How Long Does Planning Permission Last

how long does planning permission last

Getting planning permission is a routine task associated with any extension, renovation, or construction process on your property. Planning permission allows you to change your house and overhaul the look entirely differently according to your imagination. 

Got the planning permission and now you are wondering if you can complete the planned construction within the timeline? Since the construction works don’t usually go as per the timeline, it is normal to wonder how long does planning permission last. 

If you are wondering about your options once the planning permission expires, continue reading the article to know how much time you have and how to complete a project before having to renew the planning permission. 

Understanding Planning Permission and Its Importance

In simpler terms, planning permission refers to the approval process and paperwork needed before any property owner can perform any modifications, extensions, construction, or demolition process on their property. 

Although some of the construction works are covered within permitted development rights, if you are looking forward to making major changes, structural modifications, and material changes, you will need full planning permission to proceed. Planning permission allows you to 

  • Make temporary structural changes that might compromise the safety of the building.
  • Carry out demolition works that might affect the structural integrity.
  • Choose new materials and experiment with different materials to create new aesthetic looks.
  • Completely renovate and make changes to the design of your property.

How Long is Planning Permission Valid?

Overview of Planning Permission Validity

how long is planning permission valid

The validity of full planning permission issued by the local authority is 3 years from the approval date for implementing the changes and beginning the construction works. 

If you fail to complete the work within the specified period, you must re-apply with new documents. Even then, the new identical planning permission might not be approved as there might be changes to guidelines and regulations. Therefore, it is advisable to complete the construction within 3 years before planning permission expiry. 

However, there are outline permissions that provide you with a much more extended time frame to schedule and complete the work. Depending on the application documents, you can try this alternative. 

How Long Does Planning Permission Last?

A full planning permission, once approved, allows you to carry out construction works lawfully for up to 3 years. On expiry, the right to undertake modifications, renovations, or demolition works is automatically revoked. Further changes might be deemed unlawful. Therefore, due care should be provided to the timeline. 

How Long is Planning Permission Valid For?

Full planning permission is valid for 3 years. An outline planning permission can be used for large projects; it allows you to submit some reserved details later in the construction. However, you should finalize the details within 3 years. Once you submit all the reserve matters, you will be given an extension for 2 more years. This makes the outline planning permission valid for 5 years. 

Expired Planning Permission: What You Need to Know

Does planning permission expire? The short answer is yes. Once you have the planning permission expires, you have to reapply and go through the approval process all over again. This involves paying the local council an application fee and waiting 8-10 weeks for their decision. These time delays should be taken into account while modifying the project timeline. 

Types of Planning Permission and Their Duration

planning permission expiry

Full / Householder Planning Permission

This is the most traditional and widely used planning permission that constitutes the legal permission to work for up to 3 years from the approval date. You must submit all the necessary plans and proposals before starting the construction. The design, changes, and structural modifications will be evaluated before approval. To get the planning permission approval, you need to submit the following documents:

  • The application form
  • Evidence to prove the information on the application
  • Architectural plans and elevation
  • Site location plan
  • Planning permission fee

It takes around 8-10 weeks for the local council to approve. Sometimes, they might ask for further information if the application does not constitute all the necessary details. Despite your plan and project timeline, all the conditions and details are needed before providing approval. 

Outline Planning Permission

Outline planning permission is used for huge projects requiring considerable planning, time, and effort. It is a preferred approach for developers rather than homeowners. Outline planning permission allows the developers to explore the designs, push their skills to their limits, and see what approaches the authority might allow before investing significantly in architectural fees. It allows you to submit a less detailed plan and finalize the finer details later on the project timeline. 

Once you have received the outline planning permission, you have 3 years to sort out and finalize the finer details you initially left out. Here’s the list of reserved matters that can be finalized later:

  • The appearance and design aesthetics of your build or changes made to your property.
  • Details of in, out, and fire exit doors – how you’ll get in and out of the building.
  • Landscaping – how the surrounding area of the building will be designed.
  • The size, design complexity, and timeline of your project.
  • The design layout you want for your home and the space around your property.

Once you have finished working on your ideas, you should start the construction work within two years. 

Differences and Implications for Project Timelines

The key difference between outline planning permission and full permission is the timeline. You have around 3 years of validity in the case of full planning permission, while outline planning permission allows you up to 5 years. 

The full planning permission requires you to have a confirmed design that cannot be changed in the future. In contrast, outline planning permission allows you some flexibility to make changes by submitting some details later on. 

Extending and Renewing Planning Permission

does planning permission expire

Can You Extend Planning Permission?

No, you cannot extend or renew the existing planning permission. Once you receive the planning permission, you have only two options:

  • Start construction works within the allotted time
  • Make a new planning application 

How Do I Extend Planning Permission Beyond 3 Years?

If you are wondering how to reinstate lapsed planning permission, you cannot directly extend or renew planning permission beyond the 3 years in the UK. However, if the planning permission becomes invalid or expired, you can submit a new application for planning permission and wait for approval. It can take another 8 weeks for the local council to decide. 

Renewing Planning Permission: A Step-by-Step Guide

Renew Planning Permission: Key Considerations

The only possible way to lawfully continue building, even after the planning permission has expired, is by submitting a new application. 

Your local council will allow you to submit a new planning permission application, and they might offer approval based on the new regulations. In case of rejection, you might need a designer or architect to readjust the drawings and make changes according to their concerns. 

To avoid critical issues, you must remember the policy changes and make changes accordingly before submitting a new application. If there are no major changes, you can submit the same application. 

Keeping Planning Permission Alive

expired planning permission

You should remember that you only need to start construction in order to adhere to the rules. It means that you don’t need to be done with the entire process by the time of planning permission expiry. 

According to the Town and Country Planning Act, your planning permission is considered to be implemented if you undertake any of the critical operations that aid the project being constructed. 

What Constitutes Starting Work for Planning Permission?

The critical operations that constitute the work for planning permission include:

  • Any construction process as a part of the building construction.
  • Demolition work of building.
  • Piling and digging of the foundation of the building
  • The installation of any underground main or pipe that is linked to the foundations.
  • Starting to lay or construct a new road per the guidelines or design.
  • Any change to the use of your land or property can be seen as material development within the planning approvals purview.

Avoiding Planning Permission Expiry: Practical Tips

The most important thing about planning permission is to get started with the construction process within the 3-year time frame. This implies that you need to fulfill any of the critical operations to adhere to the planning permission guidelines, and you will be allowed to continue the building works and continue your project in the future. 

If you plan to do the work this way, you should apply for a certificate of lawful development from the local council to certify that the needed critical operations have been carried out and fulfilled to meet the threshold. This will help you be on the safe side and complete the work as you have planned. 

What to Do If Your Planning Permission Has Expired

Here are your options if you have expired planning permission. You can use any of these methods to reinstate a lapsed planning permission. 

How to Reapply for Expired Planning Permission

If you are planning to reapply for an expired planning permission, you must submit a new planning permission application to the local council along with the necessary fees. Then, you will have to wait 8-12 weeks for their decision. If there have been changes to the guidelines, you will have to make changes to get approval. 

Strategies for Reinstating Lapsed Planning Permission

The best way to move forward with handling planning permission is to ensure that you can fulfill any of the critical operations that constitute the implementation of planning permission. This will help you remove the expiry date and have sufficient time to plan, analyze, review, and implement the building changes and design improvements without worrying about hectic paperwork. 

If no such operations are completed within the timeframe, you can analyze the current guidelines and see if there have been any changes within the local council. In the absence of such major guideline changes, you can move forward by applying using the previous paperwork. 

How to Speed Up the Planning Process

how long is planning permission valid for

Here are some expert tips industry-leading developers use to speed up the paperwork associated with planning permission approval. 

Expert Tips for Efficient Planning Permission Submission

  • Since the 8-12-week delay can considerably impact the project timeline, it is important to work near your architect and contractor. They will prepare the paperwork on your behalf and manage any associated issues. It will help reduce any delays and facilitate timely interventions. 
  • Using an experienced architect or local designer will help you liaise with the local council and make any requested changes within a short time frame. Thereby helping you reduce the time delay. 
  • Using experienced professionals can help you create 3D visuals that can convince the planning officer to approve the design without further delays.
  • Discussing your development plans with your neighbors will help you speed up the approval process. Having a friendly relationship with your neighbor can help in getting their party wall approvals much faster. 

Why Choose Fittra for Your Construction Needs

If you are looking for a professional construction company for your house renovation in London, here are the key features and aspects you should consider. 

Your Most Convenient Construction Company in West London

Fittra is an experienced London refurbishment company that can help you achieve your dreams and turn your dream projects into a reality. You can conveniently consult and seek advice from professionals and experts at Fittra to proceed with construction works on any of the properties in the UK. 

Overview of Fittra and Its Services

Here is a quick overview of the comprehensive services and offerings that Fittra can provide to improve convenience and enhance service quality. 

Extensions, Loft Conversions, House Renovations, and More

You can easily extend your house, plan property renovation, perform loft conversions, and build a house from scratch. Despite their complexity, scope, and size, Fittra has the resources and expertise to take care of any such house renovation works and projects. 

Why Fittra Stands Out: Advantages and Benefits

Unlike other construction companies, Fittra stands out as a unique construction company that provides huge advantages and benefits to its clients by considering all aspects and creating comprehensive plans to address all major concerns and issues. 

NHBC Registration, Comprehensive Services, and Customer-Centric Approach

Fittra has been an NHBC-registered service that all local authorities have recognised. We are familiar with the guidelines and changing regulations and have the resources and updated checklists to reduce the stress every property owner experiences. 

Easy, Stress-Free Process with Fittra

Fittra ensures an easy, stress-free project process throughout the project timeline. Irrespective of the project’s complexity, Fittra ensures that its clients have a stress-free project journey from initiation to completion.   

Free Consultancy, Project Management, Planning Permission Submission, and More

Fittra provides free consultancy and project management services and helps handle and manage paperwork to reduce stress. Fittra is a customer-centric company that focuses on ensuring customer satisfaction as a priority. 

Fittra’s Commitment to Quality and Satisfaction

Fittra is committed to ensuring quality services and customer satisfaction by providing enhanced services by utilizing all its resources and leveraging its expertise and experience in managing complex projects and large-scale construction works. 


Planning permission is one of the necessary paperwork for carrying out extensive modifications and renovations. Based on your design complexity, need for flexibility, and the timeline you have in mind, you can opt for full or outline planning permission. 

The type of planning permission you opt for determines the timeline of 3 years or 5 years to get started with the construction works. Since the expiry of the planning permission means you will have to get started with a new application that can cause delays and extra expenses, it is advisable to stay within the project timeline. 

Recap of Planning Permission Validity and Final Thoughts on Choosing Fittra

Suppose you are looking to get started with property renovation or modification. In that case, it is advisable to understand the extent of planning permission validity and the time delays involved in getting planning permission. It will help you plan ahead and avoid critical issues without affecting the project. While choosing your construction company, try to go for comprehensive providers like Fittra who can deliver quality services at affordable renovation costs


How Does the Duration of Planning Permission Vary Between Residential and Commercial Projects?

The residential planning permissions are usually valid for up to 3 years, while commercial projects get more time. Commercial projects usually receive up to 5 years to complete the planning permission works. 

What are the Consequences of not Starting Construction Before Planning Permission Expires?

If you have failed to adhere to the guidelines and fulfill any of the critical operations needed within the specified timeframe, planning permission expires and becomes invalid. In that scenario will once again have to apply for new planning permission and wait for the approval before you can get started with the construction works. 

Are there Differences in Planning Permission Durations Across Various Regions Within the UK, Such as Northern Ireland and Wales?

Yes, there are some differences. In the UK and Wales, the full planning permission is valid for 3 years, while in Scotland and Northern Ireland, it lasts for up to 5 years based on a written agreement from the planning authority. 

How Does the Planning Permission Process Differ for Listed Buildings or Conservation Areas?

The planning permission process differs for the listed buildings and conservation areas by adding additional layers of complexities and paperwork to ensure strict adherence to the building code and regulations to protect the environment. 

Can Changes to an Approved Plan Affect the Validity of Existing Planning Permission, and How to Manage Such Changes?

Yes, any material changes, structural changes, or huge design changes can affect the validity of the existing planning permission. To manage and accommodate such design changes, it is advisable to seek professional advice and consult with a designer or architect to explore your options. 





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