Many of our cases involve the 4 and 10 year rules. The 4 year rule is often used to legitimise new dwellings where a council has failed to enforce against the owners. By providing evidence, on the balance of probabilities, that the dwelling has been in continuous use the council, via a Lawful Development Certificate application must confirm the dwelling is deemed to have planning permission.
The Government has announced in the Queens Speech that the 4 year rule is due to be phased out in the new new Planning Bill: Levelling up and Regeneration. If this legislation received Royal Assent (possibly late 2022 or early 2023) the 4 year rule will be phased out and the time period will be 10 years for all such planning exemptions.
If you have a 4 year rule case you should bring it forward immediately before the 4 year rule is phased out
You can read more about this topic here.