Discharging Planning Conditions
Discharging Planning Conditions
Requests to discharge conditions
Requests to discharge conditions should be made on the standard form, (Form 25&26) which can be found in the table on our planning forms page, or alternatively a request may be made by letter. The information submitted must be comprehensive and meet the condition(s) requirements. Two copies of all documents/plans relating to each condition to be discharged should be submitted and it should clearly identify the condition number(s) it relates to. The appropriate fee must be provided with the request.
The Council will not register submissions for condition discharge where the details are inadequate or the correct fee has not been paid. If an application is submitted with inadequate details and/or without a fee, the Council will write and advise what is required. If the outstanding fee/information is still not submitted, the request will not be considered and will be returned. Failure to discharge a condition could stall a development and ultimately lead to enforcement action or invalidate the planning permission.
You can appeal against a decision if the Local Planning Authority refuses to change or remove a condition of planning permission that has been granted with conditions
Normally all conditions must be discharged. Some conditions must be complied with before development is started. Others regulate how the work is undertaken or require actions before a building is occupied or a use commences, whilst some regulate how the completed development is to be used or control possible changes in the future. The first condition on a planning permission will normally be one that limits the length of time that the permission is valid. If work is not started within this time the permission will lapse.
It is important to note that the condition is not discharged until the Council has been formally notified and has subsequently provided written approval. Details may need to be submitted to relevant consultees to comply with other rules and regulations, however even if another agency has agreed the details, the planning condition will not be discharged until written notification is given by the Council. For example, a drainage scheme may need to be agreed with the Environment Agency or Severn Trent Water, but any relevant planning condition can only be discharged by the Council.
Fees for discharging conditions
A fee is required for all requests relating to conditions imposed on planning permissions for both the approval of relevant details and confirmation that conditions have been complied with. This is regardless of when permission was granted.
The fee is a standard charge, which is currently £25 for householder developments and £85 for all other developments, per request. This fee level has been set nationally by the Government. Charges apply only to planning permissions and not to conditions imposed on Listed Building Consents, Conservation Area Consents and Advertisement Consents.
A fee is charged for each 'request'. Therefore if an application is made for the discharge of all the conditions at once, only one fee will be charged. However, if details are submitted for each condition separately, they will be counted as separate requests and a fee will be required each time.
If the condition is in two parts and requires details to be submitted and approved and then implemented in accordance with the approved details, a first request will need to be made to allow the details to be approved and then a second request will then be required on completion of the development to show that it has been carried out in accordance with the approved details. Both requests will require a fee to be paid.
If the Council does not approve details submitted for discharge of a condition, any further details submitted after the refusal will require a new application with a further fee. There is no 'free go' or discount.
Period required to process discharge of condition requests
Provided that all necessary information is submitted, the Council aims to confirm the submitted details are acceptable or discharge the condition within 8 weeks. However some requests to discharge conditions will need a third party to be consulted (such as the Highway Authority or Environment Agency) and it may take longer to decide if the details are acceptable.
Where exchange of information/correspondence is on-going about an application, it will be at the officer's discretion as to whether it is appropriate to refuse an application or continue with negotiations.
If within 12 weeks of the date of receipt the Council does not send a response to a discharge of condition(s) request, or does not issue a refusal to a request, your fee will be refunded. In these circumstances the Council will still continue to work on the discharge of conditions request. However, if the Council responds to one or more of the conditions referred to in the request within 12 weeks, this will mean that the fee will not be returned. If it is then determined that the details for one or all of the remaining conditions are refused, a further application and fee would be required in respect of those conditions.
The Council will aim to reply on each condition as quickly as possible, therefore we may give our decision separately to each condition or group certain conditions together when replying.
It is important that applications requesting the discharge of conditions are submitted in plenty of time before it is intended to start the development. Although the Council will deal with requests as quickly as possible, in some cases it may take time to agree all the relevant details or if a request is refused, require a second application.
Failure to discharge conditions
Failure to discharge conditions at the correct time can invalidate a planning permission meaning that the works have been carried out without the benefit of planning permission. Such failure may have some of the following consequences:
- the service of a breach of condition notice, with potential court action;
- the service of a Temporary Stop Notice requiring works to cease;
- the need to re-submit a full planning application to the Council if the permission is invalidated with no guarantee that planning permission will be granted a second time;
- a record on the Land Charges Searches that the development is unauthorised (and possibly subject to enforcement action);
- potential difficulties in raising funds or selling of the land or building;
- prosecution if subsequent enforcement notices are not complied with;
- undertaking works to a listed building in breach of conditions is a criminal offence, which may result in prosecution.
This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other consequences.
Some conditions that require details to be agreed/implemented before development is commenced are particularly important because if work starts before the details have been agreed, it could cause irrevocable damage or mean that remedial works are required that could involve partial or total demolition of the development at a significant cost. Examples of this may be in relation to conditions requiring archaeological assessments, protection of trees and land contamination.
Listed Building and Conservation Area Consents
Whilst there are no fees for discharging conditions on listed building consents or conservation area consents, it is necessary to follow the same procedures as set out above.