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Pre-commencement conditions - new planning rules from 1 October 2018

Under the Pre-commencement Conditions Regulations 2018, which came into force on 1 October 2018, we now need to seek the written agreement of applicants to any pre-commencement conditions attached to permissions granted in or after that date. Pre-commencement conditions are those that need to be complied with prior to the start of a development. The number and nature of pre-commencement conditions will vary from one application to another, however common conditions relate to:

  • drainage/surface water;
  • construction traffic management;
  • archaeology;
  • ecology;
  • lighting;
  • noise.

This list is not exhaustive and there may need to be more than one pre-commencement condition under the same heading. The need for pre-commencement conditions can be addressed by providing the information upfront in the planning application submission, however we are aware that applicants don't always want to supply this information at this stage, or are unable to. We will aim to agree pre-commencement conditions with applicants as we process applications.

If we are unable to reach agreement, we will serve a notice giving the text of proposed pre-commencement conditions and give full reasons why they are necessary and why they need to be pre-commencement. Applicants will than have 10 working days to respond to a notice. If there is no substantive response within 10 working days, we can impose pre-commencement conditions without the applicant's agreement.

If applicants do not agree to a requested pre-commencement condition, we will need to carefully consider how to respond. It may result in a refusal of planning permission.

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