Retrospective planning permission
Planning permission is the legal process followed in order to decide whether proposed developments should be allowed to go ahead. Responsibility for planning permissions lies with local planning authorities (usually, the planning department of the district or borough council).
It is possible to apply for retrospective planning permission after works have begun. The local planning authority will then consider the application in the same way that they would any other application. Retrospective permission may be granted, however, there is a very serious risk that permission will not be granted and then enforcement action may be taken. This could include modifying completed works, or returning the development to its previous ‘permitted’ state. Appeals can be made to the planning inspectorate.
Planning enforcement is the process of investigating and resolving possible breaches of planning law. Breaches might include:
- Not obtaining planning permission for works that require permission (including; listed buildings, satellite dishes, advertisements, protected trees and so on).
- Not carrying out works in accordance with a permission.
- Not complying with planning conditions or other limitations.
- Changing the use of a site or buildings without obtaining planning permission where planning permission is required.
Local planning authorities have discretionary power to investigate and enforce these breaches using whatever enforcement action may be necessary in the public interest. One possible enforcement action is to ask the party in breach to make a retrospective planning application if they have not already done so. However, permission may still then be refused.
- Planning authorities can decline to determine retrospective applications after an enforcement notice has been issued.
- Limits have been introduced to the right of appeal against an enforcement notice after a retrospective planning application has been submitted, but before the time for making a decision has expired.
- Limiting appeals on technical grounds resulting in the granting of planning consent.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Avoiding planning permission pitfalls.
- Listed buildings.
- Localism Act.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- National Planning Practice Guidance.
- Permitted development.
- Planning appeal.
- Planning authority.
- Planning conditions.
- Planning enforcement.
- Planning obligations.
- Planning permission.
 External references.
- House of Commons Library, Enforcement of Planning Law. 16 July 2013.
Featured articles and news
BRE publish a new Good Building Guide - Installing fire protection to structural steelwork.
What do the party manifestos have to offer construction and the built environment? We've taken a look through to find out.
Advancing the outcome of challenging infrastructure projects through project alliancing.
Have a look at this new apartment complex in Sao Paulo, designed by Triptyque Architecture.
China's new approach to masterplan designs.
To mark the IHBC Annual School - how infrastructure relates to heritage-led regeneration and protection of the historic environment.
Almost 600 years on and comprising 980 buildings, the Forbidden City is one of the most famous palace complexes in the world.
We attended Peter Barber's keynote lecture discussing the role of the street in shaping the public life of the city.
What are the main changes and new provisions in the soon-to-be-published NEC4 supply contracts?
"It can feel like we’re never going to keep everybody happy". We spoke with CEO Sarah Beale about the tough challenges ahead for CITB.
Do you know your mono pitch from your purlin roof? Have a look at the different types of domestic roofs.
Apple's new HQ opened to employees this week, and has been touted as 'the best office building in the world'.