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  • Writer's pictureRobert McBride

How Long does Planning Consent Last?

Navigating Planning Permission Durations

So, you've successfully secured planning permission—fantastic news! Now, let's explore the intricacies of its duration, ensuring it remains valid and addressing any challenges that may arise.

This 2023 update sheds light on the lifespan of planning permission, strategies to keep it active, and steps to take if renewal becomes necessary.

Typically, planning permission extends for three years from the date of approval by the local planning authority. Differentiating between full and outline permissions, the former grants a three-year window for construction initiation, while the latter offers three years to seek approval for reserved matters.

Understanding the Nuances of Planning Permissions:

  • Full Planning Permission: Encompassing comprehensive project details, allowing construction post-compliance with stipulated conditions.

  • Outline Planning Permission: Suited for larger ventures, gaining initial approval with subsequent applications for reserved matters.

Strategies to Sustain Planning Permission:

In 2009, a legislative shift introduced a three-year limit, emphasizing the imperative to actualize granted permissions. For outline permission, submit reserved matters applications within three years, with construction initiation mandated within two years post the final approval. Full planning permission necessitates commencing building works within three years.

Initiating Development:

The commencement of work involves visible actions, termed 'material operations,' signifying the initiation of development. Examples include construction or demolition activities, trench excavation for foundations, laying underground mains, road construction, or a change in land use.

Challenges in Maintaining Planning Permission:

Critical factors include the accuracy of works' location in line with approved plans and ensuring that the undertaken works surpass minimum thresholds, subject to council scrutiny.

Renewal or Extension of Planning Permission:

The option for fee-based renewal was discontinued in 2013, shifting the focus to preventing expiration or submitting a new application. A legislative update in October 2023 empowers councils to reject applications from those who allow permission to lapse.

Reapplying for Expired Planning Permission:

The reapplication process mirrors a new application, contingent on evolving policies and conditions. Past approvals set a precedent, but substantial changes may impact the application's success.

Expert Guidance from Studio: MASS:

Navigating the complexities of planning requires expert support. Studio: MASS, a design and planning authority, offers tailored services to guide clients through design, planning, and architectural strategies. Specializing in residential projects, extensions, conversions, and new builds, Studio: MASS is dedicated to helping clients achieve their goals.

For personalised assistance from Studio: MASS in navigating your specific planning scenario, reach out today. Whether reconsidering an existing project or applying for new planning permission, Studio: MASS is ready to collaborate. Contact them via or call 0208 638 6727.


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