Possibly, the council involved in this appeal case (DCS Number 400-020-987) has been caught up in the current craze for decluttering.

The case relates to a fruit and vegetable shop in Bedfordshire. The appellant was objecting to the imposition of a condition attached to planning permission for two display units on the forecourt. The condition required the removal of an existing wooden display structure within two months of the permission.

The inspector recorded that Paragraph 55 of the Framework states that planning conditions should be kept to a minimum and only imposed where they are necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects. Planning Policy Guidance, he continued, states that the six tests must all be satisfied each time a decision to grant planning permission subject to conditions is made. Furthermore, the tests are set out in an accompanying table to the PPG alongside key considerations.

Most notably, the inspector remarked, in considering whether a condition fairly and reasonably relates to the development to be permitted, one key consideration is that a condition cannot be imposed in order to remedy a pre-existing problem or issue not created by the proposed development. After ruling that the condition was unnecessary, imprecise and unreasonable, he concluded that it was invalid.

Further appeal examples concerning the tests for planning conditions can be found at section 4.412 of DCP Online.