Last edited 01 Mar 2021

Necessity and validity of planning conditions

When a local planning authority (LPA) grants planning permission for a particular development, it may do so on the basis of having imposed certain conditions which must be adhered to if permission is to be granted.

This may, for example, enhance the quality of the development or functionality of the development, or allow developments to go ahead which otherwise would have been refused planning permission.

If an applicant refuses to adhere to a planning condition, the LPA can serve a breach of condition notice. If the applicant subsequently breaches the notice, they will be committing an offence and may be open to summary prosecution.

Typical examples of planning conditions can include:

For more information see: Planning conditions.

Generally, LPAs have very wide powers to impose conditions when granting planning permission. But Article 22 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 states that an authority which imposes conditions on the granting of permission for a development must state the reasons for their decision, and there are six criteria which a planning condition should meet for it to be considered valid in the courts. These are:

  • Necessary;
  • Relevant to planning;
  • Relevant to the development to be permitted;
  • Enforceable;
  • Precise, and
  • Reasonable in all other aspects.

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