Time limits on Planning

Time limits on Planning

Postby john242 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:23 am

Can anyone let me know how the planning systems works regarding extension built without planning permission. My elderly neighbour has asked me to research the regs on planning regarding his property. He is looking to sell the property in the near future but a number of years ago he built an extension without planning permission.
The extension was built approximately 15 years ago without issue. Is there a time limit after which a building becomes compliant or what will be the case with sorting this out??

Many thanks for any help.
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby shadow » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:05 pm

I don't think there is a time limit on non compliance. It is not like the statute of limitations. There is a 6 year (I think) moratorium on action by the local authority to enforce proceedings but it will become an issue should planning permission be sought for other works. Since the property should not be conveyed without planning permission there lays the problem. Planning retention must be sought. However a purchaser could take the risk or view that the house is being purchased as is with the problem in situ taking on the responsibility for the non-compliance.

The other scenario is that the extension may not have required permission if it could be deemed exempt.

Either way it requires much more detailed examination.
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby Bren88 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:14 am

almost shadow, its 7 years not 6.
But as you said,
After that the council can't enforce anything. But it is still unauthorized development.
So unless it was exempt, it requires a retention application.
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby onq » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:04 pm

john242 wrote:Can anyone let me know how the planning systems works regarding extension built without planning permission. My elderly neighbour has asked me to research the regs on planning regarding his property. He is looking to sell the property in the near future but a number of years ago he built an extension without planning permission.
The extension was built approximately 15 years ago without issue. Is there a time limit after which a building becomes compliant or what will be the case with sorting this out??

Many thanks for any help.


For something built without permission, enforcement is limited to 7 years from the date of completion [check this], but for something built with permission, enforcement is limited to 7 years from the date of expiry of the Grant of Permission = 5 + 7 = 12 years.

You don't provide any information on the extension itself, apart from its approximate age.

So long as it complies with the Exempted Development schedule and satisfies all the other relevant matters in planning law, it may already be compliant with the requirements of the planning legislation.

If the extension was not exempted, it is possible that compliance with the planning legislation could be achieved by seeking permission for retention of the extension.

This is not a forgone conclusion and exposes the owner to risk of refusal and subsequent enforcement action, but I am not able to point to case law where the statute had run out and had been re-enlivened in this manner.

You need the advice of a competent architect well-versed in planning law and exempted development to come and look at the extension.

Depending on the architect's assessment; -

  • the architect may offer a cert confirming its exempted status, or
  • if not exempted the architect may offer advice in relation to seeking retention permission.
  • alternatively the architect may offer a cert confirming its exemption from future enforcement action.

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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby Crock » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:37 pm

or perhaps ask a qualified planner?
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby henno » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:13 pm

Crock wrote:or perhaps ask a qualified planner?



have you tried contacting a LA lately and asked to speak to a planner??? :rolleyes:

this work to rule is still happening in all the LAs i deal with.

anyway, you'll definitely get a more comprehensive answer here
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby Crock » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:29 am

I had a similar issue a couple of years ago - executor sale - owner had to give undertaking and sign a declaration that the extension was built more than 7 years ago, solicitor also advised that an indemnity bond could be taken out should there be any later problems. Retention application is still the best option though.

p.s. not all planners work in LAs! :)
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby henno » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:05 pm

Crock wrote:
p.s. not all planners work in LAs! :)


good point :)
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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby onq » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:28 pm

My experience with planning consultants is that they - like many architects - can fail to appreciate the subtlety of the exempted developent schedule as it applies to extension design.

OP, if you need more information you need to provide more data.

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Re: Time limits on Planning

Postby zelemon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:57 pm

I'd like to apply for an extension of duration of a planning permission.
Can you tell me whats required for the application, also the original permission expires very soon, is there
a timeframe for this application process?
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