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Planning Permission Process in London

One of the most common questions we get from landlords in London is “How long does it take to get Planning Permission in London?”

So what’s the answer?

Most applications are decided within 8 weeks, unless they are complex. Let’s look at it in detail…

When will I get a decision for my Planning Application?

If, Household and minor planning, applications are normally decided within 8 weeks.

If, Large or controversial developments are normally decided within 13 weeks.

If an application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, it is normally decided within 16 weeks.


How Planning Officers assess planning applications?

Applications are assessed in two parts, externally and internally. Both parts take up to 4 weeks each, beginning with the external discussion.

The external discussion allows your application to be seen by individuals or companies, such as your neighbours and utility companies. They can add comments and either approve or complain about your application, which may or may not be taken into account by the planning officer.

The second part, is where your application is viewed internally by a planning officer. The officer will research the area and how the development will fit in, alongside the external comments. They will also have meetings with other planning officers for additional comments on the project. The planning officer will then go over the application again with the research and comments to make a decision on the application.

The decision will be either allowed or refused.

If your application is refused, and you do not agree with the reasons for refusal you can submit an appeal.

An appeal is sent to the Planning Inspectorate and will take up to 13 weeks to reach a final decision. A planning inspectorate is separate to the planning authority and will check your application thoroughly to decide if the planning officer’s decision is reasonable or unreasonable.


What if I received an Enforcement Notice?

Different timescales apply where the development is also the subject of an enforcement notice. If an enforcement notice has been served within two years of the application being submitted or is served before the time period for determining the application has expired, the time limit to appeal is within 28 days of the determination date.

If an enforcement notice is served after the application’s date for determination, the time limit is 28 days from the enforcement notice served date, unless this would extend the period beyond the usual time limit for cases not involving an enforcement notice

A word of caution: DO NOT commence the development proposed before you get planning permission.

It is also important to note that applications for approval under the Building Regulations, are dealt with separately from applications for planning permission, and the passing of plans under the Building Regulations in no way implies approval under the Planning Act.

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