How long does planning permission last?

by Stuart Miles

25th September 2023

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Plans for Planning Permission

Here we cover all the questions which you may have when you require planning permission.

Question: How long does it take to apply for planning permission?

The time it takes to prepare a planning application depends on the size and complexity of your application. If your planning application is not too complex, it will likely take about two to three months.

Question: What information do you need to submit with the planning application?

Every planning application requires some standard information, regardless of its location or purpose. This includes a completed application form, plans and drawings of the proposal (and often the existing site or building) at an appropriate scale, and a Design and Access Statement.

Depending on the site and the proposal, you might need other documents. These might include documents relating to topics like transport and access, biodiversity, heritage, landscape, flood risk, conservation areas, contamination etc. The list can be long, but most applications won’t need most of these … usually.

When we are the agent for the planning application, we will identify the required documents. If we are unable to create these documents ourselves, we will seek quotes from specialists to have them created. We tend to prepare the Planning Statement (which includes the Design and Access Statement) ourselves. 

This document explains to the Council why they should grant permission by bringing everything together. We would also handle the completion of the application form on your behalf and then oversee the other experts to ensure they deliver what is necessary to build the strongest case for the applicant.

Question: How long does it take to get a decision from the Council?

For a simple (“minor”) application, the statutory limit is eight weeks. For a major application it’s 13 weeks.

However, unfortunately, many Councils take longer than these limits for most applications, so you shouldn’t expect a decision within that time. The time limit can be extended with the applicant’s agreement, so Councils often ask for an extension of time before they issue their decision. If the Council is going to permit the application, then it’s difficult for the applicant to say no!

Question. How long does planning permission last for?

This is normally one of the first conditions on any planning permission and, for a “full” permission, it’s usually three years from the date planning permission is granted.

For an "outline" permission application, there are typically two time limits. The first is submitting reserved matters within three years of the outline planning permission. The second is starting development within two years of the approval of the reserved matters application.

The time limits set the time in which development needs to start. For example, for a full permission, the development needs to be started within three years; it doesn’t need to be finished in that time.  Once the permission has started, then the permission normally lasts forever.

Technically, the start must be a “material” start. In simple terms this means doing anything that the permission allows which itself needs planning permission.

 If you would like to know more, please visit our Planning applications and appeals page or get in touch.

By Published On: September 25, 2023Categories: Vision Planning, Residential Developments0 Comments

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