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Discharge Of Conditions...can Anyone Help Please?


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#1 Ness

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 08:26 AM

Hey everyone...is anyone able to help please? Long story short, we have planning permission that runs out 8th May 2016 and my husband had a serious accident which has delayed us starting.

We were all ready to proceed, building regs submitted and I thought I would submit the details of the conditions. Completely my fault, I had no idea.... I thought I could just email them the details (I should have known better...lol)

We need to get conditions released which are..... Prior to the commencement of any work, the external materials shall be agreed in writing, the boundary, the fouls drainage and the rain collection tank. After ringing them, they said it takes 8 weeks to discharge and our planning ran out it in 6 weeks (we now have 4 weeks) I submitted it all there and then with as much info as possible and I took samples to the council too. I have rung a couple of times to make sure they are happy with what I have given them and see if they need anything. So far (they have had it 2 weeks) and I still haven't even been assigned a case officer.

My question is.... Is there any way it can happen sooner (I was told by planning, that they can not just rush it through for me) or can I make a start on something that isn't related to any of the conditions, such as foundations with out a penalty or some kind of problem?

I would really appreciate any help or advice, if I had realised it took so long, I would have done it months ago.

Thanks everyone :)

Edited by joiner, 16 April 2016 - 02:35 PM.
"accent" to "accident"


#2 jsharris

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:00 AM

I think all you can do is submit a new planning application to extend the time you have. As you have a pre-commencement condition that isn't cleared you cannot start any work to "lock in" the existing planning permission, I'm afraid.

You may get lucky, and the discharge of conditions might come through before your current PP expires, if it does then just withdraw the new application.

TBH, you do still run the risk that the planning will expire and the new application won't be approved, albeit a small risk, but I've been wracking my brains for a way around this and cannot see one.

If you do get the conditions discharged in time you will need to crack on and get enough work done on site to satisfy the planners that work has commenced before the PP expiry date, so you really need the conditions cleared well before the expiry of the planning permission.

If you do any work on site before getting the conditions cleared then you risk enforcement action for a planning breach.

Finally, there is a potential gotcha with CIL. Your current permission may have been granted before CIL came into force in your area, your new permission (if needed) may well attract CIL, and possibly an S.106 contribution, as local authorities are squeezing money from builders as best they can. As a self-builder you can apply for an exemption from CIL, but only if you have not commenced any work on site.

I feel desperately sorry for your plight, and just hope that you can get the conditions discharged and work started to lock in you PP before it expires.

Edited by jsharris, 11 April 2016 - 09:01 AM.


#3 tony51

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:08 AM

The conditions will not go to 'the heart of the matter' so there is actually little the LPA could do if you made a start, as long as you have approached them in an effort to get the conditions discharged. Anyway. eight weeks to discharge conditions is ridiculous.

As long as you excavate and pour concrete for footings, you have made a technical start. Don't let their delay put you out of time.

#4 jsharris

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:26 AM

I agree with you, Tony, that 8 weeks is ridiculous. Ours was notionally the same, but we got lucky and the planning officer turned around the pre-commencement application within 48 hours, much to my relief.

You're right in that starting before the pre-commencement conditions have been cleared is more of a technical breach than a breach that would attract real enforcement action, but my worry would be that if you start work before the pre-commencement conditions are cleared it won't lock-in the planning consent anyway. That will only happen if the pre-commencement conditions are also discharged before the old PP runs out, as I understand it, so there's another risk in that if work is started now and the pre-commencement conditions are not cleared in time, you have to submit a retrospective planning application and are running the risk of enforcement action until that is approved.

#5 Ness

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 07:49 PM

So sorry...I did not get an email to say that I had any comments. Thank you so much for your comments. People keep telling us to start and I worry about things like that but my other half wants to. My dad has build several houses and he said go for it...(he has a huge bug bare with the whole system and just does what he wants and always gets away with it.) CIL is not relevant in our council as they did not adopt it. We have a different fee that we can argue, but it is £1800.00 and in the grand scheme of things....I am happy to pay that to get started.

Our old architect said the same as you Tony and said the foundations are not one of the conditions, so technically, we are not breaching the conditions by starting on something that needs approval (although we are obviously starting when we shouldn't) We have everything in place and are ready to start the foundations.....My hubby wants to start next week....I would like to wait...as I still believe there is a chance that they may come back in time....but it is causing lots of friction. Obviously if we wait too long.... we run the risk of the weather and we have followed everything to the Tee apart from waiting for official confirmation. People have said...what is the worst they can do? Ironically JSHarris, We do actually have 2 live planning conditions (1 runs out next year) Its a long story, but our local council cocked up and approved amendments to the wrong application which is the one that runs out May 8th. It would just be going back to make amendments, an extra 10 conditions and re discharging conditions.... which all takes a lot of time, when we are ready to go.....But it is defiantly a fall back. I am trying to do everything correctly and it just seems that people just do what they want and seem fine.

Thanks for your help..... fingers crossed :) :)

#6 temp

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 08:48 AM

I think if you have a team in place I would start. Are Building Control happy to let you proceed?

In a years time think carefully about the dates you put on the VAT reclaim because if they decide you didn't start legally they might decline the claim. If it turns out you need new PP they can also decline your claim for materials purchased before PP was granted.

#7 temp

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 08:50 AM

Quote

We do actually have 2 live planning conditions (1 runs out next year) Its a long story, but our local council cocked up and approved amendments to the wrong application

Does it make sense to get them to put that mistake right?

#8 Ness

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 03:02 PM

Thank you for the advice Temp. Yes building control are happy for us to start.... there are a few things being ironed out with them, but they are happy for us to make a start on the foundations.

Actually it is better we do not get them to put the mistake right as we have dropped about 10 conditions in the process, so it is actually quite handy...if it didn't run out in less than 3 weeks...ekkk! This is our original application, we made amendments for our own drive (through TPO tress) and a basement...which is the application that runs out next year. After a soil survey, we went back to planning to loose the basement (as it was too expensive due to poor soil) and loose the CSH level 6 (as we was building to that till they scrapped it) Which was all approved. They have accepted the plans from the second application, with the conditions of the 1st application. I have spoke with a solicitor who said we have nothing to loose by starting as long as the conditions are approved, if they are not... then our planning has run out and we can not make amendments to the conditions. I am thinking I should put the changes to the second application (that runs out next year) then we have a fall back if it comes to it. Its just a pain that we are all ready to go and this is the only hold up. Fingers and toes crossed :)

#9 Ness

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 03:02 PM

View Posttemp, on 16 April 2016 - 08:48 AM, said:

I think if you have a team in place I would start. Are Building Control happy to let you proceed?

In a years time think carefully about the dates you put on the VAT reclaim because if they decide you didn't start legally they might decline the claim. If it turns out you need new PP they can also decline your claim for materials purchased before PP was granted.

Thank you.....Great advice :)

#10 ferdinand

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 04:14 PM

What happens to the expiry date of the Planning Application if you submit an Appeal against a single Planning Condition first?

The deadline for submitting an Appeal is 6 months from the Decision Date so you would need to have something decided in the last few months. Not sure if the Appeal Process applies to something like a refusal of your attempt to meet a Planning Condition - eg if you had submitted Facing Brick Type A and the Council wanted Brick Type B. Can that decision be Appealed?

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 18 April 2016 - 04:23 PM.


#11 ferdinand

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 04:23 PM

When it comes to a retrospective application later if you have started and done something they don't like, facts on the ground carry a lot of weight.

Ferdinand

#12 Ness

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:12 AM

View Postferdinand, on 18 April 2016 - 04:14 PM, said:

What happens to the expiry date of the Planning Application if you submit an Appeal against a single Planning Condition first?

The deadline for submitting an Appeal is 6 months from the Decision Date

Thank you, but we have not had anything agreed in the last 6 months. Worse case...we use the other planning we have and go back to make the same changes to that and discharge those set of conditions too. I have hope it will get decided in time :)

#13 Ness

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:15 AM

View Postferdinand, on 18 April 2016 - 04:23 PM, said:

When it comes to a retrospective application later if you have started and done something they don't like, facts on the ground carry a lot of weight.

Ferdinand

Dear Ferdinand.....Thank you....are you saying go for it? I spoke with a solicitor yesterday and she said if you start and the conditions are discharged.... then we would be fine to start..... but if they are not discharged... then we have a problem. I still have a couple of weeks, so I am going to see what happens. We are ready to dig foundations at the drop of a hat :)

#14 Ness

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 12:36 PM

I just wanted to update....to say a huge thank you for your help. We officially had our conditions discharged today and we still have a week left on our permission...phew! I wouldn't recommend leaving that late...lol!

I wanted to add this in case people are reading this in the future. I rang my planning officer every couple of days to ask if there was any new developments, I emailed her and worked with her to make sure the council were happy about everything I was discharging. Keep in touch with them, they are human at the end of the day. She was waiting to hear back from environmental health on Thursday, regarding the bio chamber and said she would contact me Tuesday with a response. I sent an email...asking if she could please send a copy of environmental's notes as soon as she got them, as I would worry all over the bank holiday weekend. She emailed that afternoon with their comments and that she was recommending them for approval. Next day it was "officially" approved. My point if, If I had left left it.... it could have dragged on. Keep in contact with them and it should avoid any complications.

I did ring and speak to a solicitor and they said that "in theory" if we had started before they were discharged, we should have been "ok" as long as they were all approved. If they were not, that may have caused problems as we would not have had the time to change anything.

Also (I didn't know this) but you do not have to have building regs round to "sign off" the work before the permission ends. As we were thinking about frantically running around trying to get the foundations started and that is something we do not want to rush. I was told, that you only have to start! Sending an email to the council to tell them you have officially started, the day before your planning runs out is enough (with proof). So we are going to do the boundary fence and put the curb stones in at the front....then email pictures over. If we get time to get the foundations dug, we will take photo's of that too...but at least we don't have to rush it.

Hope that helps some one.... hubby is in a digger now...clearing the site....exciting times....thank you!

#15 jsharris

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 12:58 PM

That's great news, I'm really glad for you that the timings worked out OK.
Yes, you're right, you only need to "start", but the definition of "start" varies from one planning authority to another. Some accept levelling the ground as starting, some accept putting in the access as starting, some want to see the foundation trenches dug as evidence that work has started. All need the pre-commencement conditions cleared before they will agree that work has started, but I've not come across any needing the first stage to be signed off by building control before agree that work had started. If they had, then we would have had a potential problem, as we did around £50k worth of work levelling our site and putting up a big retaining wall before we had our first building control inspection, around 5 weeks later, and that was just to witness the foul drain pressure test.

#16 Ness

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 07:49 PM

Thank you Jeremy.... Wow... that is a lot of levelling. Luckily ours os pretty level and we should start foundations next week. See how we go, but at least we have started and its alls secure. Thanks you for your help and advice... :)