Using and discharging conditions – Ten best practice principles


The authors of the advice note recognise that we could all improve our working practices so that conditions are used more effectively to facilitate the development process.

The ten principles are:

  • Principle 1: The number of conditions imposed through a planning permission should be kept to the minimum necessary to ensure good quality sustainable development.
  • Principle 2: Better detail submitted = fewer conditions.
  • Principle 3: Positive dialogue between applicant/planning authority/statutory consultees/community is likely to result in fewer conditions being imposed as issues can be resolved as they arise.
  • Principle 4: If a matter is controlled under other regulatory regimes then it should not be the subject of a planning condition.
  • Principle 5: A prescriptive condition setting out what would make the detail of a scheme acceptable is often a better option than an approval of detail condition.
  • Principle 6: Consider the impact of a condition on deliverability: inappropriate timing or lack of clarity about phasing can increase risk and cost.
  • Principle 7: Wherever practical, frame a requirement as a condition rather than require a planning obligation.
  • Principle 8: Informatives are put on a decision notice as guidance for the developer. They are not conditions and are not enforceable, but do provide an insight.   
  • Principle 9: Adopt a robust systematic approach to discharging conditions and seeking approval of details applications and consider using a PPA to agree project management milestones and resources.  
  • Principle 10: If an approval of detail application involves consulting with the community/parish/neighbourhood planning forum, this should be flagged and explained in the reason for the condition.