Once your planning permission has been granted, you will need to implement it within the relevant time limits, otherwise it will expire. If your planning permission expires you won’t be able to proceed with your proposed development, and will need to re-applying for a new planning permission.
What are the time limits for implementing a planning permission?
There are statutory time limits for implementing a planning permission, but a Local Planning Authority has the power to extend or shorten these via a condition on the planning permission. You must therefore check the conditions of your planning permission first and comply with any time limits stated. If the planning permission is silent on the time limits for implementation, then the statutory time limits will apply.
What are the statutory time limits for implementing a planning permission?
The statutory time limits vary depending on whether your development is based in England or Wales, and whether you were granted a full or outline planning permission.
- In England - A full planning permission must be implemented within 3 years of the date the planning permission was granted. For an outline planning permission, you must submit all applications for approval of the reserved matters within 3 years of the date the outline planning permission was granted. You must implement the outline planning permission within 2 years of the date the final reserved matter is approved.
- In Wales - A full planning permission must be implemented within 5 years from the date the planning permission was granted. For an outline planning permission, you must submit all applications for approval of the reserved matters within 3 years of the date the outline planning permission was granted. You must implement the outline planning permission either within 5 years of the date the outline planning permission is granted or, if later, within 2 years of the date the final reserved matter is approved.
How do I implement a planning permission?
To lawfully implement a planning permission, whether in full or outline, you must first comply with all condition precedents attached to the planning permission. Once they have been complied with you must carry out a material operation.
If you do not comply with all the condition precedents before carrying out a material operation, then you may fail to lawfully implement your planning permission and put it at risk of expiring.
What is a condition precedent?
A condition precedent is a planning condition which prohibits the commencement of development unless or until certain actions or steps are taken; and goes to the heart of a permission.
Whether a condition goes to the heart of the permission will be fact specific, but generally it will be a condition concerning a fundamentally important aspect of the development, rather than any minor or non-material detail.
What is a ‘material operation’?
A material operation is defined by section 56(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as being:
(a) any work of construction in the course of the erection of a building;
(b) any work of demolition of a building;
(c) the digging of a trench which is to contain the foundations, or part of the foundations, of a building;
(d) the laying of any underground main or pipe to the foundations, or part of the foundations, of a building or to any such trench as is mentioned in paragraph (b);
(e) any operation in the course of laying out or constructing a road or part of a road;
(f) any change in the use of any land which constitutes material development.