Definition of Time Limits

Updated on 7th February 2017 in Planning Permission
3 on 24th April 2015

To quote the four year rule; “Four years for change of use of a building, or part of a building for use as a single dwelling house”. I’m trying to understand this rule…

If a building does not have planning permission, and it has been in use for over four years as a dwelling, does it fall inside the four year rule?

Or, does this situation fall within the ten year rule, because it never originally had planning permission? Do designated areas create any exceptions to these time limits?

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0 on 6th May 2015

A building becomes immune from enforcement action 4 years after the structure has been substantially completed. The four year time limit also applies to change of use of a building, or part of a building, to use as a single dwelling house The 10 year time limit refers to the change of use of for all other development. It is possible to apply for a certificate of lawful development which is a formal way of confirming that a proposal does not need planning permission. However certificates of lawful development are not relevant to situations where breaches of listed building or conservation area controls may be alleged.

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0 on 8th October 2015

You must tread carefully however. The building must not have been hidden from view intentionally, where the Council could suggested that you are in breach of planning because of ‘concealment’ – typical example is a farmer building a house inside a shed and then after 4 years removing it!

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0 on 7th February 2017

Hello,

Four years after completion is when a building becomes exempt from enforcement, if enforcement is served within 4-10 years. The 10 year rule refers to the change of use for all other development. Although the council could suggest breach of planning due to concealment if the building is seen to be “intentionally hidden” In a situation like this one it is suggested to apply for a certificate of lawfulness to confirm the proposal does not need planning. For further information please contact me directly at alext@drawingandplanning.com.

Kind Regards,

Alex T

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