Safeguarding Planning Permission

Bailey Partnership

With many construction sites across the UK currently closed due to COVID-19, developers and landowners need to be proactive and consider safeguarding their extant permissions, particularly where time-limiting conditions apply.

Unfortunately, planning legislation in England does not allow for the extension of time-limits for the commencement of developments. Unlike Scotland, which has recently introduced new legislation to allow for these extensions, there are currently no such provisions in England. Consequently, to protect and implement existing planning permissions, developers and landowners must evidence that a development has lawfully commenced through what is known as a ‘material operation’ (as set out and listed in Section 56(2) and Section 56(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)).

Although the ‘material operations’ listed in the Act may seem straightforward, to ensure lawful implementation of the planning permission, developers and landowners must first formally discharge or satisfy any pre-commencement conditions and commence works in strict accordance with the approved plans.

Developers and landowners should protect their planning permission and make sure any pre-commencement conditions are discharged to allow a ‘material operation’ to commence on site. Once works are underway, we would recommend a “Compliance of Condition” notice should be obtained from the Local Planning Authority.

Bailey Partnership have recently successfully discharged all pre-commencement conditions and obtained a “Compliance of Condition” notice to secure the development of a new business park in Cornwall which includes the erection of 15 two storey business units with ancillary car parking, landscaping and new vehicular access at Trevol Business Park, Torpoint.

With less than three weeks remaining before the planning permission expired, Bailey Partnership acted swiftly to submit the application and worked collaboratively with Cornwall Council to achieve a positive outcome and protect our Client’s permission.

Bailey Partnership’s Town Planning team are on hand to advise and assist with all aspects of the Planning System, including issues related to protecting existing consents during these uncertain times. For further advice please contact our Planning team at or call on 01752 229 259.