Retrospective Planning Permission Application


If you constructed a property without obtaining planning permission, we suggest you hurry to avoid putting yourself into trouble. In this article, you will find our explanations about retrospective planning permission and situations that you need to apply for the retrospective planning application.

However, before explaining these situations, we need to say something to people who already have a planning enforcement notice or people who were visited by a planning enforcement officer. We accept that, this process could be really nerve-wracking and disconcerting.

However, you can’t wriggle yourselves out of the facts If you get an enforcement notice from the authorities, it is possible that your council could want you to destroy the construction works which were undertaken by you or the former owner of the property. In case you refuse to destroy the construction, they could get a court order and could destroy the construction themselves.

If you do not make a move, a prosecution would be a possibility. Fines could be imposed to you for not complying with the notice.

Thus, you need to act. Whether you need to apply for a retrospective planning application or appeal against the planning enforcement notice.


In Case You’ve Already Received Planning Enforcement Notice…

It is very natural to feel concerned about the work involved and having questions on the mind depending on what you know about the planning system. Studio20 Architects understand how you feel and here to help you.

You should not think that your property is doomed when received a planning enforcement notice. Thanks to our retrospective planning service or appeal service, we can do our best to obtain your planning permission for you.

Perhaps, you still have enough time to prevent the planning enforcement action, however you need to make a move without waiting any more. We need to repeat this: Construction works or change of use in a property without the required planning permission could led to court action and legal penalties.

How To Refrain From Planning Enforcement Action?

If you are distressed about the effects of planning enforcement notice on your property, as Studio20 Architects, we are here to help you. If you’re experiencing some planning problems because of an unauthorized development, we can offer two routes which could be helpful for you

1. You can appeal against the planning enforcement notice.

2. You can submit a retrospective planning application

Studio20 Architects could assist you for your retrospective planning permission or appeal against your council’s planning enforcement notice.

We suggest you to talk to us now, if you have undertaken some constructions without the necessary planning permission such as:

● Unauthorized change of use

● The unauthorized building of extensions

● Unauthorized building construction

● Unauthorized works to listed buildings

● Unauthorized projects to protected trees

● Unauthorized display of advertisement


What Does Retrospective Planning Permission Mean?

Retrospective Planning permission means the planning permission which you need to receive after a development has been completed. Planning regulations allow landowners to apply for planning permission retrospectively after they constructed an unauthorised works or a use. According to planning law, Local Planning Authorities are obliged to accept and consider the applications.

An enforcement officer could invite you to submit a retrospective planning application in the process of planning enforcement investigation to permit you to regularise the unauthorised work change of use of the property or the development, and it is very common.

When you submit a retrospective planning application, your case would be considered according to its own planning merits like other applications and it would not be accepted or rejected because your application is submitted after you carry out the unauthorised works.

You could obtain planning permission retrospectively if your application proposal would be considered as an acceptable one. However, if your application is rejected, most possibly you will receive a planning enforcement action.

Living Room

What Should I Do When My Retrospective Planning Application Gets Refusal?

Unfortunately, the refusal would be a big problem for you. The council may ask you to turn your building into its former form, and it creates lots of expenses for you. Thinking about the four-year rule would be too late in this kind of situation. When you applied for retrospective planning permission and your application is refused, that means the local authority is aware of the unauthorised works and they will take action.

However, we need to state that there is no need for a big panic. When you look at the numbers, you would see that %88 of the applications for retrospective planning consent is granted. If you take advice from the experts, the possibility would become higher. Then, let’s have a look at the quirks, regulations and rules of retrospective planning.

The Rules Covering Retrospective Planning Permission

If your project is not in the scope of the permitted development rights, you need to do something immediately. There are two different ways to make your residential project a lawful one after the construction of the project is completed. The first one is the four-year rule. According to this rule, people who have been using the building for the same purpose for four years (very important) and could prove that the building meets other specific conditions, could apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness.

However, if you have not gotten in touch with the authorities for four years and decided to sell the property, or if your records are not complete, or your neighbours informed the council about their discomfort because of your project, or you think they are going to inform the council, the four year rule won’t help you.

In these kinds of situations, you must apply for retrospective planning permission. We also need to state that, if authorities think you conceal a development on purpose - such as the agriculturist who tried to hide a castle behind hay bales- the four-year period would not begin for you as long as the development is not discovered. When the building is discovered, the council will probably take action because the project is concealed on purpose.


If It is Possible, Don’t Rely Upon Retrospective Planning Permission

The duty of the Local Planning Authorities is to protect the environment from unauthorized developments. Thus, they will explore designed breaches of planning control. Therefore, if you are one of the luck people who reads this article BEFORE beginning any project on your property, here is our very simple message to you: get your planning permission done now !

Retrospective planning permission is possible in proper situations, but there is no need to worry about enforcement notices while you can get planning permission done before the construction and watch it in peace. Before starting any work in your property, we advise you to check if you need planning permission. And if the permitted development rights cover the project, ensure you fulfil all conditions. If you have any doubts on your mind about the changes on your property, please consult a professional (architect, planner).

How Studio20 Architects Can Assist You

Studio20 Architects is a RIBA chartered architecture and planning firm with offices in Richmond. Studio20 Architects has a proven track record in receiving retrospective planning permission and appealing against planning enforcement notices. Get contact with us now -for your case, literally now- We can assist you.