Planning Portal

Guidance on Renewing Planning Permission and Starting Development

Re-applying for Planning Permission under draft PPS21

If a planning approval has yet to be implemented and is due to expire in the near future, it is still possible to re-apply for planning permission under draft PPS21 if any of the following apply:
  • The permission relates to a replacement dwelling;
  • The permission is for an infill dwelling;
  • The permission relates to a dwelling on a farm which is (visually linked) sited to cluster with existing buildings on a farm;
  • The permission was granted in connection with a non-agricultural business;
  • The permission was granted on the basis of the applicant’s personal circumstances;
Planning permission will only be granted for any of the above if the same circumstances prevail and the application site offers the same or better level of integration as the previous approval.
If outline permission is outside the 3 years timescale for submission of reserved matters, but still within 5 years of the date of original decision, the Department will accept applications for full planning permission during this 2 year period. In the processing applications for full permission submitted in this way, more consideration will be given to the planning history of the site. Indeed the Department acted similarly when draft PPS 14 was introduced.

Starting to build where Full Planning Permission or Reserved Matters has been granted

Where it will not be possible to reapply for planning permission or apply for full permission as above, applicants may choose to start building a dwelling where reserved matters or full permission has been received. However, it is recognised that in times of financial difficulties an applicant may not be in a position to build a dwelling but may want to start work to implement the planning permission. We have received a number of queries about this from agents, applicants and elected representatives.
At the early stages of a project it is often a matter of planning judgement as to whether or not development has started.
However, the following are useful examples of when the Department would accept that development has commenced in accordance with the approval.
Where an applicant has complied with conditions relating to works to be carried out before the commencement of other work e.g the construction of an access in accordance with the approved plans, and
  • Where an applicant has commenced any work of construction in the course of the erection of a building, such as the digging of foundations and preferably pouring of concrete, driving of piles or other substantive works;
  • The laying of any underground main pipe to the foundations or part of the foundations of a building;
If development is commenced on site but not completed, the Department recommends the applicant retains any documents or records the work carried out including copies of dated invoices, receipts, building control approval, dated photographs etc in case there is a need to produce these at a later date if there is any issue about the date of commencement.  
If an applicant is unsure about whether or not development has started as a result of works carried out, they should seek advice from the relevant Local Area Planning Office.

Rural Sites which are now within a settlement limit

If the application site, which previously was located in open countryside, is now located within the development limit of a settlement following the publication of a development plan, the policies in PPS21 will not be applied in the assessment of any new application.
Such applications will be considered within the context of the development plan. Any approval granted within the development limit is not included in consideration of applications for a dwelling on a farm under Policy CTY 10 of draft PPS 21.
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