Planning permission can be an annoying issue for many people who are looking to make changes to their homes or those looking to take on bigger projects.

Whether you just want to add in an extension or build a new property entirely you're going to need planning permission from your local authority.

Once it is granted it may bring up the question of how long you have to build/make changes before it runs out.

How long does planning permission last in the UK?

In the UK planning permission is usually valid for three years from the time the local planning authority grants it.

There can be exceptions to this, but this is very rare and it should tell you in your letter of approval.

Urbanist Architecture reports that planning permission previously had no time limit but this changed in the 1960s when "local authorities decided that too many landowners were getting permission and failing to build".

Therefore, in 1968 the government brought in a five-year time limit which was reduced further to three years in 2009.

How to make sure your planning permission doesn't run out

If you have outline planning permission you have three years to decide on your details and get your applications for approval in.

Urbanist Architecture adds: "Then, after the approval of the last reserved matter, you have another two years in which to begin construction."

Meanwhile, if you get full planning permission you need to make a start on building works within three years.

Commencing works can be quite a broad term and can include tasks such as digging of a trench to lay foundations, any work of demolition of a building and any change in the use of any land which constitutes material development.

Basically, there are a lot of cases where you can meet these conditions without committing yourself to hiring a full construction crew."

Council officials, and potentially the courts, can decide if you've made enough of a start within these three years, which could see it expiring if they don't approve.

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After that, you would then have to reapply for planning permission, which may not always be looked favourably upon.

Urbanist Architecture says: "The official line is that even though you got approval, say, five years ago, your new application is treated just the same way as any other application.

"Whether that's really the case may depend on the size of your application. If you are extending your home, then the fact that you haven't built it yet is not a practical problem for your council.

"On the other hand, if you have permission to build 20 flats and haven't done so, that will start to affect the housing supply."