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Beat the Interest Rates: Why You Should Get Planning Permission Today!


“There are numerous benefits to taking action sooner rather than later. Aside from the financial advantage of avoiding inflation, you’ll also potentially dodge any alterations in planning policies that could occur in the meantime.”


It’s no secret that the world of Architecture and construction is in a constant state of flux, and with it, the landscape of planning permissions in the UK. As Architectural Designers, we’re intimately acquainted with these changes and how they can affect your property development endeavours. One of the most common questions we field concerns the lifespan of planning permissions. Does planning permission expire? The short answer is, yes, it does. But let’s delve a bit deeper.

When Does Planning Permission Expire in the UK?

Typically, planning permission is valid for three years from the date it’s granted. This means that within that time, you should have made a start on the work, otherwise the planning permission can expire.

But, what happens when planning permission expires? Well, once the three-year mark passes, your planning permission becomes null and void, and you would have to reapply if you wish to proceed with the project. This reapplication process can be costly and time-consuming, not to mention the possibility of rules changing between your original and subsequent application.

Why Securing Planning Permission Now is Beneficial

In these uncertain times, one thing remains certain: costs are bound to increase. This is true for all industries, but especially so for construction and Architectural Design. To beat the interest rates, it’s essential to secure planning permission now. The benefits are twofold.

Firstly, it gives you a head start. Should you decide to begin construction within the next three years, you have the green light to do so without any additional red tape.

Secondly, you’re effectively “locking in” the current cost of applying for planning permission. Given the ever-rising cost of goods and services, it’s safe to say that the cost of applying for planning permission in three years will likely be higher than it is today.

How Do I Stop Planning Permission Expiring?

Let’s get back to one of our earlier questions: how do you stop planning permission from expiring? The answer lies in commencing the project. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown start to the construction, just enough to satisfy the ‘material start’ condition. This can include laying the foundations or beginning demolition work. Remember to have this signed off by your local authority, to ensure your planning permission doesn’t expire once work has started.

At Shear Architectural Design, we offer comprehensive services to assist you in gaining planning permission and building regulations for projects like new build houses, house extensions, renovations and conversions, loft conversions, garage conversions, barn conversions, driveways, and more. By working with us, you ensure your planning permission application is in experienced hands, increasing your chances of approval, and consequently, securing your planning permission before it’s due to expire.


What Happens to Planning Permission After 3 Years?

As we’ve mentioned, planning permission typically expires after three years if the work hasn’t begun. The clock starts ticking from the date the permission was granted. The planning permission expiry essentially means the permission is no longer valid, and you must reapply to restart any construction or modification process. But what if you could extend this period?

Can I Extend My Planning Permission UK?

It’s a question many of our clients ask us. Can you, in fact, extend your planning permission in the UK? While it’s true that applying for expired planning permission is possible, it isn’t always a walk in the park. You will need to submit a new application, and this will require time, effort, and potentially additional costs.

Moreover, any changes in planning policy that have occurred since your original permission was granted will now apply. In a nutshell, it’s better to begin work before the expiry of your permission than to let it lapse and have to reapply.

How Many Times Can You Extend Planning Permission?

A planning permission extension isn’t like a library book. You can’t keep renewing it indefinitely. A single extension is usually the limit. Moreover, the planning permission expiry extension is only applicable in specific circumstances, typically involving large-scale projects with significant investments. For most residential projects, it’s best to start the work within the initial three-year period.

How Long Can Planning Permission be Enforced?

So, you’ve obtained your planning permission, and you’ve begun work on the site. What’s the timeframe for enforcement? The enforcement period for any breach in planning control, including deviation from the approved plans, is typically four years for building, engineering, or other operations completed without the necessary planning permission, and ten years for breaches of planning conditions. If a breach is identified, the enforcement process can be lengthy, but having professional architectural designers on your side can make a world of difference.

At Shear Architectural Design, we pride ourselves on our extensive services and comprehensive knowledge of planning permissions and building regulations. Whether you’re dreaming of a loft conversion or a garage makeover, our experienced team is on hand to guide you through the process, ensuring your project aligns with the rules and regulations.


The Cost of Planning Permission in the UK

Planning permission costs can vary based on the size and complexity of your project. As of our latest update, a standard application for planning permission for a home extension or conversion in England is currently £234 (at the time of writing). However, keep in mind that this is only the application fee and doesn’t account for any other costs, such as those associated with drawing up plans, conducting a land survey, or any professional fees from your Architectural Designer.

If you are submitting through the planning portal, an administration fee will be added to that figure.

Also, don’t forget the potential cost of reapplying for expired planning permission. If you let your permission lapse, you’ll be back to square one, including costs.

Preventing Planning Permission Expiry

To stop your planning permission from reaching its expiry date without being used, the best course of action is to make a material start on the work. As we mentioned earlier, this doesn’t mean you have to complete the project, just that you’ve made a genuine start.

There are numerous benefits to taking action sooner rather than later. Aside from the financial advantage of avoiding inflation, you’ll also potentially dodge any alterations in planning policies that could occur in the meantime.

However, we understand that circumstances change and sometimes delays are unavoidable. If you find yourself nearing the expiration date of your planning permission, reach out to our Architectural Designers at Shear Architectural Design. We can offer advice tailored to your specific situation, helping you make the most of your planning permission and avoid any unnecessary costs or complications.

Wrapping Up

Securing planning permission today might seem like a daunting task, but the benefits far outweigh the effort. Whether you’re planning a new build, an extension, a renovation, or a conversion, getting your planning permission in place now means you’re well prepared for the future, regardless of what it brings.

To delve deeper into planning permissions and other related topics, we recommend these blog posts:


As always, thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended to provide a general understanding of the subject matter. It is not intended to provide specific advice for any specific circumstances. Always consult with a professional before starting any construction work.

About Shear Architectural Design

Shear Architectural Design is an award winning Architectural Design firm based in Sussex, specialising in residential and commercial projects. Our experienced team is dedicated to creating innovative, sustainable, and functional spaces that meet the unique needs of our clients.

With a focus on collaboration and customer satisfaction, we work closely with you to bring your vision to life, from the initial concept to the final construction. To learn more about our services or to discuss your project, please contact us today.

Working with an Architectural Designer can help you to achieve your goals and ensure that your project is a success. Shear Architectural Design is a reliable and experienced company that can help you with your home renovation, building project or garden project, in Sussex.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today. Our experts are ready to guide you through the entire process, from design and planning to construction and completion.


As part of our comprehensive approach, we offer services to design a house plan tailored to your unique requirements.

Our Architectural Design process involves the creation of detailed Architectural Design drawings, which meticulously capture every aspect of your dream home.

We also navigate the complexities of Building Regulation plans, ensuring that our designs adhere to both building regulations and planning permission guidelines.

By incorporating innovative Architectural ideas and working closely with you to draw a house design that reflects your vision, we strive to make the planning and design process as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Our commitment to excellence ensures that you receive a bespoke, high-quality living space that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.


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Our Services

At Shear Architectural Design, we offer a range of services to help you bring your vision to life:

Related Services:

  • Architectural Design Consultation
  • Planning Applications & Appeals
  • Permitted Development Advice
  • 3D Visualisation
  • Building Regulations Applications


We assist with gaining planning permission and building regulations, ensuring that your project meets all necessary requirements.

Contact us today, on 01273 740642 to learn more about how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

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