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
  • Government guidance
  • 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/Welsh Ministers
  • National security and other sensitive information
  • 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.

Government guidance

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

In Wales, the Welsh government has published a letter and accompanying memorandum on the Crown application of the Planning Acts (the Welsh Guidance).

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

Subject to the special provisions set out below, planning legislation applies to the Crown in a similar manner as it does to other applicants. The Crown is normally required to apply to the local planning authority (LPA) 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 (see: Environmental impact assessments—overview).

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