Obtaining a planning permission should not be viewed as the end of your involvement with the Planning Department. Rather it is a further step in the development process.
Planning conditions are applied to the grant of planning permission and limit and control the way in which the planning permission may be implemented. Planning and associated permissions are often granted with conditions attached. These are generally included to ensure the development is an acceptable one. They range from ensuring new brickwork matches the existing building to controlling the opening hours of a restaurant to protect neighbours amenities.
In addition to imposing conditions on the approval notice that must be complied with, we may also attach information, which seek to guide the applicant to other consents that might be necessary or confirm the drawing numbers on which the decision notice is based. Unlike conditions they are not statutory parts of the decision notice but the applicant is recommended to study them closely as they may assist in ensuring the development is properly carried out.
A full list of conditions used in each decision is in the officer's report and also attached to every decision notice.
Now that your planning application has been approved
Check your planning decision notice carefully to ensure that there are no errors. If there are or if you are unsure of any information on the notice contact the Planning Department, quoting the reference number.
Identify which conditions require you to submit further details or information, and when these have to be complied with. Some conditions must be complied with before a development is started, some regulate how the work is undertaken, others require actions before a building is occupied or a use commences whilst certain conditions will seek to regulate how the completed development is to be used or control possible changes in the future.
The applicant has the right to appeal the imposition of a condition if it is considered that it is unreasonable. You can lodge an appeal within 6 months of the date of decision. Contact the Planning office if you want to explore this further as any commencement during the appeal process may invalidate the consent.
All conditions attached to a planning consent must be complied with. The first condition will limit the time of which a planning application is valid and work must be started within that time otherwise the permission will lapse.
When applying for a condition to be discharged comprehensive information directly relating the specific requirements of the condition should be submitted to the Planning Department.
To understand what is required from conditions you should read the condition and reason carefully and in full. If you are unsure of the requirements of the condition contact the Planning Department. They may only be able to offer you general advise. You are urged to seek advise from your agent or other specialist where appropriate.
Information submitted should clearly identify the condition number and application it relates to. Allow adequate time to submit requests to discharge conditions, as the council may need to seek specialist advice from other departments such as highways or environmental services.
Where details submitted are inadequate the council will reject applications for condition compliance. A condition is only discharged when written approval is given by the council by a formal letter.
Failure to discharge conditions at the correct time can invalidate a planning permission rendering the site without benefit of consent. For example starting work on site without complying with the pre-conditions may render your permission null and void and can lead to enforcement action and possible criminal sanctions.
This would then mean you would have to reapply for planning permission, possibly attracting a further planning fee and potentially other financial penalties, such as a contribution to a new Section 106 Agreement. It is possible that depending on the planning policy context the development may not be approved a second time round.
The delay may result in lost sales as the absence of a formal consent would be declared on any search. By following the correct procedure and complying with all the conditions at the right time within the development process any search or enquiry by a solicitor will be satisfactorily answered as the file will contain the exchanges of correspondence.
The council can check if conditions have been discharged and also inspect sites to ensure development is in compliance with the permission granted.
Failure to have a valid planning permission by not complying with the approved drawings or planning conditions may have some of the following consequences amongst others: