With regard to planning conditions generally, they should always be checked to see whether they comply with paragraph 206 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
This important document clearly states that planning conditions should only be imposed where they are necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects.
Many standard planning conditions regurgitated willy nilly by Local Planning Authorities do not pass
these tests and are not relevant to the development that is to be permitted and as such can be disregarded, following proper legal advice.
Planning conditions fall into two basic categories.
One is a pre-commencement condition, i.e. works or reports or studies or activities that must take place to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority prior to the development commencing in any form for which consent has been granted by a formal Discharge of Condition procedure by the same Local Authority who granted the initial permission.
The next group of conditions relate to pre-occupation conditions, whereby certain actions must be taken by way of a stated condition prior to the first occupation of the development being allowed, e.g. car parking, turning, manoeuvring areas, boundary treatments, surface water attenuation et al. Again, these pre-occupation conditions must be discharged prior to occupation of any new development.
If pre-commencement and pre-occupation are not discharged correctly, the Local Planning Authority has the right to void the initial planning consent that has been achieved and this has happened in many cases.
P.P.S. can advise in these regards and has resurrected several major “in jeopardy” permissions at the eleventh hour!
It should be noted the Discharge of Planning Conditions is both a lengthy and tortuous process. The LPA will sometimes partially discharge conditions. Great care and diligence must be taken in all regards as a hard-won permission can slip away, particularly as an LPA is no longer under any obligation to renew a permission that has lapsed.