Planning law is a field of property law that regulates how new construction is planned and built. This includes commercial, industrial, and residential buildings as well as public buildings and infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Planning law also regulates how villages, towns, and cities develop and grow, to ensure that public infrastructure can support the local population, and that the negative impact of new buildings and structures is reduced.

Planning law has a number of general objectives:

One way in which the negative impact of new construction is reduced is via efforts to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible. Another method is the use of planning obligations, which are used in instances where new construction may have negative effects in the local community, whether environmental or otherwise. Planning obligations are services that the project developer agrees to provide, such as providing infrastructure to the community, to offset the negative effects of the new construction.

Obtaining Planning Permission

Planning permission is needed for any project that involves new construction or major modifications to an existing structure. Sometimes planning permission is also needed in projects that involve changing the function of a building; for instance converting a warehouse into a home.

For most projects planning permission applications can be submitted online. A number of documents must be submitted with the application, including construction and development plans and supporting documentation.

When building or renovation projects are undertaken without permission, it can result in a penalty to the owner of the building or the project developer. For instance, if a homeowner doesn’t have planning permission for a home modification they might be served a notice that requires them to undo it. In cases of large-scale developments that go ahead without planning permission, local authorities have the power to impose larger penalties, and in some cases even halt construction.

Planning Permission Resources - You can find more information about planning permission on this page plus there is a useful link to local planning authorities.


If any students wish to contribute to this section or add relevant subsections related to planning permission and the processes involved please do so through the university portal by updating Resource No.00032.