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Warning as planning permission rules change

Property developers are being warned of important changes to planning legislation.

In 2008 the Government announced a measure which made it easier for planning permission to be renewed, and ‘rolled over’ once approval expired.

This meant that developers struggling to start projects in the recession would not have to begin the planning approval process again if permission expired before work began.

Now planning minister Nick Boles has announced he is to remove this measure, meaning developers must start work on projects quickly.

Supporters say this move will stop some developers ‘banking’ sites until house prices increase and the economic climate is more favourable.

Martin Beardsworth, partner and head of Commercial Property at Napthens solicitors, warns developers to be aware of the change, which could transform the way housing developments, for instance, are approached.

He said: “The Government is keen to increase the number of homes being built. Official figures show there are currently more than half a million sites with planning permission, but work is yet to start on more than half of them.

“The 2008 measure was a welcome boost for a struggling construction sector and its removal will ensure that once planning permission is granted, developers must move quickly to start work.”