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Planning permission can be described as extant if:

  • all pre-commencement conditions have been adequately satisfied, and
  • the time limits set by condition for starting the development and/or submitting reserved matters have not expired, or
  • material operations comprising the development or the use authorised by the permission have been initiated before those deadlines expire[1]

Concern has been raised about the gap between planning permissions granted and the delivery of new housing.

There are two main mechanisms within the planning process to include timeframes for development; planning conditions and completion notices. Further information on these is available in the Library briefing paper on ‘What next for planning in England? The National Planning Policy Framework’ (June 2019), Section 12. It is important to note that these mechanisms can result in planning permission for a development expiring; local planning authorities do not have the enforcement power to force a developer to physically complete a development.

[1]     Lexis Nexis, Implementing planning permission – overview [accessed 28 October 2019]


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