R&I spotlight on planning law
Produced in partnership with Martin Evans and Tim Stansfeld of CMS
R&I spotlight on planning law

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Martin Evans and Tim Stansfeld of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • R&I spotlight on planning law
  • What are the main laws and regulations governing this area?
  • How is planning relevant to insolvency practitioners and their staff?
  • Examples of the type of insolvency situations where planning issues arise
  • How can IPs and their staff spot a planning issue and what searches might be carried out to discover planning issues?
  • What steps can IPs take to protect themselves from liability?

What are the main laws and regulations governing this area?

The main legislation controlling the planning system in England and Wales is the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990). The TCPA 1990 sets out the regime for most aspects of planning, including:

  1. the meaning of development and when planning permission is required

  2. how planning applications are determined

  3. when planning obligations can be entered into, and

  4. enforcement for breaches of planning law

Development

The TCPA 1990 provides that planning permission is required for works which constitute 'development'. Development carried out without planning permission is unlawful and can be subject to enforcement action.

Development means:

  1. the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or

  2. the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land

Building operations commonly involve constructing a new building, structural alterations or additions to an existing building, and other operations normally undertaken by a builder.

Whether a material change of use takes place depends on the nature of the new and previous use, and is often a question of fact and degree. A change of use to another use within the same use class does not normally constitute development. See Overview: Is planning permission required?.

Planning permission

Planning permission is authorisation to carry out development. In most cases,