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  • Richard Domenech

What is retrospective planning permission?

Updated: Jul 11, 2023



What is retrospective planning permission?
What is retrospective planning permission?

What is retrospective planning permission? Retrospective planning permission is a term that refers to the process of seeking approval for a development that has already been completed without the necessary planning permission. In other words, if a property owner has carried out work that required planning permission, but failed to obtain such permission beforehand, then retrospective planning permission is the means by which they can attempt to regularize the situation.


The process of seeking retrospective planning permission can be complex and time-consuming, and it is not guaranteed to be successful. It typically involves the submission of a planning application, which will be subject to the same scrutiny as a regular planning application. The local planning authority will consider the application and may take into account factors such as the impact on the surrounding area, the appearance of the development, and any objections that have been raised by neighbors or other interested parties.


If the application is successful, then planning permission will be granted, and the development will be considered lawful. However, if the application is rejected, then the property owner may be required to remove the development, or face legal action from the local planning authority.

It is worth noting that seeking retrospective planning permission should be viewed as a last resort, and property owners should always seek planning permission before undertaking any development work. Failure to do so can result in significant financial and legal consequences, and may even result in the demolition of the development.

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