its value. Traditionally, development carried out by local authorities was primarily to further their functions, for example, education or transport. It is now more frequent for local authorities to be involved in commercial development. Where the local planning authority is both the landowner and/or intending to carry out development within its area, a separate regime comes into play.

Relevant statutory provisions

Section 316 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) makes provision in relation to land of ‘interested planning authorities’ and development by them.

TCPA 1990, s 316(6) defines an ‘interested planning authority’ in relation to land as:

‘…any body which exercises any of the functions of a local planning authority in relation to that land; and for the purposes of this section land is land of an authority if the authority have any interest in it.’

TCPA 1990, s 316 confirms that the usual procedures under TCPA 1990, Pts III, VII and VIII apply to land of, and development by, local planning authorities in the same way as everyone else,