Discharging the planning conditions

So, you’ve finally obtained your much sought-after planning permission. You feel like you’ve stumbled over a big hurdle…and you have…to a degree.

But before the cork popping and excitement can commence, you should be aware that although you have been granted planning permission to go ahead with your build – this comes with attached planning conditions.

All planning permission is granted with conditions attached and it’s essential that you ‘discharge’ or approve these conditions with your local planning authority. These conditions could include approval of the colour of materials, type of bricks, protection of certain trees or style of work, for example.

Learn more about the steps to obtaining planning permission here

How to discharge planning conditions

So, how do you go about approving these conditions? First, you need to approach your local planning authority. Typically, you’ll need to complete a discharge of conditions application form which can usually be downloaded from their website. Some may advise you to make your application through the planning portal website.

You need an application form to remove, vary or discharge (or approve) a condition following the grant of planning permission. You may also be required to attach a site location plan and plans of the proposed work, which you’ll find replicate the documents you originally sent for planning permission.

Be aware that you’ll need to pay a fee to the local planning authority when you apply for written confirmation that conditions have been discharged and one or more conditions have been completed. Typically, this fee is £116 in England for a new dwelling or £34 for householder planning permission (an extension project) to discharge the requirements of a planning condition. Don’t miss anything out and ensure you collect everything you need so you can submit ONE application. If you have five conditions, for example, you don’t want to pay over £500 to discharge each of them.

If your case is pretty simple you should, on average, receive a response within 21 days. Planning departments should provide notice of their decision within eight weeks of the request. However, if you decide to appeal against a planning condition this could take months to resolve.

If you think this sounds like a long-winded process and doesn’t apply to you – always check with your planning department. If you fail to submit the relevant paperwork to discharge the conditions, it could put the brakes on your self-build project. Planning departments could invalidate your planning permission altogether – some planning officers do undertake inspections to check all conditions have been discharged.

Top tip

Look at the conditions before your planning permission is granted and try to understand what they mean. Question and challenge each and every one of them. If you try to discharge them early it could help to speed up the planning process.


Land Planning