New legislation comes in to force on 1st October 2018 which prevents Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) from imposing pre-commencement conditions to planning permissions without the written agreement of the applicant. Pre-commencement conditions require works or information to be submitted to and agreed by the LPA before any physical work can start or use of land or buildings can commence.  A draft of pre- commencement conditions can be a daunting prospect and will inevitably delay the start of development with some hefty backloaded costs if things have not been dealt with during the application process. Batcheller Monkhouse Planning Team always strive to secure planning permission for our clients with minimal conditions – particularly pre-commencement ones. Our advice is to address as much as possible upfront, during the application process to avoid a delayed programme and unexpected costs down the line.

The new legislation places an obligation on the LPA to actively engage with applicants at the latter stages of a planning application to discuss conditions. LPA’s will have to serve notice to the applicant of their intention to impose any pre-commencement conditions giving the applicant 10 working days to respond. If the applicant does not respond the LPA is free to impose the conditions and issue the decision.  This change in legislation very much puts the focus of dialogue, discussion and agreement back on the LPA and gives the applicant more opportunity to state their case and avoid unnecessary pre-commencement conditions.  This should in theory help to avoid any nasty surprises upon issue of a planning decision.  Although the legislation only applies to pre-commencement conditions  (LPAs are free to impose standard conditions with other triggers without any formal requirement to engage ) we hope that this new requirement will foster more constructive dialogue between LPA’s and agents/applicants and help to get developments up and running much quicker.

If you would like any further advice on planning conditions or any other planning matters please contact Batcheller Monkhouse Planning team. Tunbridge Wells 01892 509280 or Pulborough 01798 877555