Planning issues in demolition
Planning issues in demolition

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

  • Planning issues in demolition
  • Planning permission—does demolition count as 'development'?
  • Permitted development rights for demolition
  • Justification of demolition or prior approval of the LPA
  • Article 4 Directions
  • Partial demolition
  • Demolition by LPAs
  • Demolition in conservation areas
  • Restrictions
  • Permitted development rights in conservation areas
  • More...

Planning permission—does demolition count as 'development'?

Under section 55(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990), planning permission is required for any development carried out on land. Development is broadly defined as building, engineering or mining operations, or any material change of use. TCPA 1990, s 55(1A)(a) expressly defines the demolition of buildings as a building operation and so it falls within the definition of development. There is therefore a general obligation for planning permission to be obtained for any demolition. See Practice Note: Operational development.

TCPA 1990, s 55(2)(g), allows demolition of certain types of building to be exempted from the definition of development where a Direction to that effect has been made by the Secretary of State. The Town and Country Planning (Demolition—Description of Buildings) Direction 1995 (the 1995 Direction) initially allowed for the demolition of the following types of building without the need for planning permission:

  1. any listed building

  2. any building in a conservation area

  3. any building which is a scheduled monument

  4. any building other than a dwellinghouse or adjoining a dwellinghouse

  5. any building with a cubic content not exceeding 50 cubic metres, and

  6. the whole or any part of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure

However, the Court of Appeal in Save Britain's Heritage held that the demolition of buildings and other structures is capable of constituting a

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