Retrospective Planning Permission

Retrospective Planning Permission

If you have failed to obtain consent, or have committed a planning breach, you will need to submit an application for retrospective planning permission. Find out how we can help you with retrospective planning permission. Contact us today on 01634 811118, make an online enquiry or drop us an email at

When do you need retrospective planning permission?

Not all building projects require planning permission. However, if you build something that would ordinarily require consent, but you did not apply for permission before work began, you will need to make a retrospective application.

The same will apply if you were granted consent, but you have not stuck to the terms and conditions set out by planning officers. This is called a planning breach.

There are many reasons that your build might require retrospective planning permission. You may not have realised that you needed planning permission at the time, or the logistics of the build might have meant building later would be impossible (scheduling conflicts for the builders, or building equipment arriving earlier than planned), or the build might have been a more substantial undertaking than you realised at first.

If you are not sure if you need retrospective planning permission, check our permitted development section for more details or ask us a free question using the form on the right.

Your local planning authority will be most concerned with whether the planning breach will negatively affect the public or the way the land around your build is already being used.

How to get retrospective planning permission

An application for retrospective planning permission will need to be submitted to your local authority. A variety of factors will then be taken into consideration, including whether or not you have contravened any regulations, the impact upon surrounding neighbours and the aesthetic design.

Subsequently you will either be granted retrospective planning permission, or your application will be refused. In the event that you are denied retrospective planning permission, you may be issued with an enforcement notice demanding that you reverse the changes that have been made.

Retrospective planning permission and Enforcement Notices

A planning breach is not illegal on its own, but unless you successfully appeal against an enforcement notice you have received, it is illegal to fail to comply with such a notice. It is important to either apply for retrospective planning permission or appeal against any received enforcement notice sooner rather than later.

You can only obtain planning permission in one way after you have built without planning permission. You can either make a retrospective planning application under section 73A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, or appeal against an enforcement notice as a ground (a) appeal.

If you have already received an enforcement notice it can seriously affect your planning permission situation.

Legal help for retrospective planning permission

Being issued with an enforcement notice will be extremely troubling, costing you a significant amount in terms of time and money. To avoid such complications, it is wise to seek expert legal advice before applying for retrospective planning permission. This will ensure that you submit a sound application that has the best possible chance of success.

For help with retrospective planning permission, get in touch with us at Kingsley Smith Solicitors. We specialise in planning law and can help you secure planning consent. Call us on 01634 811 118 or complete our online enquiry form.

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