Discharge of Planning Conditions

When planning permission is approved subject to planning conditions, it is your responsibility as the applicant to make sure that the particulars of all planning conditions are addressed. Michael Parkes Planning Services can assist with these matters.

planning conditions, section 73 application
Why use planning conditions?
Planning conditions can improve the quality of development and enable many development proposals to proceed where it would otherwise have been necessary to refuse planning permission. Planning conditions are the fine print of the development sector and used by Council’s rather than refusing a planning application.

For example, the colour or type of materials might require additional approval and these details will be requested through use of an appropriately worded planning condition. Sometime planning conditions can stimulate when details should be submitted or even go as far as to restrict opening hours.

Early engagement is important as it may be possible to broadly agree the nature of planning conditions. 

What does National Policy say?
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that “planning conditions should be kept to a minimum and only imposed where they are necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects. Agreeing conditions early is beneficial to all parties involved in the process and can speed up decision making.

Where a local authority requires the approval of detailed aspects of the development, pre-commencement planning conditions might be used. These are planning conditions which prevent any development authorised by a planning permission from taking place until the condition has been formally discharged.

With regard to this the NPPF states “conditions that are required to be discharged before development commences should be avoided, unless there is a clear justification”. In addition, pre-commencement planning conditions are now be required to be agreed with an applicant before they are imposed.

How to discharge a planning condition?
You will have to complete the relevant application form accordingly and submit the application form along with the correct fee. Local Authority fee’s for householder applications is £34 per submission and for all other developments the fee is £116 per submission.
Please note if your decision notice has several pre-commencement planning conditions you are able to submit all the paperwork under one submission and therefore one fee. If you submit each condition individually you will be required to pay per submission.

What do I have to submit?
You will have to submit all relevant plans / documents / information that have been requested within the planning condition. If the planning condition requires samples to be viewed on site, it is advisable to add a statement advising when the samples will be ready to view and where they will be kept on site.

How long does it take?
Provided all the relevant information is submitted, Local Authorities are normally able to discharge planning conditions quickly, however this process can take up to 8 weeks.

Can I have a planning condition removed or varied?
A planning condition attached to a planning permission can be removed or varied by submitting a Section 73 application to your Local Planning Authority.  One of the uses of a Section 73 application is to seek a minor material amendment, where there is a relevant condition that can be varied. For instance, a Section 73 application allows you to substitute revised plans for those that have already been approved.

Can I appeal against a planning condition?
Yes, you can appeal against a planning condition or conditions but only if you think they are unfair, unreasonable or unlawful.
However, you should be careful as the planning inspector can revisit the original application and potentially change other planning conditions or impose new planning conditions.

Inspectors can even go as far as to reverse the original permission. You will receive notice of the Inspectors intentions which will give you the opportunity to withdraw the appeal.