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How Long Does Planning Permission Last? A Guide for Homeowners and Self Builders

So, you've successfully obtained planning permission for your dream project—congratulations! Now, as you prepare to bring your vision to life, it's crucial to understand the time limits of planning permission. How long does this green light to build or extend your property actually last? Let's delve into the intricacies of planning permission durations and what it means for your project.


Project under construction

Understanding the Basics

Firstly, planning permission isn't an indefinite stamp of approval. Local planning authorities typically grant permission with a specified timeframe during which you're allowed to commence the approved development. This timeframe is known as the "planning permission lifespan" or "expiry period."


The Standard Duration

In the UK, the standard duration for planning permission is three years. This means you have three years from the date of approval to initiate the development. It's important to note that this clock starts ticking from the date of the decision notice, not the date you receive the approval letter. As a homeowner or self-builder, it's essential to be aware of this timeframe and plan your project accordingly.


Extending the Lifespan

If you find yourself unable to commence work within the standard three-year timeframe, fear not; there's room for an extension. You have the option to apply for what's known as "planning permission renewal" or "planning permission extension." This process allows you to prolong the lifespan of your planning permission.





The Renewal Process

The renewal process involves submitting a new planning application. This application mirrors the original submission but takes into account any changes in local policies or regulations that may have occurred since the initial approval. Keep in mind that the renewal process incurs additional fees, so it's wise to plan and initiate your project within the standard timeframe whenever possible.


Special Cases

While three years is the standard duration, some types of planning permissions may have different lifespans. For instance, permissions for large infrastructure projects may have an extended duration, often five years. Always refer to the specifics outlined in your decision notice to understand the unique conditions that apply to your project.


Tips for Managing Planning Permission Duration:

  1. Stay Informed: Regularly check the expiration date on your planning permission to stay ahead of the timeline.

  2. Plan Ahead: Start your project within the standard three-year timeframe whenever possible to avoid additional costs associated with renewals.

  3. Consult Professionals: If circumstances arise that may hinder your project timeline, consult with planning professionals to explore your options and understand the best course of action.


Conclusion: Timing is Key

As you embark on your construction or extension project, understanding the temporal constraints of planning permission is paramount. The standard three-year duration offers a reasonable window to initiate your development. However, should circumstances necessitate additional time, the renewal process is a viable option. Stay informed, plan strategically, and let the ticking clock of planning permission work harmoniously with the rhythm of your project. Remember, time is of the essence, but with careful planning, your vision can become a reality within the approved timeframe.



BCAE Architects  

01772 230538 

Unit 17, Guest House Farm, Runshaw Lane, Euxton, PR7 6HD United Kingdom 

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