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Last edited 08 Aug 2019
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 will be required to be met if permission is to be granted. The conditions so imposed by the LPA may or may not be unique to the development.
If applied properly, planning conditions can:
- Enhance the quality of the development.
- Improve development control.
- Allow many developments to go ahead which otherwise would have been refused planning permission, and
- Enhance public confidence in the planning system.
An applicant for planning permission must satisfy the requirements of the conditions imposed by supplying plans of the proposed works usually within eight weeks. These are extra to the information submitted for the original planning application.
If an applicant refuses to comply with a certain planning condition, the LPA can ensure compliance by serving a breach of condition notice. If the applicant subsequently breaches the notice, they will be committing an offence and open to summary prosecution.
 Typical examples of planning conditions can include:
- The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of five years from the date of this permission;
- The materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the extension hereby permitted shall match those used in the existing building;
- Development shall not begin until drainage works have been carried out in accordance with details to be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the LPA;
- No pneumatic drills shall be operated on the premises before/after the following times [times will normally be specified for weekdays, weekends and Bank Holidays];
- The building shall not be occupied until a means of access for pedestrians has been constructed in accordance with the approved plans;
- No dwelling shall be occupied until space has been laid out within the site (in accordance with the plan attached) for 20 bicycles to be parked;
- No building on any part of the development hereby permitted shall exceed six storeys in Height;
- The site shall only be used as a petrol filling station, and no part shall be used for the sale, display or repair of vehicles.
 Validity of planning conditions
There are six criteria which a planning condition should meet in order for it to be considered valid in the courts. These are:
- Relevant to planning;
- Relevant to the development to be permitted;
- Precise, and
- Reasonable I all other aspects
Generally, LPAs have very wide powers to impose conditions when granting planning permission. But the conditions must be seen to be fair, reasonable and practicable. Conditions should only be imposed where they are necessary and reasonable, as well as enforceable, precise and relevant both to the planning process and to the development’s permission.
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. Every condition imposed by an LPA must be justified in this way.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approval of conditions on a planning permission
- Extensions to time limits for implementing existing planning permissions.
- How long does it take to get planning permission.
- How long does planning permission last.
- Outline planning application.
- Party structure notice.
- Planning condition.
- Planning obligation.
- Planning permission.
- Reserved matters in planning permissions.
- What approvals are needed before construction begins.
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