Planning issues for Crown land
Planning issues for Crown land

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

  • Planning issues for Crown land
  • Background to Crown’s immunity from development control
  • Special provisions qualifying the application of normal planning rules and requirements to the Crown
  • Definition of Crown land
  • Definition of Crown interest and Duchy interest
  • Appropriate authority
  • Crown land and additional permitted development rights
  • Urgent Crown development—application to the Secretary of State
  • National security and other sensitive information
  • Enforcement of Crown activities
  • more

Background to Crown’s immunity from development control

In 1992, the government decided to progressively remove any immunities protecting government departments and Crown bodies from the usual processes and requirements of development control.

Previous immunity of the Crown from development control and the provisions of the planning regime generally, were removed by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) and related legislation now apply to Crown development, subject to special provisions.

Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) provides government guidance on planning issues relating to Crown land.

Special provisions qualifying the application of normal planning rules and requirements to the Crown

Subject to the special provisions, the Crown is normally required to apply to the local planning authority for:

  1. planning permission

  2. consent under a tree preservation order

  3. planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area

  4. hazardous substances consent

The requirements for environmental impact assessment also apply to the Crown.

The special provisions that qualify the application of the normal planning rules to Crown land relate to:

  1. additional permitted development rights

  2. urgent development

  3. national security applications

  4. enforcement

  5. tree enforcement

Definition of Crown land

Crown land is land in which there is a Crown interest or a Duchy interest. It includes government offices, motorways and military bases, but does not cover land owned by local government.