The ability to apply to extend the life of planning permissions was introduced in 2009 but is now only available where the permission was granted on or before 1 October 2010. For all other permissions, extensions are no longer available and they must therefore be implemented before the deadline stated in the permission, otherwise a new planning application will be required.
In the case of outline planning permissions, the deadline for the submission of reserved matters cannot be extended either. The outline planning permission will lapse in relation to any part of development for which reserved matters have not been submitted by the relevant deadline, even if the permission has been implemented.
This underlines the importance of negotiating sufficient periods for implementation and approval of reserved matters to accommodate the anticipated life of the development (and adding a further contingency period where possible). The default period of 3 years for implementation of development can only be changed when conditions are being negotiated before planning permission is granted, so make sure this is properly considered on every project.
For more information please contact Alex Rhodes at Herbert Smith Freehills.