Obtaining planning permission on someone else's land

March 29, 2012 by OPM in forum Planning Forum

#190 OPM, 29 March 2012, 19:15

"Interestingly, you do not have to be the owner of the land in order to make a planning application. If you are not the owner, you will have to inform that person of your intention to submit an application". (planning information, the application).

If you are able to obtain planning permission on land which does not belong to you, with the owners consent, who owns the planning permission? e.g. if permission is granted could the land owner sell up to someone else even though YOU have paid for the application?

#216 Marty Mcfly, 1 May 2012, 10:20

You do not need the owner's consent, you just need to serve the appropriate notice on them. Permission relates to the land rather than the applicant or owner, therefore anyone could implement it.

#434 John Mackie, 15 July 2015, 18:16

I find myself in an unforeseen predicament.
I have a large garden which extends to the side of my semi-detached bungalow.
I have planning permission for a split level 3 bed house to be built to the side.
A builder has agreed a price for this land to the side of my bungalow.
There is woodland to the side and rear of the proposed new build.
However, it seems my boundary is not the same as shows at the land registry. It is smaller and apparently the council own part of it.
The fence around my boundary has existed for approximately 30 years. I once asked the council to trim a tree which was hanging over my fence and they said it was not their land, so presumably they acquired it some time afterwards.
The builder will probably now walk away unless something can be resolved.
Do I have any rights in these circumstances?
If not, do you think the council would sell me the disputed area? and if so, would it be a long drawn out procedure? Planning permission runs out in a few months.
I would appreciate your help and advice.
Kind regards,
John Mackie

#446 Scott, 15 September 2015, 11:16

Hi if you have maintained that land for over 7 years with out anyone else trying to claim it in that time, you can claim it as yours ,you should contact land registry and a solicitor to register the land in question ,
Hope that helps

#484 Mike Attfield, 4 July 2016, 20:43


I have a dispute with my neighbour who has been given planning permission without identifying any boundaries.

The Council gave him permission to remove a hedge which they said was a boundary without realising it was my boundary. My neighbour has subsequently built across the boundary onto my land which is by the side of my house. On complaining to the council they have said it is a civil case for trespass and it was the applicants responsibility to have checked the boundary conditions. What recourse do I have if any to get my land back. I've been living in my property for 27 years and my neighbour for 4 yrs


#494 Burgess, 11 September 2016, 19:08

We understand that anyone can apply for planning on anyone else's land however can they use the owners name without their permission?

#495 Bongo, 13 September 2016, 19:22

Hi can I apply for planning permission on my father in laws land if there is a tie on the property which runs out in a couple of years.

#514 Beverley Johnston, 5 May 2017, 11:50

Message to Mike Attfield

Did you resolve the issue with your neighbour building over your boundary?

#539 Dejay, 3 November 2017, 00:36

I have been negotiating with a letting agency to get a premises and we verbally agreed terms and on paper plus I was waiting on the lease contract from the letting agency, however I gave them (the agency and landlord) notice of my intentions to apply for planning permission and it has come through but they have rented the premises to another applicant. Is the other applicant allowed to use my planning permission?

#549 david, 28 December 2017, 08:09

I have sold part of my gardens to a builder who has applied for planning permission for some houses
However part of his application is on my land that I have not sold to him
Will the Council pass this
What should I do as when I mentioned this to him he did not get his architect to change the plans and resubmit them correctly

#550 John Williams (602), 21 January 2018, 16:13


My understanding is that the Local Authority may grant PP, if they are willing for the development to take place.

They have no interest in who owns the lands, or who carries out the development.

So yes, if you obtain PP to develop someone else's land, the least they should do is to say "Thank you!" for increasing the value of their land.


#551 John Williams (602), 21 January 2018, 16:29

<<< However part of his application is on my land that I have not sold to him >>>


When selling part of your land, it would be sensible to erect your own fence so that you know where the boundary is, and the buyer can see where it is. Also, take out Legal Assistance insurance BEFORE selling the land. The developer probably already has this insurance, so you pay your barrister, while he gets his for free.

Did your contract include accurate dimensions from fixed points?

Taking boundary disputes to court can cost several tens of thousands of pounds, with no guarantee that the Judges will make a sensible decision, nor award costs the way you think they should. The court costs can out-weigh the value of the land in contention.

Your trump card, if the developer wishes to sell the house(s), is that there is a DISPUTE, which will make his house(s) difficult to sell.


#558 Amanda, 5 February 2018, 18:42

My father (85 years old) has a workshop which was sold to him with a parking bay at the back of a yard. He has deeds and has accessed the yard for 30+.years He also put fencing up and it's clearly viable on council maps. However he has been approach by unknown people pushing him to sell and now the council have approved plans to build on 1/2 of his parking. The fencing marking out his bay has been removed and the locks to the yard changed.
I had to alert planning officer to the fact that my father owned a small piece of land to their 1st reject application. So the outline drawing was changed but the block/plots layout was not? . I think that the drawings are misleading and the process is encouraging the applicant to bully my father. What do you recommend please?

#645 Paul, 5 June 2019, 15:12

If l build a house on a farm that is being left to me will I have to pay inheritance tax on the house when it's all in my name

#660 David B, 13 August 2019, 13:55

We have land in the family which is two thirds owned by family members who's wish it is to develop the land, and one third non-family owner who does not. If we the consenting two third owners apply for planning permission, can the one third owner stop us from doing so?

#682 Mary B, 24 November 2019, 14:08

A national developer has applied for permission to build 97 homes on a field owned by our neighbors. The watercourse between our properties is very relevant to the application and in the documents they claim that the ditch is "under their control" It isn't. Its ours (nothing definitive on land registry as they are just two fields but we have written evidence from owner saying it's not his but our responsibility) we have maintained it in recent years and annual correspondence between us makes it clear it's ours. He seems to have "forgotten' all this!! We have not been served any notice by the developer that they are applying for permission on our land & as previously they incorrectly state that the ditch is controlled by them. Is this an offence? Will the local authority refuse to determine with this lie. Who should we advise. The planning or the legal department.

#712 Rachel Phillips, 20 May 2020, 13:57

We have lived on a farm for nearly 20years and around 8years ago developers either side of us put in planning applications to build new homes, 850 one side and around 450 on the other side including a main distributor road across our field joining the various developments together .My husband has worked so hard over the years and was looking forward to retirement at our small farm, which is only 4 acres. Our local council have been a nightmare to be honest and fully support developers. What are our rights? Surely the infrastructure must be secured by all parties before these developers can continue! This hasn’t been the case here. For the last 8 years our lives have been in turmoil.

#748 Janet, 25 July 2020, 19:05

My sons girlfriend is trying for planning permission in her name to build a studio in his garden what rights does she have if they separate.?
Does she have the right of way to the shed as she is paying for the build.

Regards Janet

#749 Damian, 26 July 2020, 11:03

The PP remains with the property and not the person. Rights of way/access are more of a legal than Planning concern.

#815 Richard , 3 October 2020, 10:34

A family farm was left to 4 children each to have a quarter share.
It was decided by all 4 to form a limited company with a view to renting the main farmhouse out and land.
Two of the four live on the farm in a semi-detached barn. Which they purchased when their mother was still living. After she died they had the deeds changed with the land registry to show this and unbeknown to the other two they also included other barns and a large yard.
They have now applied to convert a barn into two houses, which has been granted and work has already
Can they just change the deeds as they have done?

#820 Damian, 4 October 2020, 11:52

That is more of a legal question, than Planning.

#931 joseph glass, 14 February 2021, 18:37

land next to me.havent seen owners in 20 years.have mantained land 25 years

#932 Damian, 14 February 2021, 19:42

Ok, so...!?!

#938 Peter, 17 February 2021, 21:32

I have been asked if I'd be interested in purchasing a piece of land under an option agreement, whereby if I get the planning permission, I can buy said land or sell it on to developers within a fixed timeframe. If for whatever reason I pay for the planning and am unable to buy the land at the end of the term or am unable to sell it, what happens to the planning I have obtained? Do I own the rights or do they default to the original landowner? Is there a way to safeguard my position so that if I obtain the planning it's mine for the duration of the planning lifecycle versus the option agreement term?

#940 Damian, 21 February 2021, 18:44

But it will not be your land, so don’t know how you could reserve the right to control the Planning situation until a time you see right.

However, I’m sure there would be time limits allocated to any agreement so if you don’t stick to those, then it’s no longer yours to do anything with.

#960 Chris Van, 2 March 2021, 13:00

When applying for planning permission on a property with a mortgage, do I need to list the bank as an owner and serve notice to them?

#961 Damian, 2 March 2021, 18:26

It would depend on what you’re proposing. There is no requirement when it comes to residential extensions, conversions and alterations. There is a requirement when it comes to new residential dwellings where the LPA require you to enter into a legal agreement.

#1022 Elizabeth , 8 June 2021, 11:43

Can I object to planning on land that is part owned by me and then remove the objection when/ if the developer pays me a agreed price for my share of the land in question ? Do hope someone can help as this is a last ditch attempt to make the developer compensate me ...

#1023 Damian, 8 June 2021, 20:26

You may be able to withdraw your objection if the Planning application is live/pending. I wouldn’t have thought you’d have the same opportunity once the Planning application has been determined.

#1049 sammy gee, 1 August 2021, 14:46

Can someone put in a planning application in using one name (when they do not own the land)...

...and then get the land transferred into their name under a different name 10 months later having gotten permission from council.

e.g. can the person applying for planning permission in one name BLACKWELL STEADINGS (the property) take ownership 10m later of the same property but register it in a different name e.g. BLACWELL BARNS o nthe land register. Curious. TY.

#1050 sammy gee, 1 August 2021, 14:51

Can someone put in a planning application in using one name (when they do not own the land)...

...and then get the land transferred into their name under a different name 10 months later having gotten permission from council.

e.g. can the person applying for planning permission in one name BLACKWELL STEADINGS (the property) take ownership 10m later of the same property but register it in a different name e.g. BLACWELL BARNS o nthe land register. Curious. TY.

Sorry forgot to say and if the terms of the transfer of ownership did not permit renting out or letting of property and that was not revealed to the council as part of original application (lack of transparency) - can this new evidence be introduced so late after a decision had been made> TY

#1052 Damian, 2 August 2021, 17:38

You don’t have to be the owner in order to submit a Planning application for that particular property or site. But notice does need to be served on the owner(s).

Planning stays with the property/site and not the owner.

Depending on the proposals and if there are any legal agreements, those should match the owner or those interested in developing the land.

Any comments or objections would need to be submitted during the determination period. Approvals including conditions attached to such cannot be modified once issued.

#1053 David, 2 August 2021, 19:18

I've managed to obtain planning permission for an entrance gate. The land on which we are building is part owned by me and is a right of way. I've been maintaining this land for over 20 years, the co owner now has a problem with the development, should I be worried? Notice was not given directly to the co owner, planning application was on display as a site notice for months along with newspaper advertisement. Thanks in advance!

#1054 Damian, 2 August 2021, 19:38

So on the application form, you had completed Certificate A and not Certificate B?

#1078 John, 16 August 2021, 11:51

A developer has got full planning permission for housing development of 150 houses. It is an old mostly derelict housing estate with a few houses still occupied. The developer owns all the land a old derelict houses other than the ones owned by those who live there. The permission is to demo and rebuild the entire site. Is this possible without the agreement of those who own their homes? If no agreeement can be reached will they just have to adjust their plans to exclude the land they don't own?

#1081 Damian, 20 August 2021, 16:09

For any part of the site/land the applicant does not own, the developer would have had to serve notice on those owners. If they do not serve notice or the owners object, then Planning is refused and/or invalid.

#1084 John, 20 August 2021, 17:48

Yes I received notification and didn't object as the area clearly needs to be demolished and rebuilt and it was difficult to have true planning objections. Planning app now approved and developer is applying for warrants to demo remaining properties but not communicating with owners. Should I be worried? I am hoping that they will have to communicate soon. It seems odd that they have planning permission and appear to be going to start despite not owning all the land.

#1086 Damian, 20 August 2021, 21:51

They cannot just demolish houses of which they don’t own. They may be looking at it in phases.

#1106 Jo, 10 September 2021, 09:24

I have just received information from a friend that my local council is compiling a local plan for development in the next few years. I have a piece of land that they have highlighted as part of that development. I have not received any notification of their intention. It appears that anyone can apply for planning permission and I can only assume that this has happened to my land. Other plots of land next to mine have also been highlighted. What action am I able to take to protect my ownership

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