Expert Insights

Expert Insights

Extending Expired & Expiring Permissions

The new Business and Planning Act 2020 introduces provisions to extend certain planning permissions which have recently expired or will expire this year in England.  The provisions take effect on 19 August 2020 and will expire on 1 May 2021 unless the Secretary of State substitutes a later date through regulations due to the coronavirus.  Guidance can be found here.

Planning permissions which expire on or after 19 August 2020

An automatic extension applies to full and outline planning permissions which will expire if works are not begun by a date which falls between 19 August 2020 and 31 December 2020. Those permissions are extended until 1 May 2021.

Planning permissions which expired or will expire between 23 March 2020 and 18 August 2020

For these full and outline permissions, the legislation requires consideration of environmental effects before extension is permitted. Again, the extension will be to 1 May 2021.

A person with an interest in the land or their agent may apply to the LPA for an “additional environmental approval” (AEA).  This can only be granted if:

  • the development is not EIA development or, if it is, the LPA reached a reasoned conclusion on the significant effects on the environment and is satisfied that the conclusion is up to date; and
  • if the planning permission were being granted at the time of the application, either a habitats regulation assessment would not be required relating to the implications of the development on a European site or (i) an assessment would be required but was carried out, (ii) it was concluded that there would be no adverse effect on the integrity of the European site and (iii) the LPA is satisfied that it is up to date.

The application must be in writing, submitted electronically and identify the date of sending, the relevant permission and condition and sufficient information to determine whether AEA should be granted.

Guidance suggests that applicants should provide a copy of any original assessments and screenings, with a summary of the key findings, information on mitigation measures and their implementation and a report explaining why there have been no changes to environmental circumstances. For example, the report might include an analysis of further committed development proposals and explain why they do not make the assessment out of date or describe any change in factual circumstances. The need to revisit conditions or section 106 obligations would suggest that the assessment is not up to date and AEA should be refused.

The LPA has 28 days to grant or refuse the AEA extendable by agreement for up to 21 days. If it fails to respond, the AEA is deemed granted. There is a right of appeal on refusal. The AEA cannot be granted or deemed granted after 31 December 2020 (unless on appeal lodged before then), so you must submit the application / appeal in good time. 

There are exclusions eg permissions granted by way of development order, local/ neighbourhood development order, enterprise zone scheme or certain deemed permissions.

Outline planning permissions

Where outline permissions are subject to a condition requiring reserved matters applications to be made not later than a date falling within the period from 23 March 2020 to 31 December 2020, that period is automatically extended to 1 May 2021.

Listed building consents

All listed building consents granted or deemed granted in relation to buildings in England subject to conditions requiring works to be begun by a date falling within the period from 23 March 2020 to 31 December 2020 are extended until 1 May 2021.


For more information, please contact Lydia O'Hagan or your usual Charles Russell Speechlys contact.

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