After grant of Planning Permission, before commencing any building work/development, you should ensure:

  • Where necessary a Building Regulations application has been submitted and approved;
  • Any pre-commencement conditions have complied with;
  • The requirements of any legal agreements affecting the development have been complied with;
  • Where demolition work is to be undertaken ensure you have received the correct planning consents and have made arrangements to ensure compliance with Building Regulations.

Planning permission is normally limited to a period of three years from the date of the decision notice, after which the permission or consent will expire, unless it can be shown that the development has commenced.

Commencement of development is taken to be initiated if any material operation or change of use comprised in the development is carried out.

  • Any work of construction in the course of erection of a building;
  • Any work of demolition of the building;
  • The digging of a trench which is to contain the foundations, or part of the foundations of any building;
  • The laying of any underground main pipe to the foundations or part of the foundations of a building, or to any such trench mentioned in bullet point 3 above;
  • Any operation in the course of laying out or constructing a road or part of a road;
  • Any change in the use of the land which constitutes material development.

The majority of permitted applications will be granted with at least the following 2 conditions being imposed:

  • The development must accord with the application, plans and particulars as submitted.
  • The development must be begun no later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date on which the permission was granted.

When considering the finer details of an application the planning department will usually attempt to establish these with the applicant before the decision is issued but if this is possible these details will be imposed as a condition of the approval. Here are some examples of the types conditions that can be imposed:

  • The use of obscure glass where a window might potentially cause a lack of privacy for neighbours.
  • A landscaping scheme is required to be submitted to the Planning Department before any landscaping is undertaken.

Planning permission (and other types of consent) may be subject to conditions that require further details to be submitted for the approval of the local planning authority before the development is commenced.

It is important in these cases that the applicant or agent allows sufficient time for these details to be prepared, submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority before the commencement of development. Details must be submitted in writing on the appropriate Planning application form, together with the appropriate fee. The applicant should allow up to 8 weeks for a written decision.

Please note that any breach of condition is potentially at risk of enforcement action, and we cannot guarantee that any retrospective submission of details will be acceptable or approved.

Please note that, unlike Building Control, there is no statutory requirement on the local planning authority to undertake scheduled site inspections to confirm that building work is being carried out in accordance with the approved plans and details. However, any building work carried out in contravention of the permission can be subject to enforcement action to ensure compliance with the plans/details and could require the applicant/developer to demolish part or all of a building to remedy any breach.

Applicants are strongly advised to ensure that any hired contractors/builders are fully aware of any conditions attached to the grant of permission as any building work carried out in contravention of the permission will be entirely at the applicant's own risk. Ignorance of the permission, or to argue that it was the builder's fault, is not a defence in law.

Having a condition(s) approved

If the decision has been issued with conditions attached these conditions should be ‘signed off’(approved) through applications for the approval of a condition(s).This safeguards the development from any possible enforcement action. If you wish to apply to have your conditions approved then an 'Application for approval of details reserved by condition' must be made.

Conditions relating to trees: Please note that where a tree is not protected by a TPO you should also check your planning approval decision history to ensure there is not a planning condition protecting it.

Where the applicant wishes to remove or vary any of the conditions imposed on the application an Application for removal or variation of a condition following a grant of planning permission can be made.

Amendments to plans

The development must be carried out in accordance with the approved plans as listed on the decision notice. If the development is not built according to the approved plans then the work may be subject to enforcement action. If you wish to make minor changes to an approved scheme you should begin by speaking with the Planning Case Officer who dealt with the original planning application. The officer will advise whether the alteration that is requested can be dealt with as (a) a non-material amendment where amended plans will need to be submitted for formal agreement by us or (b) whether a further application for permission is needed.

Please note that any approval under the Building Regulations that differs materially from the plans and details approved for the purposes of planning, or any subsequent on-site request by the Building Inspector for alterations to the plans (e.g. creation of fire escape or provision of disabled ramp) will not automatically constitute approval for the purposes of planning and will potentially render the applicant/developer open to enforcement action or at the least generate the need for another application.