Planning Permission and Time Limits

One issue that anyone with an existing planning permission needs to bear in mind is actually starting it. Planning permission usually comes with a three-year time limit for beginning the works. With the lockdown, there is now a real possibility that you will not be able to implement the permission in time.

The risk is then that you lose the permission, or you have to go through the whole application process again. I have myself been involved in a case where we were told by the local planning authority (LPA) what we had to do to implement a permission, in other words to ‘start’ it. This involved exposing the foundations of an existing building and pouring in some concrete to improve the footings.

However, when the building inspector came to inspect the existing footings, he decided that they were already adequate, and no improvements were required! Consequently, we could not make this improvement to ‘start’ the building works, and not enough had been done to preserve the permission.

It was therefore a real race against time to find something else to do, to ensure it was ‘started’ within the three year limit, to hold onto the permission, which in this case was crucial for the sale value of a property.

For all matters on planning permissions, contact Charles at

Posted in Business Management, Lincoln.