Thoughts on planning conditions

Planning Conditions can make or break a development. Sometimes they can be used to push through a development that would otherwise be refused, but equally they can be so restrictive as to make the development infeasible.

So, what do you do if you have received a permission with conditions that you disagree with? You essentially have two options:

  1. Apply to the LPA to remove or modify the conditions, or;
  2. Appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that permission has been granted subject to conditions to which you object.

Both routes have their positives and negatives. Often the LPA will dig their heels in and not budge, but the danger of appealing is that essentially the whole development is looked at again by the Inspector and could technically get refused.

We find that the best approach is to engage with the LPA before any decision is made. Often conditions are treated as an after thought by both LPA and applicant, but by suggesting conditions at an early stage we find that the applicant is in a better position to control the situation. The old adage of giving a little to gain a lot holds true.

One final thought – once you get your permission don’t forget to ensure that you discharge your conditions. Read through the decision notice carefully, and make sure that where you are required to do something ‘before development commences’ that this is complied with before you start anything on site. Discharge of conditions always takes longer than you think, and is worth allocating plenty of time for it in your development time-line to avoid frustration. Getting planning permission doesn’t mean you are clear of the Development Control department….yet!