Planning lawyer explains how the four-year rule could still apply to your project

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The four-year rule has been replaced by a 10-year rule meaning projects may now need planning permission (Image credit: Getty Images)

Homeowners could still gain automatic planning approval for some projects built without planning permission over four years ago – despite the four-year rule being scrapped, according to a planning lawyer.

The four-year limit was replaced by a 10 year limit as part of the government's Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act, giving councils more time to take action against planning breaches. The planning reforms shakeup also saw new biodiversity parameters added as well as new rules on planning permission for renting out properties to tourists.

Headshot of Alec Cropper
Alec Cropper

Alec is a specialist in planning and compulsory purchase, providing advice and support to clients in various areas such as strategic applications, planning appeals, High Court proceedings, and site promotion. He negotiates agreements related to planning, highways, and infrastructure to facilitate major development projects. 

Alec's client base includes developers, housebuilders, public authorities, and individuals, and he works on a wide range of development projects including residential, commercial, leisure, waste, and renewable energy.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.