Last updated: 1 August 2023

Next review: 1 August 2024

As the Local Planning Authority, we follow the Government’s guidance to keep planning conditions to a minimum. We believe these should only imposed where they are necessary and relevant to planning. They must also be enforceable, precise, and reasonable.

The conditions we may attach

When we grant planning permission, we usually attach conditions.

These are:

  • time limit: almost all permissions have a condition that says the development must be started within a specific timeframe
  • plans and other information: this is usually a list of plan numbers and document names

Lawful Development Certificate is the only kind of permission that never has conditions.

Conditions can also be attached that require you to submit further details for us to approve. For example:

  • details of materials to be used in the development (bricks, windows, doors, roofing material)
  • details of refuse and recycling facilities to be provided
  • details of cycle storage and/or car parking
  • details of landscaping
  • details of ventilation systems for a cafe or restaurant

Conditions may be attached that:

  • restrict opening hours
  • restrict the hours of deliveries
  • restrict the use of the premises

The more information you can provide with your application, the less chance we’ll impose planning conditions requiring further details.  

We may add ‘informatives' to a permission to advise you of any issues which may be relevant. For example, reminding you that building regulations need to be complied with or that a license is required.

Pre-commencement conditions

A pre-commencement condition is one which must be complied with:

  • before any building or operation which is part of the development has started
  • where the development consists of a material change of use of any buildings or other land, before the change of use begins

We try to keep conditions, and in particular pre-commencement conditions, to a minimum. That way we will not prohibit work starting after planning permission has been granted. We may attach pre-commencement conditions if the requirements of such (including timing of compliance) mean we’d otherwise refuse the application.

New regulations for pre-commencement conditions

From October 2018, LPAs can no longer impose a pre-commencement condition without the applicant’s written agreement.

This only relates to applications for full planning permission. We may attach pre-commencement conditions to other types of consent, like Listed Building Consent, without your agreement.

Here is what must happen:

  1. We must notify applicants of proposed pre-commencement condition and explain our reasons for them. You then have 10 working days to respond. 
  2. You must provide a ‘substantive response’ within that 10-day period. This should provide comments on it or state that you do not agree to the condition. If you fail to respond, we may grant planning permission with the proposed pre-commencement conditions in place, and without your consent. 
  3. If you provide a substantive response, we can amend the condition, remove it, make it a post-commencement condition, or refuse the application.

Our notice to you must be in writing and include all the following:

  • the text of the proposed pre-commencement condition
  • the full reasons for the proposed pre-commencement condition, set out clearly and precisely
  • the full reasons for the proposed condition being a pre-commencement condition, set out clearly and precisely
  • the date by which we must receive your response. It must not be before the last day of the 10 working days starting the day after the date we gave notice

If you’ve provided a substantive response, but we can’t agree the need for a pre-commencement condition, we’ll likely refuse permission for the development.  

Depending on the development’s nature, we may also attach bespoke pre-commencement conditions necessary to make it acceptable in planning terms. We may attach these after consulting external agencies like Historic England, Environment Agency, Natural England, London Underground, Transport for London or Thames Water.