Deemed Discharge of Planning Conditions

The Development Management Procedure Order 2015 came into effect last month and contains provisions enabling the deemed discharge of planning conditions where the local authority has failed to determine an application made under the condition.

On 15 April of this year, the Development Management Procedure Order 2010 was replaced by the Development Management Procedure Order 2015 (DMPO). The new DMPO consolidates the existing law on development management procedure as well as introducing some new provisions.

One key change is that planning applicants for certain types of development will now be able to secure the deemed discharge of planning conditions.

Local planning authorities will still have eight weeks (or any longer period agreed with the applicant) to determine applications made under a planning condition. However, if the applicant has not received a decision within six weeks of making an application under a planning condition, they can serve a “deemed discharge notice” on the local authority.

The notice must specify the date on which the deemed discharge will take effect, which must be at least two weeks after the day immediately following that on which the notice is received by the local authority. If the applicant and local authority have agreed a time period of longer than eight weeks for the determination of the application under the condition, the deemed discharge cannot take effect before that longer time period has elapsed.

A deemed discharge notice can only be served in relation to a planning application made after DMPO 2015 came into effect and it cannot be served if the applicant has already appealed the non-determination of the condition.

Schedule 6 to DMPO 2015 lists certain types of conditions that cannot be subject to deemed discharge. Notably, these include all conditions attached to a permission for EIA development, which is likely to preclude most larger schemes from benefitting.

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