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  • Writer's pictureNFC Homes

How long does planning permission last?

Any new construction, whether it's building new housing or offices, will require planning permission. If you are seeking to obtain planning permission for a quick sale and turnaround of your land, you should be aware of the timeframes and necessary protocols.

Planning permission is subject to thorough checks and conditions. It can be complex to navigate the legalities, but it is a requirement by law. If you've already obtained it, you should be aware that this is a central instrument of building law. So how long does this last before it becomes obsolete?

How long does planning permission last?

Once you have obtained planning permission, you will need to know how long it is valid. By law, it only lasts for three years from the date it is granted. Within this time, you must have made a substantive start on your site, such as constructing foundations. However, once you have started development, planning permission lasts indefinitely.

If there are any exemptions to the three-year rule, this will be stated in your planning permission. If you're unable to start the works within the allocated three-year period, you may have to fully reapply. You can extend your permission to four years or beyond, but only if the work has not yet been carried out. If you need to postpone it then you can apply online.

Why do you need planning permission?

All new construction is regulated by the government, so any type of land development will need planning permission. To acquire planning permission, you need to demonstrate that the development you are seeking meets your local council’s local plan, as well as the government’s National Planning Policy Framework, amongst other legislation.

To obtain planning permission, you must submit plans and proposals to your local council, where they will be reviewed by an officer. If the officer is in favour of your proposal, it is subsequently forwarded to local councillors for approval.

Please keep in mind that this is a highly simplified representation of what can be an extremely bureaucratic process, with many variations that may need to be considered.

If you commence building work without the necessary documentation, you could risk a hefty fine and you may be ordered to rebuild any property which you have demolished. Despite the desire to add value to your land, you should make sure you have proper permissions in place before starting any works.

Landowners or property owners often acquire planning permission for two reasons: to build out the new planning permission, or use the planning permission to sell their land. After all, it seems desirable to both buyers and sellers to already have land that is legally ready to be further developed on.

Is planning permission right for you?

Acquiring planning permission can lead to an increase in land valuation, but gaining planning permission yourself may not necessarily be the best option.

It is a costly and subjective process with no guarantees of success. Any submission must comply with the plethora of local Council rules and regulations, including their local plan.

Afterwards it must adhere to national planning guidelines and, in most situations, neighbours or local residents will object.

It may be better to approach a reputable developer that is professional and experienced in maximising the value of your land, whilst taking on all of the planning risk involved, including costs.

If you'd like to know more about planning permission or if you're in possession of a plot of land you'd like to sell, get in touch with us today. Our team of experts can help you arrange a free, no-obligation quote.

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