Re-instating lapsed planning permission

5 Dec 2007
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United Kingdom

I purchased a house in 2006 which at the time of sale had planning permission granted for an extension - the plans for which were drawn up by a local architect for the previous owner of the property.

I never commenced work on the extension within the requisite three year period - so as far as I am aware the permission has lapsed.

I now want to do the extension and understand that a fresh application must be made and go through the due process.

My question is whether I can still use the original plans, drawn up by the architect for the previous owner of the property, or whether I need to get new plan drawn up. In other words, does the copyright on the plans belong to the original author (architect), the person who paid for that work, or do they pass with the property and are now mine to use.

Any advice gratefully received.

With thanks.
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Just use the same ones, copyright in this respect is quite complex but I would just whack it in. Though be aware that there may well have been changes to the Local Plan which is the criteria used by the local authority to determine the application and sometimes that can mean what was approved previously may not get approval now.
But as a rule, doesn't the planning framework tend toward being more relaxed as opposed to being made more stringent? I know I am speaking generally, and your answer properly covers the specific cases where this is not true.
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Except in exceptional circumstances, copyright will remain with the plan drawer. The plan drawer will have granted a license (whether explicitly or implicitly) to their client to use the drawing for the purpose of making a planning application. With that permission now lapsed, I suspect that it will be seen that the right to use the drawing for that purpose will also have expired, so you should seek permission from the plan drawer to do so. While rare, recent case law seems to support this principle, so be careful if proceeding without permission. As a plan drawer myself, I wouldn't be especially happy if I found out my work was being used in this way - although I'm not certain that I'd take action to prevent it.

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