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  • Gail Collins

Planning Enforcement – 4 year or 10 year rule?

Planning Enforcement – 4 year or 10 year rule?


The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (LURA) at long last joined existing Planning legislation on 26th October 2023, after a lengthy gestation period and numerous amendments along the way. The LURA introduced significant changes to the Planning System in England, not least of which being changes to the time limits within which Local Planning Authorities (LPA) can take enforcement action.


Currently, there are two different time limits, depending on the type of development that is carried out without planning permission:

  •  4 years: for any operational development or change of use to a single dwelling house.

  • 10 years: for any other breach of planning control (to include breaching conditions or limitations, or any other change of use other than to use as a single dwelling house).


However, the changes brought about within the LURA would remove the 4-year period, replaced with a blanket 10-year period for the LPA to take enforcement action against unauthorised development, where identified and considered expedient to do so. However, at the time of writing, fully 3 months on from the arrival of the LURA, this change has yet to take effect and remains reliant upon separate enabling regulations to be made. As things stand, there is no indication as to the timescales for these regulations to be published. So, for the time being at least, the 4-year rule remains, but for how much longer? Your guess is as good as ours!



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