House of Commons Library

Building out extant planning permissions

Published Tuesday, October 29, 2019

This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 30 October 2019 at 9.30am on building out extant planning permissions. The debate will be opened by Anne Milton MP.

Jump to full report >>

Planning permission can be described as extant if:

  • all pre-commencement conditions have been adequately satisfied, and
  • the time limits set by condition for starting the development and/or submitting reserved matters have not expired, or
  • material operations comprising the development or the use authorised by the permission have been initiated before those deadlines expire[1]



Concern has been raised about the gap between planning permissions granted and the delivery of new housing.

There are two main mechanisms within the planning process to include timeframes for development; planning conditions and completion notices. Further information on these is available in the Library briefing paper on ‘What next for planning in England? The National Planning Policy Framework’ (June 2019), Section 12. It is important to note that these mechanisms can result in planning permission for a development expiring; local planning authorities do not have the enforcement power to force a developer to physically complete a development.

[1]     Lexis Nexis, Implementing planning permission – overview [accessed 28 October 2019]

Commons Debate packs CDP-2019-0232

Authors: Nikki Sutherland; Suzanna Hinson; Cassie Barton

Topics: Housing, Housing supply, Planning

Share this page

Stay up to date

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.