There are three possible outcomes to a planning application: permission may be granted in full, granted with planning conditions, or refused.
Granted in full
The positive news for those wishing to build or renovate is that councils approve approximately 80% of planning applications, including 90% of applications made by householders.
Once your proposal has gained full planning permission, you will typically have to start building within three years. The council may shorten this time limit or make it longer if appropriate and will explain their reasons for doing this on the decision notice you or your agent will receive. If you do not start developing within this time limit, you will need to re-apply for permission before the time limit runs out.
If you only sought outline planning permission, the council will specify the matters reserved for approval and state the time limit within which you must make an application for these matters.
Granted with planning conditions
As well as a time limit within which the development must start, the council’s decision may also contain other conditions you must comply with for planning permission to be granted. Some circumstances may require you to apply for their discharge before you can start work on the site, such as submitting details of materials.
Should you wish to apply to discharge planning conditions, you must apply to the local council in writing. This can be done by clearly identifying the relevant permission and the circumstances concerned, by using a discharge of condition form, or via the national Planning Portal. You can ask to discharge multiple conditions within a single application and will be required to pay a fee for each application. If the council decline to approve the discharge of planning conditions, this may lead to enforcement action. Failure to discharge planning conditions can also delay the sale of a property as purchasers may request evidence that you have complied with the conditions.
If your application is refused, the decision notice will explain the council’s reasons for this. You will be invited to ask what changes you can make to reverse the refusal of the application and will be able to submit a revised application within a year without charge. However, should you not wish to submit a revised application, you can appeal the council’s decision by contacting the Planning Inspectorate.