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If you are selling a property, you may be aware of the importance of obtaining planning permission. However, there is an even greater risk associated with not complying with your planning permission.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is a legal requirement which must be applied for and granted by the local authority. It is a way of ensuring that new buildings and changes to existing buildings are in line with the local planning policy. Planning permission can take many forms, depending on whether it’s required for building work, or simply making any alterations that affect the appearance of your property (including adding an extension).

What happens if I fail to obtain planning permission?

If you fail to obtain planning permission, you may be required to demolish or remove the building. If this is the case, then you will have to pay for all associated costs. You might also be fined up to £5,000 and could face prosecution if your work was deemed dangerous or against health standards. Alternatively, if your property is in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), then it may fall under special regulations that require a local authority permit before any construction can begin on site.

I hope this guide has given you some useful insight into what happens when failure occurs during construction projects. I would recommend speaking with a solicitor who specializes in civil law if you have any further questions about how your project could be affected by such failures or how best to avoid them altogether!

How do I ensure that I have complied with the planning permission?

  • Check that the planning permission is still valid.
  • Check that you are not in breach of the planning permission or any conditions attached to it.

It’s always worth checking with your local authority whether a change of circumstances or new information has caused them to take a different view on how you should use your land, even if your original application was approved some time ago.

Who is responsible for complying with the planning permission?

So, who is responsible for complying with the planning permission?

  • The person who applied for planning permission
  • The owner of the property (unless they have been granted development rights by the local authority)
  • Anyone who has an interest in the property (e.g. mortgage holder)

Are there any risks associated with failing to comply with the planning permission?

If you don’t comply with the terms of your planning permission, there are several risks:

  • You could be prosecuted and fined.
  • You may not be able to sell or let out your property.
  • You may need to demolish or rebuild the building in question.

If you fail to comply with a section 212 direction from the council, this can result in enforcement action being taken against you:

Does non-compliance affect the sale of my property?

If you fail to comply with planning permission, there are a number of possible consequences. First, the buyer may not be able to complete on the property. This can affect any sale and purchase agreement since it is likely that they will require full disclosure from you as the seller.

Second, even if the buyer completes on your property and takes ownership of it, they will still own an un-complying property which could impact its value in future sales or rentals (for example if an enforcement notice was issued for remedial works).

Thirdly, under Section 217A Building Act 1984 (as amended), where non-compliance with planning permission has occurred then any person who has benefited from being allowed access to land contrary to section 215 is liable for payment of compensation equal to twice their benefit in addition to any fine imposed by a court order upon conviction – this means that if you have received money as part of your sale transaction then you may have to repay some or all of those monies depending on whether there was non-compliance with planning permission when building took place.

Non-compliance can be very costly if you are caught, so it’s important to be aware of the risks.

It’s important to be aware of the risks involved, and not just the cost of putting your business plans on hold. Non-compliance can lead to legal action, which can be very costly if you are caught. If you want to avoid these costs and red tape, it’s worth consulting a solicitor about how best to get your planning application approved.


Planning permission is a serious matter and should be taken very seriously. Not only can it cost you time and money, but there are also legal consequences if you fail to obtain or comply with planning permission. If you have any questions about planning permission or need help with your application, contact us today!