Time limits for Class Q decisions

Time limits for Class Q decisions

In a recent decision, published on 31 January this year, the High Court has taken a detailed look at the time limits that apply when a local planning authority (LPA) receives a notification under the provisions relating to permitted development rights (PDR), including under Class Q.

“The time limits for a LPA to decide a PDR application has been a hot topic since the decision in an earlier High Court case published on 31 July 2019 which concluded that for a PDR application for a decision as to whether prior approval by the LPA is required, there is no power to extend the 56 day period within which the LPA must make its decision”, explains Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

“What that judgment meant in practice was that that, even where there had been a written agreement between an applicant and an LPA to extend the 56 day period, in cases where planning consent is deemed to be granted unless the LPA decides that prior approval is required, such as Class Q, once the 56 day period had passed without the LPA making its decision the development could go ahead”, says Dinnis.

“The new High Court decision comes to the opposite conclusion and says that, in common with all other types of planning applications, the 56 day period for PDR applications can be extended by written agreement between the LPA and the applicant. It is very unusual for a judge in one court not to follow a judgment on a similar point of law in the same court but the judge in the most recent decision decided that the earlier judge had not had all the relevant arguments in front of him and had therefore come to the wrong decision”, reports Dinnis.

“We regularly receive enquiries where a LPA has taken longer than 56 days to determine a PDR application and, now that we are back to square one on the law, the only situation where a development can go ahead where the 56 day period has expired is when a LPA has not made a decision as to whether prior approval is required and where there has been no agreement that there should be an extension”, concludes Dinnis.

For further information please contact Brian Dinnis on 01884 212380 or by email briandinnis@acornrpc.co.uk

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