The demise of the 4 year rule

26th April 2024


Denise Knipe

MSc MRTPI Managing Director

Enforcement and the removal of the 4 year rule

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA) received Royal Assent on 26 October, 2023. Within Section 115 of that Act amends Section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

So, what does that actually mean?

In a nutshell, it means that the previous four-year time limit for enforcement actions is no more and this has now been extended to 10 years for all Planning Control breaches. This applies to operational development and for any change of use of buildings to be used as a single dwelling house.

The new provisions will came into force on 25th April 2024.

Does this apply in all circumstances, even pre 25th April 2024?

Thankfully there will be a transitional provision in place, meaning that this change will not apply in the following circumstances:

  1. Where the operational development was substantially completed before 25th April 2024.
  2. Where the change of use to a dwelling occurred before 25th April 2024.


Provided that the above criteria can be met, then the four-year rule would remain

This is so confusing, who can I ask for advice?

Aspbury Planning has a team of qualified planners who can explain what you need to do and can submit Certificate of Lawfulness on your behalf. If you have a query please contact us

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