Newsflash: 4 Year Rule scrapped

LURA: 4 year rule replaced with 10 year immunity test for planning enforcement. 

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA) came into force 26th December 2023. One of the major changes proposed was for the Section 171B (TCPA 1990) enforcement time limit of 4 years to be scrapped though no timetable was announced. The commencement date has now been published and: 

From 25 April 2024, section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is amended by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023.

Section 171B currently provides enforcement time limits of 4 years:

  • The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land. The four-year time period starts from the date on which operations are ‘substantially completed’.

  • The change of use of any building, to use as a single dwelling or house – after the end of the period of 4 years beginning with the date of the breach. This also applies to a change of use of part of a building to a single dwelling, and to breaches of condition which prevent a change of use to a single dwelling.

From 25 April 2024, local planning authorities in England will be able to take enforcement action against unauthorised development for up to 10 (rather than 4) years.

The good news is there is a transitional provision and this will become an increasingly important consideration: The time limit will remain 4 years where the operations were substantially completed or the breach occurred before 25 April 2024 (reg.5 of the The Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 8) and Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2024/452).

Please contact WEA Planning to discuss your project now and before the time limit bites. 

You can find further commentary at theses valuable sources: 





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