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Discharge of Planning Conditions

When planning permission is granted, there are sometimes planning conditions attached to it, which are detectible on the decision notice. These conditions surround precise details of the proposal which did not form part of the original application but need to be approved by the Council before you can commence certain parts of the development.

There are three different sorts of planning conditions:

  • Pre-commencement conditions;

Conditions outlining details which need to be submitted and approved by the Council before you can begin the development.


"No development shall commence on site until details and samples of the materials to be used for the external walls and roofs have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details."

  • Pre-occupation conditions;

Conditions regarding elements of the proposal which need to be followed before you can occupy the development. Unless stated, you do not need to write to the Council for confirmation that these planning conditions have been met.


"The development granted shall not be first occupied until the first five metres of the access has been consolidated and surfaced. The accesses shall be maintained as such thereafter."

  • Performance conditions;

Conditions which need to be adhered to. Unless stated, you do not need to write to the Council for confirmation that these planning conditions have been met.


"The development hereby permitted shall begin before the expiration of three years from the date of the planning permission."

If you need the local planning authority to approve details reserved by a planning condition, this process is called ‘discharge of conditions’.

Discharging planning conditions involves a formal application submitted online. You can either discharge each individual planning conditions or all at one time. The local planning authority will charge an application fee, which varies depending on whether your planning permission relates to a full application (£116) or householder (£34). Each time an application is made a fee is applicable. Therefore, in some circumstances, it is cost effective to discharge all planning conditions at once.

As the Council has granted planning permission subject to the additional information, you are only allowed to continue your development once all pre-commencement conditions have been discharged.

If you do not discharge your conditions or follow the conditions outlined on the decision notice, you may risk planning enforcement, which will prevent you from working on site. Alternatively, a Breach of Condition notice may be served on you, which will be visible indefinitely on all future land or property searches.

The Government’s Planning Practice Guidance explains that for a condition to be applied to a decision, it should be:

  1. Necessary;

  2. Relevant to planning and;

  3. To the development to be permitted;

  4. Enforceable;

  5. Precise and;

  6. Reasonable in all other aspects.

Where a planning condition has been applied that does not meet all 6 of the criteria listed above, there are grounds to have a condition amended or removed. Call HAD to discuss your conditions discharge application: 0161 327 2529

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