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Retrospective Planning Permission - 2024 Legislation Changes, 4 and 10 Year Rules, you should Know about!

Updated: May 28


In the realm of planning regulations, the 4-year and 10-year rules serve as significant mechanisms to address breaches. The 4-year rule, which was recently extended to a 10-year rule as of April 25, 2024, allows local planning authorities in England to take enforcement action against unauthorized developments within a decade of their occurrence.

This amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is a pivotal change, affecting both operational development and changes of use to a single dwellinghouse. It's important to note that the new 10-year limit does not apply retroactively to developments completed before April 25, 2024. For those cases, the previous 4-year rule may still offer protection from enforcement action, provided that the development was substantially completed before the cut-off date. Understanding these rules is crucial for property owners, as they can influence decisions on whether to seek retrospective planning permission or to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness to regularize unauthorized developments.

If you think as a property owner, that you may be affected by the above legislation changes, we strongly advise that you contact us, our expert team at SMARTePLANS have extensive knowledge in navigating these complex regulations helping you to obtain retrospective planning consent to ensure compliance within the current legal framework.


Applying for retrospective planning permission involves several steps. Initially, it's essential to determine if your development indeed requires such permission. Once confirmed, you'll need to prepare your application, which is similar to a standard planning application. This includes filling out the necessary forms and providing supporting documentation that details the work already carried out. It's also advisable to consult with affected parties, such as neighbors or local community groups, as their input can be a significant factor in the decision-making process. After preparing all the required materials, you will need to submit an application, along with the appropriate fees, to your local authority.

The decision process then follows, during which the local authority will assess your application against various factors, including environmental impact, community feedback, and adherence to local planning policies. this can take up to 8 weeks.

If granted, the retrospective permission will legalise the changes made to your property.

However, if your application is refused, you may be required to revert the property to its previous state or make modifications to comply with planning regulations. Get Help NOW!


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