The perils of pragmatism

A condition attached to the planning permission for the redevelopment of a site in Buckinghamshire with six flats which sought to nullify an earlier permission for one dwelling has been deleted at appeal (DCS Number 400-013-570).

The earlier permission granted consent for a detached dwelling to be built on land which was subsequently identified as providing two of the six car parking spaces for the flats. The council was concerned that if both permissions were implemented four parking spaces would be insufficient to serve the six flats. Accordingly, it attached a condition to the flats permission stating that the permission would lapse if the dwelling permission was lawfully implemented in whole or in part.

The inspector explained, however, that in circumstances where multiple permissions relate to the same land, a planning condition cannot be used to revoke any other permission on the land, or the permission it is attached to by the implementation of another planning permission. The revocation of a planning permission, he continued, can only be carried out by the local planning authority or the secretary of state by a process under sections 97 and 100 of the Act. He concluded that the condition was unenforceable and therefore unnecessary and so did not meet the tests in the National Planning Policy Framework. He decided, therefore, that he was unable to come to any conclusion other than that the appeal seeking the removal of the disputed condition should succeed.

At a time when council planners are exhorted to cut down on red tape this story serves as small encouragement.

The following DCP section is relevant: 6.21

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