Permitted development – GPDO time limits can be extended

Posted on: March 25th, 2020

The General Permitted Development Order 2015 (GPDO) allows certain types of development works (as defined in the Order) to be undertaken without the need to obtain planning permission. Before a party commences such works it must first check with its local planning authority (LPA) whether they require anymore technical details for their proposed works or the further approval of other parties. The GPDO sets out a time limit in which the LPA must decide by, but its usually 6 weeks from the date they receive an application. If no decision is made by the LPA within the relevant time period, then the development may proceed.

In the 2019 case of R on the Application of Warren Farm (Wokingham) Limited v Wokingham Borough Council it was held that where an LPA is required under the GPDO to make a decision on a prior approval application within a certain time frame (e.g. within the 6 weeks), there is no ability for the applicant and LPA to agree a longer period.

However, this decision has now been contradicted in the recent case of Gluck v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and another where it was ruled that GPDO time limits for individual permitted development rights can be extended by agreement in writing by the applicant and the LPA.

Although it doesn’t seem like it, the decision is actually a positive one for both the LPA and developers. From the LPA’s perspective they can now be confident going forward that they are able to extend the GDPO timescale for determining a permitted development application with just the written agreement of the developer.

From a developer’s point of view, there is less chance of their application being rejected because the LPA doesn’t simply have enough time to consider their application within the statutory timeframe, so decides to reject it as a precaution. In that case, the timeframe can be extended and any proper concerns dealt with, rather than the developer having to appeal the decision.

This decision therefore brings in some much needed flexibility, which wasn’t necessarily there before, and allows the GDPO to get back to its original purposes of allowing certain types of development to proceed quickly through the planning process and without as much red tape.

For more information on GDPOs and planning permissions, please contact a member of the Commerical Property team or fill in the enquiry form.